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Old 02-05-2013, 01:47 AM   #1
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Trying to connect 2 ceiling fans to 1 switch


My Goal
To operate two ceiling fans simultaneously with one dimmer switch controlling the lights and one dimmer switch controlling the motors.

Wiring
I went up into the attic to check out the wiring. The wire goes from the breaker to a junction box branching into two separate lines. Line 1 goes to another junction box and then connects to the office ceiling fan somehow. Line 2 goes to the livingroom wallswitch, then separate line from the wallswitch to ceiling fan 1. A seperate wire then goes from ceiling fan 1 to ceiling fan two. I found no other connections going from ceiling fan 2 to anywhere. There are three wires (black, white and ground).

2 Questions
Can I buy a 4 wire cord (black, red, white, ground) and replace the 3 wire cord between ceiling fan 2 to ceiling fan 1 and then from ceiling fan 1 to the wallplate so I can operate the lights and motors separately? Are there any rules against that?

I separated the wire connection from ceiling fan 1 to ceiling fan 2. Therefore, the wire between the two ceiling fans is not connected to anything at all. I went to the attic 3x. However, when I turn on the breaker, my electricity tester keeps beeping on this wire that's not powered by anything. How is that possible?

FYI - I will be using two Minka Aire F569 Supra (79 watts each)

Any help will be much appreciated.

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Old 02-05-2013, 05:57 AM   #2
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Trying to connect 2 ceiling fans to 1 switch


you will have to make sure the dimmer that you use for the fan is rated for fan use. Normal light dimmers will make the motor "buzz"

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Old 02-05-2013, 06:08 AM   #3
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Trying to connect 2 ceiling fans to 1 switch


You should not just have wire in the attic. Now if you are describing cable(Romex) that is a different ball of wax.
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Trying to connect 2 ceiling fans to 1 switch-romex-vs-wire.jpg  
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Old 02-05-2013, 06:14 AM   #4
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Trying to connect 2 ceiling fans to 1 switch


I have always had trouble finding fan speed controls rated for more than one fan. Like danpik said, dimmers can leave one less than satisfied.

Were it me, I think I would go to smarthome.com and locate two devices: a fanlinc (you will need two) and a 6-button keypad. While total cost for these three devices may be close to $200, no new wiring will be needed.

One can install the fanlinc into each of the fan boxes or canopies. Install the keypad at the switch location. Included instructions should describe how to electronically "link" the keypad with the two fanlincs. Your fans will have three speeds and be quiet in all.
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Old 02-05-2013, 06:15 AM   #5
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Trying to connect 2 ceiling fans to 1 switch


Not getting too much into ALL THE WIRING in your attic, the below diagram shows the left switch controlling both fan lites and the right switch controlling both fan motors. Use the diagram as kind of a guide to determine which wires/cables you have and their function.


ground wires not shown for ease of drawing
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Trying to connect 2 ceiling fans to 1 switch-2-switches-one-swith-fan-motor-one-switch-fan-lites.jpg  

Last edited by hammerlane; 02-05-2013 at 06:35 AM.
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Old 02-05-2013, 07:27 AM   #6
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Trying to connect 2 ceiling fans to 1 switch


Thanks to everyone for all the replies and help.

Yes I have Romex cable in the attic with 3 wires in it. Sorry for not mentioning that.

Now I know why the fans I took down were humming so loudly. There is already a dimmer switch there, but it only controls the motors.

I will research everything that was mentioned.

Thanks hammerlane for taking the time to make me a drawing. I needed that!
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Old 02-05-2013, 05:08 PM   #7
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Trying to connect 2 ceiling fans to 1 switch


For those who are also looking for something to control two fan motors, I found something that might work and I'll give it a try.


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