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Old 06-22-2009, 09:40 PM   #1
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I need to run a third wire for a ceiling fan (currently white and black) so I can have a 2 way switch. Can I make the second hot to the fan black also, or does it need to be a different color to meet code?

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Old 06-22-2009, 10:55 PM   #2
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Black will be fine. Another color might make it easier on the next guy, but not by much.

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Old 06-23-2009, 06:12 AM   #3
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You can usually identify the 3rd wire with tape(red is good) or permanent markers.
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Old 06-23-2009, 10:47 AM   #4
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Well, the others are right that it can be black, but how are you planning to add this wire? Unless there is conduit between the switch and light, you can't just run a single wire. In other words, if it is romex or any other type of cable, you either need to replace the cable with a 3-wire version, or scrap the project.
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Old 06-23-2009, 11:30 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by InPhase277 View Post
Well, the others are right that it can be black, but how are you planning to add this wire? Unless there is conduit between the switch and light, you can't just run a single wire. In other words, if it is romex or any other type of cable, you either need to replace the cable with a 3-wire version, or scrap the project.
This.^

A lot of old timers used to run 3-way switches this way, and a lot of shadetree electricians still do. However this is most definitely a code violation. Even if you are running conduit, if the 2-wire cable is Romex, you will still have to re-run a 3-wire cable. If any of the wires are in a separate sheathing, then they will all have to be in it.
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Old 06-23-2009, 11:41 AM   #6
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Whats a two way switch and how did a three way get in this thread? If you want independent control of the light and fan you need 2 switches or a double switch on a single gang yoke. If you have conduit you can add the extra wire. If you have a cable you must replace it with a three conductor cable.

Please be more specific with your questions. We can help much more with the right information. InPhase summed it up pretty good. Look at his post.
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Old 06-23-2009, 11:42 AM   #7
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I agree that you basically need to rerun 14/3 the entire length between the switch and the ceiling box. You can't just run a single wire.
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Old 06-24-2009, 12:04 PM   #8
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I actually just took a third wire and pushed it up the conduit at the wall switch and it popped out in the ceiling fan box. That Romex stuff can't be used where I live.
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Old 06-24-2009, 12:10 PM   #9
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Well that answers that!
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Old 06-24-2009, 02:25 PM   #10
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......nevermind
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Old 06-24-2009, 08:08 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by howard.wheaton View Post
I actually just took a third wire and pushed it up the conduit at the wall switch and it popped out in the ceiling fan box. That Romex stuff can't be used where I live.
Wouldn't that make your day easy sometimes, i wish it was always as easy as pushing it in the box and it mircasouly shows up where you need it. I try that and it just bunches up in the wall
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Old 06-26-2009, 10:59 AM   #12
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Thats why I love conduit.
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Old 06-26-2009, 11:01 AM   #13
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Amen to that!
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Old 06-28-2009, 08:39 AM   #14
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You still need luck to have the new wire go up the partially occupied conduit and out where you wanted it to without kinking and bunching inside.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 06-28-2009 at 08:41 AM.
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Old 07-01-2009, 04:48 PM   #15
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All houses should be conduit! A lot more work for us good guys too!

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