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Old 01-08-2015, 02:45 AM   #1
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Slowing down a capacitor speed controlled ceiling fan


Hi everyone,

This is my first post, hopefully it makes sense and someone can help me out.

I have a capacitor speed controlled ceiling fan in my bedroom that came with a 3 speed wall mount controller. I'm not using that speed controller because I bought a 3rd party remote so that I can turn it on/off while in bed and set a timer. It works fine.

The problem is, the fan on the slowest setting is still much too fast to sleep under.

I have the same fan in the lounge room that I am using the 3 speed wall controller that came with it, and when the 3 speed controller is set to slow the fan spins slower than the bedroom fan.

I'd like to get the bedroom fan to spin at the same low speed. Can I put the 3 speed controller between the remote controller and the fan? That way I can permanently set the 3 speed controller to LOW and power on/off with the remote. The fastest speed the fan spins at will be like the LOW of the lounge room fan, then I can use the remote controller can slow it down further.

Anyway, the reason I'm posing here is because I'm not an electrician (I will get one to install it) so I don't know what is OK and what is dangerous, so wanted to know if there are any issues with doing this? I don't want any fires or burn out the fan motor.

Thanks in advance
Andrew
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Old 01-08-2015, 06:44 AM   #2
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[QUOTE=GiJOr33;1587857]Hi everyone,

This is my first post, hopefully it makes sense and someone can help me out.

I have a capacitor speed controlled ceiling fan in my bedroom that came with a 3 speed wall mount controller. I'm not using that speed controller because I bought a 3rd party remote so that I can turn it on/off while in bed and set a timer. It works fine.

The problem is, the fan on the slowest setting is still much too fast to sleep under.

I have the same fan in the lounge room that I am using the 3 speed wall controller that came with it, and when the 3 speed controller is set to slow the fan spins slower than the bedroom fan.

I'd like to get the bedroom fan to spin at the same low speed. Can I put the 3 speed controller between the remote controller and the fan? That way I can permanently set the 3 speed controller to LOW and power on/off with the remote. The fastest speed the fan spins at will be like the LOW of the lounge room fan, then I can use the remote controller can slow it down further.

Anyway, the reason I'm posing here is because I'm not an electrician (I will get one to install it) so I don't know what is OK and what is dangerous, so wanted to know if there are any issues with doing this? I don't want any fires or burn out the fan motor.


*The best place to get an answer to this question is from the fan manufacturer. One thing you could try if you have pull chains on the fan. Set the fan speed using the pull chain to the low or medium speed instead of the high speed as recommended by the manufacturer.

When customers have called me about the same problem, I have suggested that instead of having the fan blow down that they reverse the direction and have the fan blow up. That way you still get the air mixed, but you don't feel the breeze.
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Old 01-08-2015, 04:48 PM   #3
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If the fans pull chain is just an on/off switch?
Then you can put in an electronic type speed control
adjust it to the required speed and then just leave it
and then use the pull chain for off and on !


Is the pull chain a straight on/off ?
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Old 01-08-2015, 05:00 PM   #4
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Have you tried the fan on reverse? If you are like me, you like the feeling of 'some' air movement, but not a lot.

On reverse, especially in winter, it does a great job of moving the warm air on the ceiling down.

A little background on capacitor based speed controls.

When you put a capacitor of given x farad in series with a load, it can act as an effective current limiter without the heat losses associated with a resistive limiter. It's actually a very efficient and eloquent method. But to get the speeds you want, the capacitors need to be matched to the motor load. The remote control you bought is most likely sized for the common loads. If your fan is smaller than what it was expecting, it might turn faster.

Your 3-speed on the wall for the other fan was most likely sized for the fan. Hence it works the way you want.

Another option - Change the pitch on the fan. Just bend the blades so they have less pitch. That will reduce the amount of air it moves...just use some common sense on how much you twist. Most of those fan blade brackets are fairly flexible...but not that that flexible.
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Old 01-09-2015, 12:06 AM   #5
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Hi Guys,

Thanks for the responses. I currently have the fan on reverse as suggested, the issue with that is that the fan speed makes the roller blinds bang against the wall. I've put up with that on the hot evenings, but ideally I'd really like to slow the fan down.

I had emailed the remote company and the fan manufacturer. Fan manufacturer was totally unhelpful and the remote company mentioned the same as ddawg16, that the remote is generic for common loads and suggested that it may spin faster, where as the wall controllers are matched to the fan.

I've added some attachments of the 3 speed wall controller that came with the fan, and the aftermarket remote I bought which shows the relevant impedances

I would assume the wall controller is not Rheostat as it came with the fan and the manual states "use only with ceiling fan capacitor speed controlled only". It also says "This unit is to be used for the control of ceiling fans at AC240V 50Hz power only", so I'm not sure whether it can go after the remote fan controller (ie remote adjusts those specs, or just current) or if it just means not for 120V use. The manual also says "if your ceiling fan is equipped with a pull chain switch, make sure to set the speed control at the highest speed before installing the 3sp wall control".

My fan does not have a pull chain. The wall controller would power it if it was installed, hence my idea of using the remote to turn it on/off and the wall controller to set the speed. I can't put the wall controller before the remote unit because the remote also controls the lights. I don't know how the remote unit adjusts voltage/current and whether I can put the wall controller in the wiring after that remote (just before the fan).

If the remote unit just reduces the current by a certain amount, would the wall controller just reduce it further to match the impedance of it's capacitor? Ie, Fan capacitor is 1 farad, remote is 0.6 farads, wall unit is 1 farad therefore the output would be subject to 1 farad impedance as it's the greatest value capacitor, or do both impedance get added together meaning 1.6 farad and so even slower fan speed? Sorry, I'm not much good with the maths/physics of electronics so don't even know if what I have explained is correct.

Or would i just be better off going to the electronics store, buying capacitors that match the wall controller, desolder the remote capacitors and swap them out for the matching ones I've bought? I can see the wall controller has a 5uF and the remote has a 3uF. I presume these capacitors are the ones active when on slow, can I buy a 6uF which would mean the fan goes even slower than the wall controller? Or would I have to change the one on the fan to 6uF as well to match?

Cheers
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Old 01-25-2015, 03:19 AM   #6
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Any tips or confirmations would be much appreciated.
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Old 01-25-2015, 04:19 PM   #7
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The remote does not work by reducing current !
It simply switchs power off or on !

Does the remote have any speed options ?
Or is it just an on/off deal ?

Putting the on/off remote/switch after the speed control
will work.

It's not industry standard way to do it, but it will work.

Yes you can change the capacitors value,s
But make sure that you use the correct type of capacitor !
It should be an X class capacitor only !

Wouldn't it be easier to just buy one of the old style five
speed choke style speed control ?

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