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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been searching the forums but can't seem to find a simple answer to my somewhat simple question.

I currently have a dimmer switch that has 2 knobs. I couldn't tell you if the 2nd knob controlled fan speed because the fan was missing a blade before I got the house and could never turn it on for longer than 2 seconds. The 1st knob is light dimmer and worked great. I have a brand new ceiling fan http://www.lowes.com/pd_183013-79-28642_0__?productId=3124925&Ntt=regalia&pl=1&currentURL=%2Fpl__0__s%3FNtt%3Dregalia&facetInfo= and I was thinking of getting a dimmer similar to this http://www.huntershoponline.com/detail/HFN+27182. I looked at one at the store and it appeared to have 3 wires + ground.

Now, my somewhat simple question is this: I currently have a 12/3 cable running from the old switch up to the fan. Is the 3rd (red) wire supposed to handle fan control or is it used for the dimming function? I assume that the lead wire controlled dimmer function and the extra wire (both from the cable and from the ceiling fan) control fan speed. Am I on the right track?
 

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All depends on how it was wired. Most will wire the black to the fan (primary fixture) and the red to the light. One way to check would be to install a regular light switch between the hot feed and the red wire and see what turns on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm just wondering, normally, what is the 3rd wire used for on a ceiling fan. I think it's usually a blue wire.
 

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Most fans have the black for the fan, and the blue for the light kit.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The previous owner had their dimmer wired in backwards. Says right on the old dimmer where the wires go. Anyway, how do you know if your fan will accept a 3 way fan speed switch? Do all new fans work with a 3 way switch?
 

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Lic Elect/Inspector/CPO
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The black wire is usually used for the fan and the red for light.
Fan speeds will work on all fans that I have installed. Once it is installed make sure you use the pull chain gto get fan on high speed, than just use the speed control for fan speed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Currently the fan is tied to a dimmer switch but I'm not supposed to use that right? Won't a dial type switch mess up the motor?
 

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Master Electrician
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You can use a standard dimmer for the light portion, but the fan itself needs a fan motor rated dimmer. Fan motors tend to burn-up standard dimmers.
 
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