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Ceiling fan speed control - 3 way switch

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  • Jul 20th, 2020 12:24 pm
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Nov 28, 2016
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Ceiling fan speed control - 3 way switch

So wondering if anything like this even exists, or will I have to resort to a remote controller ad on

I have a ceiling fan in a bedroom on a 3 way switch, the fan stays on and thw 2 switchs turn the light off and on at either location. I can control the fan speed with the pull chain.

What I want to do is install a switch on one side that controls the fan speed, and as well can still turn the light off and on, just to get rid of the pull chain.

I tried one from Rona thats for a 3-way switch and controls fan speed, but all it did after I installed it was dim the light. After install I realized why, since the control was for a fan only (with no light), and the power at the wires is for the light, not the fan.

My switch has 3 wires, 2 red and one white. One red is on the black common terminal, the white is on same side traveler, and the other side is the red wire.

Question is, does a switch even exist for what Im looking for. Since the fan has constant power, I assume my 3 way switch isnt even tied into the power of the ceiling fan motor.

Unless Im missing something obvious, or is a remote control the only way, and just leave the 3 way switches as is.
5 replies
Deal Addict
Jul 21, 2005
2017 posts
1068 upvotes
Alberta
Remote control is the simplest way. Since you have 3 wires, and you said yourself you got a 3 way setup, that means all your switches just control power to the whole fixture, the light and fan included. The switch provides power, or kills it, from two different locations, and isn't two separate power sources. I don't have a 3 way setup myself but just a standard ceiling fan with a light, what I ended up doing is just attaching the remote to a blank wall plate, and then doing the wire connections in the back so that the fan always has power. In essence I no longer have any switch that can kill power to the fan at all, and it's all controlled off the little remote which hangs where the switch would normally be, so if I need to turn on the light or the fan I just press the button on the remote directly as it permanently hangs there.

Perhaps there is something out there, but the fact that you got 3 way makes this much more complex. If you just had 3 wires going to the fan you could get separate wall switch that could split your power into two separate circuits, one to control fan, one to control the light, but since your 3-wire setup is for 3-way switch, it won't work, you would need 4 wires going to the fan...and you don't have that it doesn't sound like. With 3 wires going to the fan you would have to make some small adjustments on the light fixture and connect fan to one wire, and light to another so you could independently control them.
[OP]
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Nov 28, 2016
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eblend wrote: Remote control is the simplest way. Since you have 3 wires, and you said yourself you got a 3 way setup, that means all your switches just control power to the whole fixture, the light and fan included. The switch provides power, or kills it, from two different locations, and isn't two separate power sources. I don't have a 3 way setup myself but just a standard ceiling fan with a light, what I ended up doing is just attaching the remote to a blank wall plate, and then doing the wire connections in the back so that the fan always has power. In essence I no longer have any switch that can kill power to the fan at all, and it's all controlled off the little remote which hangs where the switch would normally be, so if I need to turn on the light or the fan I just press the button on the remote directly as it permanently hangs there.

Perhaps there is something out there, but the fact that you got 3 way makes this much more complex. If you just had 3 wires going to the fan you could get separate wall switch that could split your power into two separate circuits, one to control fan, one to control the light, but since your 3-wire setup is for 3-way switch, it won't work, you would need 4 wires going to the fan...and you don't have that it doesn't sound like. With 3 wires going to the fan you would have to make some small adjustments on the light fixture and connect fan to one wire, and light to another so you could independently control them.
No, the switches only control the light. The fan never turns off, unless I manually turn it off with the chain pull.

Maybe a remote is the only way. The way the light works I want to leave as is, but the fan speed I want to control with no chain, just to get rid of it. The light can also be turned off and on with a chain as well, but since I dont need that option, I just kid the chain since its not needed. I would like to do the same with the fan, just hide the chain.

Remote wont even need to be on the wall, since fan speed isnt changed all the time, so to save a bunch of wiring work a remote add on would probably be the simpliest
Deal Addict
Jul 21, 2005
2017 posts
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Alberta
WikkiWikki wrote: No, the switches only control the light. The fan never turns off, unless I manually turn it off with the chain pull.

Maybe a remote is the only way. The way the light works I want to leave as is, but the fan speed I want to control with no chain, just to get rid of it. The light can also be turned off and on with a chain as well, but since I dont need that option, I just kid the chain since its not needed. I would like to do the same with the fan, just hide the chain.

Remote wont even need to be on the wall, since fan speed isnt changed all the time, so to save a bunch of wiring work a remote add on would probably be the simpliest
Oh, so your fan works with or without the lights being on? If that is the case, then you probably do have 3 wires going to the light already, and might be able to do something. Since you got a 3-way switch going as well, it's much more complex to figure this out without seeing it, but if the fan indeed runs independent of lights, then you should be able to get it on a separate switch. My guess is that in your 3-way setup, your two switches only control the lights from those 2 locations, but in one of those light switch locations, you have a separate power cable going to the fan and it's probably connected to power with a marrette, with no switch. If that is the case, you just have to track the right cable down and put it on a switch. Because your speeds are controlled by the pull chain or remote, it would be easiest to just have the fan on an on/off switch and assuming you don't change speeds often, you can just turn the fan on and off independently without chains, and if you need to change the speed use the remote.
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Mar 12, 2008
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Toronto
I have been searching for amazon alexa controllable fan controllers for years. This year these popped up on amazon and they work perfect.

https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B07ZJD ... UTF8&psc=1

There a tight fit inside the fan but work great. The only "catch" is you need to use the remote always(or alexa) and cant use the switch (as it needs to stay on for it to have power.. if you use the pull cords you will mess with the controller and it wont work. (aka wont turn the light off or on).

If your wall switch is a basic 3 way switch you wont be able to hardwire a fan/light combo switch as you need 4 wires for that. (normal 3 way switches only have 3)
[OP]
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Nov 28, 2016
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redzone wrote: I have been searching for amazon alexa controllable fan controllers for years. This year these popped up on amazon and they work perfect.

https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B07ZJD ... UTF8&psc=1

There a tight fit inside the fan but work great. The only "catch" is you need to use the remote always(or alexa) and cant use the switch (as it needs to stay on for it to have power.. if you use the pull cords you will mess with the controller and it wont work. (aka wont turn the light off or on).

If your wall switch is a basic 3 way switch you wont be able to hardwire a fan/light combo switch as you need 4 wires for that. (normal 3 way switches only have 3)
I have a couple left over remotes/receivers, Ill probably just hook it up that way, and use the remote for when I want to change the fan speed. I dont want to mess with the way the light works, its the main light for the bedroom., so want to keep it on a switch.

A wall controller would of been ideal, but unless I want to do extra work, no point. And this way I van get rid of that chain completely

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