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Ceiling Fan wired up incorrectly, going to fix it up.

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[OP]
Penalty Box
Jun 24, 2015
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Ceiling Fan wired up incorrectly, going to fix it up.

The Bedroom has a Ceiling fan in it. The previous people installed a Dimmer switch to dim the light, however when the fan is running the fan spins slower and the motor makes a loud humming noise.

I took a peek behind the switch and its a 14/2 wire not 14/3 as I was hoping. and its a dimmer switch meant for light fixtures so Im guessing its not recommended for controlling a fan.

What do u suggest is the most appropriate way to fix this?

I'm thinking this:
Hire a licensed Electrician and replace the 14/2 wire with 14/3
Double check to make sure the ceiling box is rated for a ceiling fan and replace it if its not
replace the single gang box on the wall with a 2 gang box and install the light switch/dimmer on the right, and the fan switch (or fan speed control) on the left of the dual gang box. my wife prefers the light switch on the right side.

My hope is that i can control the light with the light switch/dimmer and it will not affect the fan speed and make that loud humming sound.

Sounds good or any other suggestions?
Hi
19 replies
Deal Addict
Dec 19, 2009
4311 posts
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How many wires does your fan have ... maybe it's not meant to be operated by a dimmer?
[OP]
Penalty Box
Jun 24, 2015
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I have the instruction manual for The fan itself, he left me that, according to this it has 4 wires, Green (ground), White (Neutral), Black (Fan), and Blue (Light) but in my switch box its only 3 wires I already stated this. Neutral, Hot and Ground
Hi
Sr. Member
User avatar
Jun 24, 2005
658 posts
103 upvotes
Richmond Hill
Does your fan use a standard light bulb?

If yes, maybe you can put in a smart dimmable bulb and replace the dimmer switch with a standard light switch. One drawback is if you turn off and then back on the switch, the light may go back to full brightness.

I don't suggest you use a fan switch or you'll still get humming when you slow down the fan. Are you not able to control the fan speed at the fan itself with a pull cord?
Member
Mar 10, 2012
278 posts
241 upvotes
THORNHILL
Using a standard dimmer switch on a fan is a good way to burn out the motor - or worse.

Likely the fan and light wires are tied together.

Wireless remote is likely an option, just replace the dimmer with a standard switch.
[OP]
Penalty Box
Jun 24, 2015
5309 posts
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brianl999 wrote: Using a standard dimmer switch on a fan is a good way to burn out the motor - or worse.

Likely the fan and light wires are tied together.

Wireless remote is likely an option, just replace the dimmer with a standard switch.
This is correct. but if you see my post i am hoping to re-wire it so i can control them independently. not rewire it myself but hire an electrician
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Deal Addict
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Jun 21, 2003
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Stoney Creek, ON
Just go ahead with hiring someone to install the 14/3 cable. Then you can have the dimmer for the light and a fan speed controller or switch for the fan. The hack that did this install obviously didn’t know what they were doing.

There’s definitely the potential some permanent damage had already been done to the fan. It would have the fan running under voltage and running hot
Deal Addict
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Oct 14, 2010
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Barrie ON
There is a simple way to accomplish this without the need to run new wires through the ceiling.

This device LINK comes with 3 pieces.

The first step is to remove the existing dimmer switch from the wall, and marette the two wires together so that power is constantly being sent to the electrical box above the fan.

Replace the wall switch which was removed with the remote control which looks like a fancy wall control. This remote is powered by a 9 volt battery and is totally isolated from the home's electrical system. It communicated by radio waves to the receiver which is hidden under the canopy of the ceiling fan,

The receiver (placed under the canopy) has 3 wires on one side that connect to the white, black, and ground wires already in the box, and it has 2 wires on the other side. One connects to the lamp, and the other connects to the fan.

Now, the new wall switch allows you to operate the fan at 3 speeds, and to also control the brightness of the lamp.

As a bonus, you also get a handheld remote that provides the same remote control abilities, from your recliner or bed.

There are many versions of this type of device. I only chose this one because it was the only one I could find where the image showed all 3 pieces. Some of them appear more stylish than this one, and some will cost only half of what this one does. No matter what, installing one of these DIY will be cheaper than running new wire, and provide more flexibility (i.e. chairside or in-bed control).

Image
[OP]
Penalty Box
Jun 24, 2015
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Simple but you forgot to mention Expensive. This site is called Red Flag DEALS, I am looking for an affordable and proper way to do it.

$170 bucks no thanks, A role of 14/3 wire, a fan speed control AND A light dimmer Cost less than that.
Hi
Deal Addict
Apr 18, 2005
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Mississauga
GoodFellaz wrote: Simple but you forgot to mention Expensive. This site is called Red Flag DEALS, I am looking for an affordable and proper way to do it.

$170 bucks no thanks, A role of 14/3 wire, a fan speed control AND A light dimmer Cost less than that.
You sure.. look up 14/3 wire today.. (covid) prices are gone up for building supplies... there were threads on here.. and if your going to get a LEC to run it.. min $120-150 (guess).
Deal Addict
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Jun 21, 2003
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Stoney Creek, ON
GoodFellaz wrote: Simple but you forgot to mention Expensive. This site is called Red Flag DEALS, I am looking for an affordable and proper way to do it.

$170 bucks no thanks, A role of 14/3 wire, a fan speed control AND A light dimmer Cost less than that.
TLSRULZ wrote: You sure.. look up 14/3 wire today.. (covid) prices are gone up for building supplies... there were threads on here.. and if your going to get a LEC to run it.. min $120-150 (guess).
I’d have to agree with this. There’s no chance you’re getting that cable replaced for less than $170 by a LEC. It won’t be worth their time. If price is your sole deciding factor that device will be your cheapest route. Personally I think that thing looks pretty rough and would probably spend more to go with your original plan.
Deal Addict
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Oct 14, 2010
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Barrie ON
GoodFellaz wrote: Simple but you forgot to mention Expensive. This site is called Red Flag DEALS, I am looking for an affordable and proper way to do it.
Poor reading comprehension!

I guess you missed the part where I said that I linked to the $170 model because it was the only one I could find quickly that had an image of all the included parts. I also mentioned that other models will cost half of what this one does.

The cheapest model will include the electronics which are installed under the canopy, and a handheld remote which can be kept in a bracket mounted on the wall. This version costs about $40-$50 depending on the style. The remote can be removed from the wall holder and used to control the fan and light while in bed.
LINK

GoodFellaz wrote: $170 bucks no thanks, A role of 14/3 wire, a fan speed control AND A light dimmer Cost less than that.
It's fortunate that you are a very handy person and can do that work your self. Some folks who have drywall ceilings in their bedrooms would be discouraged from doing this job themselves. I'm sure that buying the wire, drills, paint, and drywall repair supplies would be cheaper than $50. Hopefully you don't have a stucco ceiling that needs to be touched up. A handy guy can probably get all this work done in an hour or so.

Only thing that that you would be missing is the convenience of controlling your fan while lying in bed.
ChicoQuente wrote: Personally I think that thing looks pretty rough and would probably spend more to go with your original plan.
I have 2 bedrooms with similar devices installed in the ceiling fans. These have been working for over 20 years, and I only had to replace the 9 volt batteries about 3 times during that time.

The convenience of controlling things while lying in bed, and still having the ability to control things from the doorway is priceless.
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Sep 27, 2006
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Not so easy there Ma…
My place came with 4 ceiling fans. Hope the AC works ok, I haven't run it yet!

So one of the ceiling fans came with a remote. It allows you to turn on/off and also dim the light. It also controls the fan 3 speeds. Maybe consider a similar fan?

Aside from that if you run a new wire or box, remember you want make sure the vapour barrier/light cover up there is sealed.

Someone already mentioned the WiFi bulb idea. I don't have any but if there was a brand that remembered the dimmer setting after being switched off?
Temp. Banned
Jun 4, 2020
1634 posts
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Clarington, ON
I ran another 14/2 to all my ceiling boxes in bedrooms and just capped the white wire in both boxes. Installed differing switches.

Wife is under 5' so these all allow "ground level" control of fan speed.
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Deal Addict
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Jun 21, 2003
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Stoney Creek, ON
Rick007 wrote: The convenience of controlling things while lying in bed, and still having the ability to control things from the doorway is priceless.
Oh that is not lost on me. When I moved in to my home I converted my entire lighting controls to Lutron Caseta. I can control every light aside from bathrooms from my phone, tablets, echo devices or physical switches. I completely appreciate that convenience. As an electrician I have the advantage that I’m experienced in this stuff and for my own bedroom I did exactly what OP is looking to do. I removed the old octagon, converted it to a fan rated box and ran a new 14/3 to the switch location to change over to a dimmer and fan controller while also maintaining the ability to control from my phone. When material is my only expense (other than my time which jobs like this don’t take me much of) I prefer to go the route I think also looks the nicest.
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Sep 27, 2006
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Not so easy there Ma…
ChicoQuente wrote: Oh that is not lost on me. When I moved in to my home I converted my entire lighting controls to Lutron Caseta. I can control every light aside from bathrooms from my phone, tablets, echo devices or physical switches. I completely appreciate that convenience. As an electrician I have the advantage that I’m experienced in this stuff and for my own bedroom I did exactly what OP is looking to do. I removed the old octagon, converted it to a fan rated box and ran a new 14/3 to the switch location to change over to a dimmer and fan controller while also maintaining the ability to control from my phone. When material is my only expense (other than my time which jobs like this don’t take me much of) I prefer to go the route I think also looks the nicest.
On a percentage basis on this sort of case how often would you be able to run the new/replacement wire without damaging/opening up drywall?
Temp. Banned
Jun 4, 2020
1634 posts
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Clarington, ON
fergy wrote: On a percentage basis on this sort of case how often would you be able to run the new/replacement wire without damaging/opening up drywall?
My previous job I dealt with fire alarm and security system installs.

Someone who has some experience can do a lot with minimal damage, especially if there is unfinished basement below and/or attic above.
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Jun 21, 2003
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fergy wrote: On a percentage basis on this sort of case how often would you be able to run the new/replacement wire without damaging/opening up drywall?
Attic space above? 99% of the time without damage or holes to patch.

Another floor above? Likely at least 1 hole to drill through the top plate. From there it starts to depend on direction of joists, are there pot lights that can be removed to use as access holes, etc.

It doesn’t help in this case but other helpful things can be if you’re running down low you can pull baseboard and drill through studs, remove faceplates from receptacles to use the small space around it for access, etc etc. There’s so many different tricks you can pick up as you do more and more. There’s tons of ways to get around without damaging drywall if you know what to look for. It can be handy to sit back and survey the area to see what you can do.
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Nov 9, 2008
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Just replaced both our bedroom fans and could not believe how difficult it is now to find a high end fan that didn't rely on a stupid remote control to control the fan and lights. Most are only made to have a single switch now.

The original fans we installed had independent hots for the light and the fan, so I ran 2x 14/2 from switch box to light and have two independent switches.

Totally doable if OP has attic space above - simply pull a second 14/2 or replace with 14/3. Personally I'd also replace the box with a dual gang and have two independent switches - dimmer for the light, standard switch for the fan.
[OP]
Penalty Box
Jun 24, 2015
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Yes I have an open attic above all 3 bedrooms and it will be very easy for me to spot the wires i might use those glow rods or something then tape up the vapour barrier
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