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Jason
Jason, Service Technician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 3628
Experience:  Over 15 years of experience in all types of installations, troubleshooting, and repairs.
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I am wanting to install a ceiling fan that has a light. I want

Resolved Question:

I am wanting to install a ceiling fan that has a light. I want to control the light/fan combo with a light/fan controller in a wall box that presently has a three way switch that controls, along with another three way switch in a different location, the existing light. There is also in the same wall box a single pole switch that was installed to control a fan. How do I wire the new light/fan controller in this setting?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  Jason replied 11 months ago.

Jason :

Hello. Welcome to Just Answer.

Jason :

Are you looking to retain control of the fan/light from more than one location, as the existing light is currently set up?

Jason :

In other words, if you replace one 3 way switch with a fan/light controller, what type of use are you planning for the remaining 3 way switch?

Customer:

I prefer that it continue to operate the light.

Jason :

To do that, the light control portion of your controller must be capable of 3 way operation. Do you know if it is?

Customer:

I do not. On the paper work that came with the controller it does not say anything about three way operation.

Jason :

OK. It sounds like there aren't enough wires going up to the ceiling to do what you're looking to do. Have you already removed the existing light fixture?

Customer:

No, it is still attached to the wiring.

Jason :

Can you take the screws out of it, but let it hang by wires? It would be best not to disconnect anything. Also, have you already purchased the new fan and controller? Sounds like you have the controller for sure.

Customer:

It is hanging by the wires. Yes, I have already bought the controller and the fan. I haven't unpacked the fan.

Jason :

Can you tell me the total number of wires in the ceiling box, and their colors? Don't include the fixture wires, just the wires routed through the ceiling.

Customer:

Four wires, red, black, white and one bare copper ground.

Jason :

Are any of them capped off, not being used at all?

Customer:

Yes, the black is capped off and the ground is not connected or capped.

Jason :

Just to confirm... the black wire has a wire nut on the end of it, and no other wires are in the wire nut with it?

Customer:

That is correct. The black has a wire nut on it and no other wire is in it.

Jason :

That's great. It means there ARE enough wires to do what you are trying to do. However, there is still the concern about whether the light switch on the controller is capable of 3 way operation. Can you tell me the brand and model of the controller?

Customer:

It is a Hunter ceiling fan and light controller model number 27182.

Customer:

By the way it has three wires plus a green ground. It has a red, a blue and a black wire

Jason :

Thank you for clearing that up. It doesn't sound like it can operate the light in conjunction with a second 3 way switch. That being the case, how would you like to proceed?

Customer:

OK can you help me know what to purchase and then talk me through the wiring?

Jason :

Are you open to a fan that works with a wireless remote?

Jason :

The remote can be mounted on the wall, in a holder. That way, it's portable, if you want to take it out of the holder.

Customer:

No thanks, XXXXX XXXXX will be in an office which is relatively small and would not need a remote.

Jason :

OK, what if the two light switches stay as they are, just for the light on the new fan? The fan motor can operate by pullchain.. or, there is another option.

Customer:

I suppose if I have no other options, but is there a controller on the market that can operate both fan and light?

Jason :

I suspect we will have a problem finding a controller that has a 3 way setup for the light kit. I've never tried to find one.

Jason :

We can eliminate the need to pull the chain to turn the fan on and off, but it would need to be pulled to adjust speed. Is that at least a little better than having to use a chain for the fan all the time?

Customer:

OK so if I install the fan with the switches as they are currently set up, do I hook the fan wire on the fan to the black wire in the ceiling and the red one to the light?

Jason :

Yes, if the red wire from the ceiling is currently connected to the existing light fixture. I believe it would have to be, since the black is capped off.

Jason :

Does your new fan have pull chain switches on it?

Customer:

Yes. It has one for the light and one for the fan.

Jason :

OK, that's good. If you go with what's currently being discussed, the only other change we need to make is to find the capped black wire at the other end, and tie it into a constantly hot wire. You would then not need the Hunter controller at all. Is this what you are leaning toward doing?

Jason :

We can swap out one of the existing 3 way switches so you don't have to pull the fan motor chain for off and on, but would need to use it to adjust speed.

Jason :

That could allow less reaching up for the fan chain, coneceivably.

Jason :

Sorry, conceivably... typo.

Jason :

That black wire may already be hot, by the way.

Jason :

We could test it with a volt meter, or by temporarily moving the black fixture wire to it.

Customer:

I think I mentioned at the beginning of the chat stream that in the one box with the 3 way switch is another single pole switch which I believe is set up to operate the fan. It has two black wires on the bottom screw and a black wire on the top screw.

Jason :

I apologize. I remembered about the other switch... the single pole. But I missed that it was installed to control the fan.

Customer:

Currently when you turn that switch on it controls nothing, but when you do turn it on the black wire in the ceiling gets hot.

Jason :

That being the case, you would wire as you described... ceiling black to fan motor wire from fan assembly. Ceiling red to light kit wire from fan assembly. White to white, ground to ground.

Jason :

Are there 2 entrances to the office?

Customer:

Yes,there is a single 3 way switch at one door outside the office and an another 3 way switch with the single pole switch at the other door inside the office.

Jason :

I suspect the door with the 3 way and single pole gets used more. Is this correct?

Customer:

No, actually the one on the outside which is actually inside our house, gets used more as it is at the entrance to the office as we enter it from inside our house, so we turn it on before we enter the room which would otherwise be dark. The other one is at the door we would use to go out of the house into our garage.

Jason :

That makes sense. I just expected the single pole switch for the fan to be installed near the door that gets used the most. At any rate, it sounds like you have a plan now, unless I missed something. If so, I'm happy to continue. There are no hurries here.

Customer:

I think I can take it from here, thank you very much.

Jason :

My pleasure. Enjoyed our chat. I hope you found the service to be excellent... we try hard to achieve that here.

Customer:

Thank you it was helpful it that it gave me a plan that will work.

Jason :

I appreciate the kind words. Enjoy the rest of your day.

Jason, Service Technician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 3628
Experience: Over 15 years of experience in all types of installations, troubleshooting, and repairs.
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