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AssuredElectrical
AssuredElectrical, Master Electrician
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I have a fan that has two switches controlling the fan. 1

Customer Question

I have a fan that has two switches controlling the fan.
1 switch is just a normal 3 way switch with (red,black.white ground)
I then have a fan speed switch with
5 sets of 14/3 wires coming into the box and one set of 14/2 wire inside the box.
the fan speed switch currently has two red wires and a ground connected to it.
the two reds are coming from two different sets of 14/3 bundles.
I installed a light kit to the fan.
the fan was connected as follows
fan black to ceiling red
fan white to ceiling white
ground to ground.
there was a capped black in the ceiling with the fan.
I attached that black to the fan blue and the light kit has power but it cant be operated from any wall switch.
I want to be able to operate the fan and light independent of each other with a fan light dual switch.
also with the 5 sets of 14/3 there is a 3 blacks connected to one white.
I also assume the 14/2 wire is the feed for all of the other ones to get power....
pictures are








Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  Mike G. replied 1 year ago.
Hi, I'm Mike G and will be glad to assist you. If I understand your statement, you have a fan currently controlled by 2. 3 way switches and with the addition of a light kit you want the light switched and there are unused black wires in the switch box and the ceiling box - Correct?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Correct.
the fan works fine on 3 way with no light kit.
I added the light kit by uncapping the black wire in the ceiling at the fan and connecting it to the blue wire of the light kit.so now the lights have power all the time and can only be turned off by the pull string.I then went to the fan speed box and uncapped that black wire and connected it to a dual switch fan/light control. and it wouldn't turn off the light.I've attached pictures of everything I'm talking about.
Expert:  Mike G. replied 1 year ago.
In the double gang switch box disconnect the black wires one at a time and see which turns the light off when disconnected. When you find it check to see if you have anything that also goes out. If the black wire in the ceiling enters in a 3 wire cable, the other end in the switch box is also in a 3 wire cable.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Okay I'll do that tonight when I get home.
Once I do that and If nothing else goes off.I then connect that to the switch?Will I still be able to control the light from the other outlet?
Expert:  Mike G. replied 1 year ago.
Very good.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
But how would the light be controlled from the other switch?
Expert:  Mike G. replied 1 year ago.
I would suggest swaping the feed wires at the fan so the light is 3 way controlled and the fan is independent on the speed control.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yea I tried that already and got that working a few days ago. But I'm trying to control both features from both switches. With the existing wiring. What's the best way to do that
Expert:  Mike G. replied 1 year ago.
Use the red wire at the fan for connection to the blue light wire and the black for the fan. That puts the lights on a 3 way and the fan on a single pole speed control.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I understand that but what I've been trying to do is have the light and the fan both on a
3 way circuit
Expert:  Mike G. replied 1 year ago.
You don't have the wiring for that. The lights are generally on a 3 way, but there isn't a reason for the fan to be. One location is normal.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Oh oh.
So once I disconnect the black that supplies power to the lights. I should go
Buy a fan/light dual switch. Attach that to light portion of the switch.And leave the one capped wire that
Was already capped to remain capped?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Why would a black wire be capped inside the gang and not be connected to anything?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I now have this.The uncapped wire is the wire that have power to the lights.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It's still hot btw. I assume it's supposed to be
Expert:  Mike G. replied 1 year ago.
There wasn't a need for it, No Light. It was wired for both light and fan originally. The set up would normally been as I directed. 3 way - Lights. Single pole control - Fan.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Okay I did what you said and the lutron dual switch now controls the fan and light on the switch (where fan speed switch is) but now the regular light switch kills both the light and the fan. And can't be
overridden by the dual switch.I didn't mess with any wiring in the ceiling. All I did was disconnect one black wire from a group of wires. Which stopped the light working.I then just connected the wires to the dual switch. 1 black (light) 2 reds. And ground.
On the back of the switch it said
Neutral, fan, light, ground.I attached one of the Reds as the ground because those were the wires that were attached to the old fan speed switch.Thanks
Expert:  Mike G. replied 1 year ago.
Rather than a dual control, you need a 3way as it was originally wired and a separate speed control for the fan. Using the dual control you have one feed for both functions. Move the black wire for use on the 3 way for the light and the
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
So i need a 3 way light switch? What wires would go on the light switch then?
Expert:  Mike G. replied 1 year ago.
Wasn't there one wired in?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No sir.
There was a three way switch that's still connected and a fan speed control.I removed the fan speed control to attach the dual light/fan control.But there was never two 3 way switchesAttached is what I have now.The three way switch I have next to this is for an outlet that's controlled by a switch.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Also now unless the fan is on full speed. The lights don't work at all
Expert:  Mike G. replied 1 year ago.
Your first statement was there was a 3 way switch with a red, black and white wire on it. That suggest there is another 3 way switch in the room, not in the same box. Is there another 3 way in the room?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sir I said there is a 3 way switch and a fan speed control.Either way how do I fix this?
Expert:  Mike G. replied 1 year ago.
I can only work with the info you provide. Let me state it again. You had a wired 3 way that controlled the fan. It was wired as a 3 way in the switch box you send the pictures of. If the fan was controlled by it and there were 2 switches in the room, all you needed for the light was to move the red wire to the blue wire at the ceiling. You stated there was a capped black and I saw a capped black in the switchbox. It was reasonable to assume both ends of the same wire and that it could be used for the fan, from a single location.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I understand but that didn't fix my issue
Expert:  Mike G. replied 1 year ago.
Did you move the red wire? Did the light work on the 3 way?Did you put the unused black wire to the fan in the ceiling box?Did you connect the unused black wire in the switch box to a hot wire to see if the fan worked.You never gave me a count and colors of the house wires in the ceiling box, what are they?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have moved every combination of the wires we discussed.There is no combination of wires that I've found to have the fan on while the Regular 3 way switch is off
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The ceiling box is
Red,white, black, ground.I tried connecting the two wires from the switch to every combination of red and black and even the unused black and the fan or light will not go on with out the regular 3 way switch being on. It's weird and I nave no idea why that is.
Expert:  Mike G. replied 1 year ago.
Go to the other 3 way switch, open the box and give me a count and colors of the wires.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sir it's
Black,red,white,ground
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Switch on left is for the fan.
Switch on right is for an outlet
Expert:  Mike G. replied 1 year ago.
That says the white wire connected to the blacks is the power for the light. The red and black in that box should be on the gold screws as they should be in the 2 gang box we have been in. There should be a second 3 wire in the 2 gang box. It's white is connected to all the other whites its red is on the gold screw of the 3 way switch. And it's black connected to the speed control. The second connection to the speed control will connect to the group of black wirrs.. All other blacks connect together asnd the whites together.This will control the fan and the outlet will be hot all the time.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Okay but what I'm trying to accomplish is the light on a 3 way switch and the fan always hot. I don't want to mess with the outlet
Expert:  Mike G. replied 1 year ago.
Light switched at 2 locations
Fan switched at 1 location
Receptacles live all the time
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What? I don't understand what you're trying to say
Expert:  Mike G. replied 1 year ago.
Each line represents the functions when wired as directed. If you don't agree I'll opt out having given you the normal way what you have is wired. Let me know, we can't continue any further.
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 1 year ago.
Welcome. My name is ***** ***** would be glad to assist.What is connected right now on the setup?1. Is the fan wired to the ceiling?If so, what color wires are connected?2. What switches are wired?The dual slider? Or original 3 way and single pole?What is the make and model of the dual slider switch? As I understand the situation, you want the light to be controlled by the existing 3 way switches and the fan on the single pole switch. Is this correct? Thanks
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes sir that's correct.
I didn't understand the last comment that he was trying to say.1. Yes the fan is wired to the ceiling. With
Black,red,white,ground
Black of fan is wired to black in ceiling
Blue of fan is wired to red of ceiling2. I have one 3 way switch installed and one dual slider
It's a lutron skylarkCorrect
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 1 year ago.
Ok, thanks for the added information.They make several dual sliders for fans/lights, see if the Model is not printed on the switch housing?Now, first thing we need to do:Disconnect the dual slide from the wires in the switch box.Then have the wires separated well and get a picture of the wires and box all together for a good view.Leave the switch beside it wired, do not do anything with it.That will allow me to see what wires in the box we need to focus on next.Thanks
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It's this model sir
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
This is old hunter single pole fan switch
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Only speed
Control.
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 1 year ago.
Ok, thanks for the information. First, you need to understand what you have and what options you have, at this point.You wanted to have the light on the 3 way switches, but yet, you have a switch for the fan, that also controls a light. What is you want here?Cant have the light on the 3 ways and connect to your new controller. Let me knowThanks
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 1 year ago.
Ok.I have all documentation for the controller.I asked before and explained the situation,What do wish to do with it?Control only the fan?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Orginally I wanted the fan and switch on a 3 way control. Is that possible?If that's not possible I want the fan on a single pole and the light on a 3 way.I'm not concerned about the switch. I can buy a new one.
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 1 year ago.
Ok,The light is now working on the 3 ways is what I have seen in all your posts. So it will stay as it is now. Nothing to do there. The fan can only work as a single pole, there are no options left for the fan. You can use the controller for only the fan, you just will not use the red wire on the controller, CAP THE RED NOW.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No sir the light is not working as a 3 way. If k said that, it was a mistake. The light and fan go off from the one way switch but can't be turned back on from the other.I don't have a remote for this
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 1 year ago.
Ok,So, you originally had ONE switch in that box and it only controlled a fan.Nothing else was ever controlled by 3 way switches?If that is the case, I have no idea of why all the postings on 3 ways was in the previous conversation.You will have only one switch for fan and one for light on the new switch.Is all this correct?So, look in that switch box and find the red and black wires that come out of the same cable.Then you have a red wire from another cable.Are those 2 correct? We are almost there if it is.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No sir.
I originally had 2 switches in each box.1 switch in each box operated a plug/outlet. Which I haven't messed with.The other 1 switch operated just the fan. It gave power to the speed control switch.The other switch was a speed control switch. Those are the only 4 switches.I installed the lights separate. Before there was never any lights installed from ceiling.I believe all the postings about the 3 way switch is because all the wires are all 14/3.The fan speed control was on a single pole switch. It has two red wires. Those two reds are from different strands of 14/3.If you think this is to complicated and I should hire an electrician. At this point I don't think it's a horrible idea. Lol
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 1 year ago.
Ok,It is not that it is complicated, the information posted is jumbled.It changes during the course.This is your original posting:Correct. the fan works fine on 3 way with no light kit. I added the light kit by uncapping the black wire in the ceiling at the fan and connecting it to the blue wire of the light kit. so now the lights have power all the time and can only be turned off by the pull string. I then went to the fan speed box and uncapped that black wire and connected it to a dual switch fan/light control. and it wouldn't turn off the light So, is this information correct or not?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes it's true at that point. That's when I wanted the fan and light both on a 3 way switch.The fan would only work if the the light switch was powered on AND I selected a speed on the speed switch.If the light switch was off then no matter what I did with the fan speed the fan would NOT come on.I then connected the red traveler to the blue light and the black ceiling to black fan.That's how I currently am
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 1 year ago.
Ok,What you posted is normal, you do understand that dont you.Light switch on is power and the speed switch controls the speeds.That is the way all fans are without a remote.In order to get this straightened out,we need it back to that original point and lets get it wired back and start from that point.Then it should go very smoothly.So, can you put it back to the original with the fan working on the 3 way switches and the light kit NOT connected?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Okay except the fan never worked on a 3 way. The speed switch never worked without the light switch being on.But I've taken down the light kit and I'm at the starting point.
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 1 year ago.
Ok,If you are the original setup when this all started, then lets proceed this way.1. What works? Fan work off the 3 way switches like you originally posted?2. How is the fan wired at the ceiling? Need wire colors from fan connected to wire colors in box.3. What wires are unconnected in the ceiling box?4. What wires are unconnected at the switch box where the fan switches are located? We will start with those and then move forward.Please answer them 1,2,3,4. No other information needed at this timeThanks
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
1. Fan only works. As described only works if speed is selected and light switch is on.2. At light switch
Red,black,white ground
At ceiling
Black,red,white,ground
Ceiling is
Black of ceiling is capped
Red of ceiling to black of fan
White white , ground groundBlue of fan is cappedAt speed control
Black is capped
Red,red, white groundRed and red connect to black and
Black of speed control3. Black4. Black
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 1 year ago.
Ok,First thing to do here, look at the picture I uploaded and verif the information in the pictures.It has the switch and the speed control along with the wires attached.I need Verification that the picture information is correct. THEN:Take the 2 red wires that are connected to the speed control and tie them to each other.NOW, the fan should run off the the switch off and on.TEST it.Please do not reference the switch as a light switch. It is a switch that is controlling the fan and doesnt operate any lights.This becomes confusing when using the term.Thanks
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 1 year ago.
In the above information, you are completely removing the speed control, that is why you tie the 2 red wires from the box together.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes they are all correct as far as the wire colors. But this is an old picture.I'll upload where the wires came from
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The switch colors are correct
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
This is back to original.2 red connected to speed control
1 capped black
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
This photo is correct.The uncapped black wire at the top was connected to the red wire nut with the rest of the black wires.That wire is now with the other red wires and seemed to have provided power to the lights
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 1 year ago.
Ok,So it appears with the posting, the pictures are correct.So, did you now REMOVE that speed controller and connect the 2 red wires together?Then just using the ONE switch, it operates the fan on and off?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No sir I just left my house. I'll have someone do it in a little bit.But just to make sure we are on the same page. When we are all done.I want the fan on a speed control switch where the original speed control switch and the lights on 3 way.I don't want the regular switch to operate the fan. I want the speed switch to operate the fan because it's next to my bed.Is that what this will accomplish
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 1 year ago.
Ok,Let me explain how the house is wired, now that I know the setup.The fan originally had 3 way switches.That means 2 switches that operated from different locations.At some point, someone removed ONE of the 3 way switches and installed that speed controller.That speed controller was not designed for your wiring situation, it is designed to replace a single pole switch not a 3 way.So, that is why it takes 2 things to operate the fan. Now, how it was designedSince it was originally wired for 3 ways to control the fan, any light added to the fan would be controlled by the same set of 3 way switches. A remote could be added and operated by the switches and a remote to separate the fan and light, or pull chains on the fan itself.As it is now, we could probably rewire to get the fan and light both on the new dual slider.But then the 3 way switch on the other location would not be operable.You do not have a large enough box, to use the slider for the fan and have a 3 way switch too for the light.The house was not wired for that to take place.There just is not any way to get the light on the fan on a set of 3 way switches, and have a separate control for the fan.You can use the dual slider for them both.You could install a double stacked style switch with one single pole for the fan and a 3 way for the light.Or you can install a remote for the fan.But then no variable speed for the fan, just on and off.Those are the only options without adding box and wire in the house to accommodate something else. Originally, it appeared you had 3 way switches and a single for the fan, that is why it was confusing.Turns out, that one of the 3 ways was removed completely and that speed controller installed.So, thats the situation as it is now.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Okay. I think I understand.I have seen a 3 way fan control switch.
Would that work in my situation?How would I go about re wiring it? Will this be a pain?Would you recommend I just buy the lutron mastero fan light combo. It's wireless and has two spots.What's your recommendation
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 1 year ago.
OK,Rewiring will take a good bit of time and materials, not an easy task.The simplest solution is to put the fan on a remote. You just install the remote receiver in the canopy of the fan at the ceiling and then wire the fan accordingly from the receiver.You put the original switch back in place that was there previously and then the 3 way switches, can turn power on and off to the receiver and remote only if you wish to work on it, otherwise the remote operates the fan and light independently.This is how almost all fans are setup on older wiring in homes. Let me know on that and will think of any other possible solutions as well.See the picture below of how a remote wires into the fan for operation.
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 1 year ago.
CLICK HERE and you can see what would be purchased and installed with your existing fan
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Okay I'd need two remotes preferably on the wall.Just so I understand.
It's not currently possible to have the light on a 3 way switch and the fan with speed select.How would I put the wiring back to how it was prior to the single pole switch.How would I rewire it?If I bought a 3 way fan switch in which it only operates the fan. Would that fix my fan issue? I know it wouldn't fix the light issue.Lastly, do they make anything such as a remote that would only work the lights of the fan?I'm thinking setting fan on 3 way and getting two remotes for just the lights....
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 1 year ago.
To put the fan back to the 3 way switches, lik eit was when it was installed without the speed controller, you just install the original 3 way switch, that i sit, nothing more needs to be done. You put the Red wire on the black screw of the switch, and then the red and black wire form the same cable go on the brass screws. Done. If there is a hot wire in that switch box, you could connect it to the loose black wire going to the ceiling and use it for a remote receiver and then connect the light to the receiver and leave the fan on the 2 switches.Or, you could change the red wire for the black wire going to the ceiling and let the switches control the light.Then power a receiver with the red wire and use a remote on the fan.Put the original switch back in the box and connect it as posted.Then the fan should work on the switches.Once that is done, will need to find out if there is a hot wire in the box and we can go further.If there isnt a hot wire in the box, the only options are the ones already posted.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Okay but what do I do with the extra red wire from the other strand?How do I find out if I have a hot wire?
There is one 14/2 wire in the box with the others. I assume
That's the hot one?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Do you know of any remote light switch only
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I just bought this house so I'm not sure how it was prior to the speed control
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I haven't seen a remote receiver for just a fan with two switches
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 1 year ago.
Ok,1. There is no extra red wireYou connect both reds and the original black wire to the 3 way switch.2. You use a voltage tester to find a hot wire in the box3.There are more than just a 14/2 cable in the box and that does not mean it is hot4.Will be less expensive to just get a remote made for ceiling fans and use it for the light only5. I just gave the wiring before the speed control in #16. YOU have to decide on what you want, a regular fan remote and receiver will work with which ever direction you want to goThe below is how the 3 way switch was wired originally
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
that diagram isn't making a ton of sense.
There are 4 wires. The red and black to ceiling don't show both wires being connected.What I want to do is have
3 way switch for lights and speed control for light. How do I wire that
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 1 year ago.
Ok,The reason it all is not posted , is because we have no idea if the house will support the installation because as asked numerous times, there has been no test done with the 3 way switches.So, if you want it all anyway, here it is below.FIRST, you must connect the original switch back and test both of the 3 ways to see that the setup works as it should.Other wise you will waist time doing the remainder if the wiring has been changed elsewhere etc.If you will wire in the switch first and test.IF, it works as it should, then you can go to the next step.FIND, a hot wire in the switch box with a voltage tester.Then connect the black wire to the ceiling to that HOT wire and see that the black wire in the ceiling is indeed powered at that point.If if does have power, then you can go ahead and make the changes below: If it doesnt, you will not be able to proceed, as there will be other issues / changes someone did along the way.If it does:You will swap the Red and Black to the ceiling at the switch box.You will simply swap out the Red wire on the 3 way switch with the Black wire. That will now put the light on the black wire and on the 3 way switches.You will now have the Red wire going to the ceiling connected to the Hot wire where the black was tested.At the ceiling, you will install the receiver purchased.The red wire connects to the input on the receiver.The output of the receiver will have the black wire connected to the fan wire.The blue wire from the receiver will not connect to anything.The white from the ceiling will connect to the white input on the receiver and the white output to the fan and lights white wire. NOW, the fan will work off the remote and the light on the 3 way switches.That is it.Thanks.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What I'm trying to understand is how to find the hot wire.There are 5 bundles of 14/3 wire and 1 of 14/2 wire. A lot of the wires are bundeled together.In one instance. There are 3 black wires and one white wire bundeled together.
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 1 year ago.
To find a constant hot wire, you need a VOLTAGE TESTER., that is all that is needed.Measure from the black to ground and find a constant hot in the box.Normally a group of blacks all bundled together are hots passing in and out to other location.Why you would have a white attached int he box to a hot, would have to be researched, since that is very uncommon and only found in ceiling boxes for 2 wire switch feeds.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have a voltage tester but not real sure how to use it. I'll look it up online.But there can be more then one hot in the the box? And I can connect any of the hots to the switch ? Correct?
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 1 year ago.
There will only be one constant hot in the box.It may connect to 1 or more other wires to provide power to other locations, which means the entire group is your power.You WILL NOT connect the wire to a switchThe switch in the box is already powered, do not do anything with it? Just wire it up.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry!! I got confused. I thought when you said find the hot wire that you wanted me to find the source wire, where the power originated from.I used a non contact voltage tester and all the wires light up the device.Both reds, the capped black and the black that runs to ceiling.That's true whether the switch is on or off.If the switch is off. Then the red in the ceiling doesn't light up the meter.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok. Guess I was confused again. I'll research more. Thanks
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 1 year ago.
If you will look at the diagram, it shows the connections. That is why I spent the time to do it for you and make easier.ONLY one wire will need to be connected to power, that is the RED wire you remove from the switch when attaching the black wire.Thats it, nothing else needs any attention or changes, ONE WIRE connected to the hot in the box, not to any switch.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Okay got it
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 1 year ago.
Very good,Thanks