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Kevin, Licensed Electrical Contractor
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 3729
Experience:  30 years Licensed Electrical Contractor in Illinois, Adjunct College Electrical Instructor, Former Electrical Inspector, Diploma: Digital Electronics, FCC Technician License
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OK - we built a gazebo with a fire pit. The top of the

Customer Question

OK - we built a gazebo with a fire pit. The top of the gazebo peaks at 15' and has a copula that allows the hot air to release. We purchased an outdoor hampton bay ceiling fan with reverse switch as we want to have cool in summer and suck fire pit smoke when in use. Little to my surprise thereare very few outdoor ceiling fans with reverse remote - if you want to change direction you have to manually hit switch near top of fan. This is not going to work given height of fan. I originally thought when i purchased fan that a pull string sequence would switch direction. Not the case. So I have installed a switch box at ground level and I have run a separate wire for the light (blue) and then I purchased a Canarm dial switch that can control the fan on/off and speed and both of these switches work - no problem. My only problem is how to hard wire the on/off switch in the housing to match with Canarm dial that enables the for/rev capability. According to Canarm instructions says it should be red to red on motor. But the on/off switch in fan has four connections Br/Bl/wh/red - i tried red to red on old switch to new but nothing looking for help to see what I'm missing. Thanks
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  Mike G. replied 1 year ago.

Hi, I'm Mike G and I'll be assisting you. Let me first say that you've undertaken a direction that is involved and unnecessary. You should have installed a fan speed/direction/light dimmer remote kit and avoided the problem. Modification of the wiring undertaken void the UL listing on the fan and could pose a hazard. From your question I assume you only need to wire up a reverse switch. If so, the fan should have a switch on the body of the motor. It will be a slide switch. It will have 4 wires the swap connection to change direction. Not knowing the wire color on your fan and where the lead to you'll need to ring them out with a continuity tester. 2 will be hot and neutral and the others will be to the fan motor. Connection to the hot and neutral turn in one direction. Swapping the leads to the motor hot reverses.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hey Mike - thanks for the informative response. So my dilemma is that the fan is 15' up and I can't be dragging a ladder into gazebo every time I want to change the directions so I was looking for a solution that would work on the ground. I've been all over internet and to stores looking for outdoor fan and could not locate either a remote switch that includes for/rev capability to work with fan or a new "outdoor" fan that has this capability/feature. If you know of either let me know especially of the latter (fan speed/direction/light dimmer remote kit you reference above) since I already spent a lot on the fan that I have.The best I could find was this Canarm switch that has for/rev; fan with adjustable speeds -- going to run separate line for light or just use pull chain with extension.OK - I just check wiring on switch. There are four wires Brown; blue; white and red. The Brown; Blue; white all go into motor while the red is connected in a joint connection with all of the other red wires in casing. So Red most be the power and between the brown; white and blue control direction correct? With that being said the Canarm Switch only has a single red wire for the for/rev - do I need to get a small cross-connect that will enable the single lead to enable the for/rev switch?
Expert:  Mike G. replied 1 year ago.

My best suggestion is to go to the link below online or phone. They have the most complete inventory of fan components and are probably the only ones that can resolve the issue.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Mike - thanks for suggestion - tried them but they only handle replacement gear and not conversion kits from manual and remote. I also just spoke with local electric motor shop and that they don't normally handle ceiling fans due to their proprietary wiring and capacitor requirements.So it looks like I'm stuck with only manual switching and keep 12' ladder when needed to change direction :(Thanks Steve G
Expert:  Mike G. replied 1 year ago.

A 10ft stick of EMT is usually what is used for switching. It's not done that often.

Expert:  Kevin replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome to Just Answer. My name is ***** ***** I will be happy to assist you with your electrical question.

1) In consideration of the height of the copula opening combined with the fan height and fan blade diameter as well as the gazebo circumference, I doubt if even a reverse ceiling fan will make that much of a difference in exhausting the fire pit smoke. Would have to be a non-windy day for the smoke to directly flow upwards to the copula opening in my opinion:)

2) Perhaps, a cheap stand-up floor fan faced in the wind direction of the fire pit smoke might be a more cost effective method to remove the smoke? Just a thought?

3) Another option is to install a wall mounted arm fan and face it upwards towards the copula opening in order to exhaust the smoke? Ceiling fan would be used for cooling purposes (down draft) and the wall mounted fan would be used for smoke exhaust (up draft)? Might not look that pretty, but would work.

Your thoughts?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Kevin - thanks for ideas. Both you and Mike G have me thinking what if I disconnected the slide Switch in bezel and ran a four wire down and connected to say a 3 way or similar switch at ground level that might do the trick. The wires are all housed in conduit that is connected to a Damp certified connection box. Thoughts here?
Expert:  Kevin replied 1 year ago.

Since the fan reverse switch contains 4 separate wires, you would need a Double Pole Double Throw switch (DPDT) and mount the DPDT in a NEMA 3R weatherproof switch box using an "in-use" bubble cover.

I assume that the original reverse switch is a DPDT type, you would need to confirm that using a continuity tester. You would also need to confirm the wire pairs at the existing switch connection and extend those wires (matching wire pairs) to the new 4 wire run into the wall switch box.

Expert:  Kevin replied 1 year ago.

If you have any additional questions, just let me know and I’ll be glad to answer them for you.

Otherwise, don’t forget to rate me before you log Off.