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OK electricians, need a hand with a switch/dimmer in series.
Posted by: clay
Date: October 10, 2010 06:16PM
Just installed a new ceiling fan to replace an old one. I purchased a wall controller that replaces the standard wall switch that controls the fan & integrated light.

As I'm looking at the instructions, it looks like my existing wiring may not be compatible with the new dimmer/controller. The controller needs to be installed "in series" with the fan controller, which is currently installed as part of the entire fan assembly on the ceiling. There's a wiring diagram that makes sense, but I don't see how this new device could work--since I can't use the white/neutral wire of the existing switch outlet. It seems like I'd need another wire running from the switch to the fan controller in order to make this work, which I don't have, correct? Or do I use the neutral/white wire as the other black wire needed to complete the series? That would mean pulling down the fan and re-doing some wiring. Ugh.

Does this make sense? Any way this thing is going to work, or should I just send it back? Thanks



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/10/2010 06:18PM by clay.
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Re: OK electricians, need a hand with a switch/dimmer in series.
Posted by: lafinfil
Date: October 10, 2010 06:45PM
Normally if you have a double switch and want to control the fan and light separately from each other
then the wire from the switch to the fixture would have 3 leads - black, white, red plus a bare wire for ground.

The black & red would both be hot from the switch - one to the fan and one to the light. The white would be
a common neutral and return feed to the neutral side of the switch.

If you only have two leads (black & white) then you can control power to the fixture and have separate
chain pull switched for the fan and light.

Hope that makes sense.



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Re: OK electricians, need a hand with a switch/dimmer in series.
Posted by: clay
Date: October 10, 2010 07:11PM
Thanks, lanfil. So, basically, what you're saying is that without adding an additional wire to my setup, this controller won't work, correct? whine smiley

The fan does come with a battery-powered remote--I was just more excited about having a permanent switch, rather than adding another device floating around the house. Oh well, I'll survive :-)
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Re: OK electricians, need a hand with a switch/dimmer in series.
Posted by: space-time
Date: October 10, 2010 07:17PM
Can you use the existing wire to pull a new wire (3 leads)? I am in the same situation, eventually would like to have 2 separate switches for fan and light, right now I survive with pull chains.
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Re: OK electricians, need a hand with a switch/dimmer in series.
Posted by: lafinfil
Date: October 10, 2010 07:42PM
Yes you would have to pull a new wire (AWG 12-3 or 14-3 depending on load) Sometimes you can use the old wire
to pull the new depending a number of things including how well the old wire is stapled down and how the feeds are configured.

If you have access from above the fixture from the attic you can follow the wire from the fixture to where it
goes through the walls top plate and feeds to the switch. It's easy to drill another hole next to it and drop a new feed. Then remove the switch box and fish around for it. Either that or hire an electrician. It's a small job for a pro - probably 2 hours tops





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Re: OK electricians, need a hand with a switch/dimmer in series.
Posted by: M>B>
Date: October 10, 2010 08:18PM
There are several wiring diagram sites on line such as this.

Google around.
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Re: OK electricians, need a hand with a switch/dimmer in series.
Posted by: Ken Sp.
Date: October 10, 2010 08:19PM
Lowes had remote controls on sale lat week for $25

It would work with the existing wires. You would have to mount the receiver in the fan shroud

This one is a kit with the receiver.
$24.88

Others
Other Remotes



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 10/10/2010 08:23PM by Ken Sp..
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Re: OK electricians, need a hand with a switch/dimmer in series.
Posted by: clay
Date: October 10, 2010 08:37PM
no attic access, so no chance of pulling new cable (at least not that I'm willing to undertake).

The fan came with a wireless remote, so I'll just use that rather than try to re-wire anything. Little disappointing, but I'm really happy with the fan, so I really can't complain.

thanks, all
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Re: OK electricians, need a hand with a switch/dimmer in series.
Posted by: Ken Sp.
Date: October 10, 2010 08:41PM
What brand fan?
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Re: OK electricians, need a hand with a switch/dimmer in series.
Posted by: clay
Date: October 10, 2010 08:43PM
this fan:
[www.lightingdirect.com]

this is the wired controller I have:
[www.lightingdirect.com]
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Re: OK electricians, need a hand with a switch/dimmer in series.
Posted by: Speedy
Date: October 10, 2010 08:52PM
I miss Greenfield. Not fun on first install but great through the years.



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
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Re: OK electricians, need a hand with a switch/dimmer in series.
Posted by: Ken Sp.
Date: October 10, 2010 09:00PM
Quote
clay
this fan:
[www.lightingdirect.com]

this is the wired controller I have:
[www.lightingdirect.com]

That "Wired controller" is a wall mounted wireless remote. It only needs two wires for power

Wall Mount Controller for compatible MinkaAire Fans
Does NOT include receiver, required for operation.
For use with RC220 Remote Control and Receiver if extra wall control required or if Fan Includes RC210
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Re: OK electricians, need a hand with a switch/dimmer in series.
Posted by: clay
Date: October 10, 2010 09:02PM
the fan includes the wireless receiver...which is why the wireless remote that came with the fan will control the fan.

This wall-mounted remote is not wireless--it is supposed to be wired directly into the wireless receiver that sits in the top of the fan. And because it apparently needs to be wired in series with the receiver in order to function, it will not work in my situation unless I re-wire the outlet.
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Re: OK electricians, need a hand with a switch/dimmer in series.
Posted by: lafinfil
Date: October 10, 2010 09:08PM
OK it seems that you have a matched switch so it appears that is work with a standard 2 lead set up.

I downloaded the PDF for the fan install and it shows the receiver wired in series like you said and
it appears that the receiver does the work of splitting the load. So basically this is just inline like a switch would be.




Where is your confusion ? Should be a hot (black) and neutral coming from the ceiling box
that go to the receiver as shown.



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Re: OK electricians, need a hand with a switch/dimmer in series.
Posted by: Ken Sp.
Date: October 10, 2010 09:09PM
I may be wrong in your case, but the Wall Mount I used is simply a wire powered remote that works just like the handheld except its power is from 110AC rather than a battery.

Just power it up, and see if it works. You have to make sure the remote is on the same wireless signal (DIP Switches) as the handheld remote.

If the wireless remote works---so should the wall mount if it has power

How many wires are there on the wall mount?

In the comments
I love these fans Date: December 18, 2009
"I purchased a minka fan years ago and wound up buying 3 more. This switch allows full control of the fan and light without running 3 wire. I bought the switch to replace one which stopped working and now all is well. Easy ordering and quick delivery as well. No complaints."



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 10/10/2010 09:12PM by Ken Sp..
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Re: OK electricians, need a hand with a switch/dimmer in series.
Posted by: lafinfil
Date: October 10, 2010 09:12PM
Quote
Ken Sp.
I may be wrong in your case, but the Wall Mount I used is simply a wire powered remote that works just like the handheld except its power is from 110AC rather than a battery.

There is no documentation on the wall switch but I agree with Ken. It appears to just be a powered remote.

How many wire leads are there on the unit that mounts in the wall ?







Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/10/2010 09:19PM by lafinfil.
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Re: OK electricians, need a hand with a switch/dimmer in series.
Posted by: clay
Date: October 10, 2010 09:20PM
I can give it a try, but after reading the instructions, and seeing a label on one of the 2 black leads on the remote about not wiring to the white/neutral wire, I had second thoughts. Here' s a shot of the wiring diagram with the wall control and accompanying directions:

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Re: OK electricians, need a hand with a switch/dimmer in series.
Posted by: Ken Sp.
Date: October 10, 2010 09:26PM
Yep---just as I thought. The wiring diagram made it appear more complex, but you already have the black wire going to the fan.
Blacks to blacks---this way the On/Off switch can cut all power to the fan.

When in the On position either remote will work---think of it as a simple wall with (On/Off) combined with a Wireless remote.

Before you screw it to the JBox, make sure the dip switches match the handheld remote
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Re: OK electricians, need a hand with a switch/dimmer in series.
Posted by: clay
Date: October 10, 2010 09:35PM
So I just go ahead and use the white wire wired to one of the blacks on the wall remote?
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Re: OK electricians, need a hand with a switch/dimmer in series.
Posted by: lafinfil
Date: October 10, 2010 09:37PM
Ken - as I read it they are assuming that the live feed is to the fixture (balck and neutral) and that the
wiring to the wall box is just a simple loop of the hot leg - correct ?

If that is the case then the confusion could be that whoever wire the hot loop to the wall switch did not
mark both wires as hot.

Clay if there is a black & white wire in the wall box does the white wire have a wrap of black tape on it or black ink (sharpie) ?



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Re: OK electricians, need a hand with a switch/dimmer in series.
Posted by: Ken Sp.
Date: October 10, 2010 09:44PM
Quote
lafinfil
Ken - as I read it they are assuming that the live feed is to the fixture (balck and neutral) and that the
wiring to the wall box is just a simple loop of the hot leg - correct ? Yes

If that is the case then the confusion could be that whoever wire the hot loop to the wall switch did not
mark both wires as hot.

Clay if there is a black & white wire in the wall box does the white wire have a wrap of black tape on it or black ink (sharpie) ?

Are there any directions for alternative wiring?

I would contact them for verification. I will look at my old instructions.
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Re: OK electricians, need a hand with a switch/dimmer in series.
Posted by: clay
Date: October 10, 2010 09:50PM
Quote
lafinfil
Clay if there is a black & white wire in the wall box does the white wire have a wrap of black tape on it or black ink (sharpie) ?

Black wire, white wire with no markings/black tape, and ground wire. that's it.

Quote
Ken Sp.
Are there any directions for alternative wiring?

I would contact them for verification. I will look at my old instructions.

No alternate directions...just a one sided single-sheet with 3 diagrams.
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Re: OK electricians, need a hand with a switch/dimmer in series.
Posted by: lafinfil
Date: October 10, 2010 10:03PM
Is the wall switch box a single switch box and just the two wires ?

If it is a single switch with two wires (or with ground) then it should be a hot loop and you can treat
the white wire as if it were a black (hot) and follow the diagram.

Someone should have marked the white wire in the switch box as hot - but many times it gets missed.
It's only a problem for the next guy that has to work on it.







Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/10/2010 10:04PM by lafinfil.
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Re: OK electricians, need a hand with a switch/dimmer in series.
Posted by: clay
Date: October 10, 2010 10:15PM
Quote
lafinfil
Is the wall switch box a single switch box and just the two wires ?

If it is a single switch with two wires (or with ground) then it should be a hot loop and you can treat
the white wire as if it were a black (hot) and follow the diagram.

Someone should have marked the white wire in the switch box as hot - but many times it gets missed.
It's only a problem for the next guy that has to work on it.

yes, single switch with two wires + ground.

I'll give it a try in the morning...and if it works, I'll put a piece of black tape on it for the next guy.
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Re: OK electricians, need a hand with a switch/dimmer in series.
Posted by: Ken Sp.
Date: October 10, 2010 10:25PM
Good Luck, and don't forget the DIP switches
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Re: OK electricians, need a hand with a switch/dimmer in series.
Posted by: clay
Date: October 10, 2010 11:28PM
thanks, guys, for sticking with me through this, much appreciated.

Ok, so I went ahead and tried it. Power works, but the fan & light controls don't seem to do anything. The wireless remote has 2 sets of 4 dip switches(8 total), all turned on, it appears. The wired unit has 1 set of 4 dip switches, and they look to be in the same position as the wireless remote dip switches.

The wired remote has an indicator LED that lights up when the buttons are pressed, but nothing happens on the fan.

So looks like the wiring is squared away, but now I have a remote issue.
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Re: OK electricians, need a hand with a switch/dimmer in series.
Posted by: Ken Sp.
Date: October 10, 2010 11:53PM
Did the handheld remote work, and did it come with the fan in one package?

Is the slider switch on the wall mount to on?

Are there any pull chains on the fans or the light?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/10/2010 11:54PM by Ken Sp..
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Re: OK electricians, need a hand with a switch/dimmer in series.
Posted by: clay
Date: October 11, 2010 07:14AM
Yes, handheld remote works, came with the fan in the same package.

Wall mount remote slider switch is at "on".

No pull chains or other controls directly on the fan.
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Re: OK electricians, need a hand with a switch/dimmer in series.
Posted by: wolfcry911
Date: October 11, 2010 07:45AM
there wasn't by chance two wall switches in the previous setup - one for fan and one for light? probably not, but needs to be known

how is fan box wired? the (unlabeled) white wire from the wall box should be connected to a black wire, either from the feed to the switch with the black return, or from the switch to the black of the receiver. the white from the feed should go straight to the white of the receiver - only the switch box white is hot (as lafinfil and Ken have stated).



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/11/2010 07:46AM by wolfcry911.
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Re: OK electricians, need a hand with a switch/dimmer in series.
Posted by: clay
Date: October 11, 2010 08:24AM
only one switch in the previous setup--it controlled power to the fan/light combo.

Everything seems to be wired correctly and functioning as I'd expect. The only issue remaining is the wall controller (which actually seems to be a combination of a wired power switch for the fan/light + an embedded wireless controller) is that it doesn't seem to be talking with the fan, despite dip switches being set to the same settings as the other remote.
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Re: OK electricians, need a hand with a switch/dimmer in series.
Posted by: lafinfil
Date: October 11, 2010 08:47AM
Glad to hear that you got the A/C portion working, but I don't have any experience with the remotes.
I don't have much to add there, so probably a call to their help line is in order.



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Re: OK electricians, need a hand with a switch/dimmer in series.
Posted by: Ken Sp.
Date: October 11, 2010 09:17AM
My Wall plate acts just like the handheld remote.

Good luck with the tech support.
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Re: OK electricians, need a hand with a switch/dimmer in series.
Posted by: wolfcry911
Date: October 11, 2010 09:27AM

I'm sure you have the wired remote connected correctly in the switch box, but what about up in the fan jbox?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/11/2010 09:29AM by wolfcry911.
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Re: OK electricians, need a hand with a switch/dimmer in series.
Posted by: Ken Sp.
Date: October 11, 2010 09:58AM
Quote
wolfcry911
I'm sure you have the wired remote connected correctly in the switch box, but what about up in the fan jbox?

It already works with the handheld remote, so wouldn't we assume it is wired correctly up there, since the wall mounted remote is simply an AC powered wireless remote, and has no wired connection to the fan (except as an AC passthrough switch.

To tes this, wire it with the original switch, and power the wall mounted remote from any power outlet, and test.
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Re: OK electricians, need a hand with a switch/dimmer in series.
Posted by: wolfcry911
Date: October 11, 2010 10:50AM
Ken Sp.,
I'm sure your right. I was just going on the premise that maybe the wall controller is more than a simple AC passthrough.

The only reason I'm thinking this is a possibility is that its not working as is, but its not wired in series either (as noted in the OP). It sounds as if the controller has power to it, but that power is not passed to the fan.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/11/2010 10:50AM by wolfcry911.
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Re: OK electricians, need a hand with a switch/dimmer in series.
Posted by: flareslow
Date: October 11, 2010 02:41PM
Were there any DIP switches on the ceiling mounted receiver?
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Re: OK electricians, need a hand with a switch/dimmer in series.
Posted by: clay
Date: October 11, 2010 05:14PM
Quote
flareslow
Were there any DIP switches on the ceiling mounted receiver?

there may well be...but since it was already mounted in the fan and wired and ready to go, I didn't go digging around. That might hold some answers, good idea.
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Re: OK electricians, need a hand with a switch/dimmer in series.
Posted by: clay
Date: October 11, 2010 10:16PM
Okay, been busy all evening, but I did call Minka customer support earlier this evening about the wall remote issue. It would seem that the model of wall remote I have is an older model and recently incompatible with the receiver mounted in the fan. There's a newer version that I've gone ahead and ordered...we'll see if that actually fixes the issue.

Many thanks to everyone that has pitched in to help me figure this out. I'll post back again when the new remote arrives and everything is (hopefully) working.
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Re: OK electricians, need a hand with a switch/dimmer in series.
Posted by: Ken Sp.
Date: October 11, 2010 11:21PM
Thanks for posting this FU---PM me when you get the new wall mount---I am curious
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Re: OK electricians, need a hand with a switch/dimmer in series.
Posted by: clay
Date: October 15, 2010 08:36PM
The new wall mount arrived today, installed tonight in about 5 minutes, everything works just fine. Ah, nice to be done with that project.
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