Ceiling Fan Installation Advice


Hello,
I am planning on buying and fitting a new ceiling fan, with lights, in the bedroom. This is to hopefully replace the existing light pendant I currently have.
Being a complete novice at this project my main question is, is this a striaght forward change over, or is there more involved?
Currently I have a 36-40 cm long 'no frills' light pendent, which I guess does not weigh any more than 1/2 kg. By looking at the electrical connections from the screw off cap, there seems to be three grey electrical wires coming through from the ceiling and into the pendant. Each grey wire containing a red and black wire going off to various connectors. The grey wires also contains a copper wire with a green sleeve on them (earth?) which converge into one connector.
I am interested in buying the fan from either Homebase or B&Q stores, but havn't decided on make/model. Reading the external packaging of these fans, they appear to weigh around 6 kg and come with various drops and width sizes.
Couple of questions:
1. Will the fan have to be the same drop size as the current pendant in place? (floor to ceiling height is around 2.57 metres). Most of the fans I have seen seem to have a drop size of 45 cm with 106/107 cm width.
2. With the fan being a much heavier weight than my current pendant, will I require additional support from the loft/ceiling, or will the ceiling be able to take the weight? If so, will the fan come with additional support or will I have to purchase this seperately? If support is necessary how hard is it to fit these and what is involved
3. Will the electrical connections in the fan be similar to my current connection? (is it a case of looking at the current setup from the ceiling and matching it to the same connector ports in the fan?) Or is there more involved than this? Will I have to draw additional power from elsewhere or make any other electrical connections apart from the ones I currently have? Will I need to make any changes to the current light switch I have?
4. How are the ceiling fans like from Homebase/B&Q? Are they any good, and are they quiet? (for night operation). Any recommendations on brand or any other shops?
5. Are there any maintenance or additional costs involved with these ceiling fans?
Unfortunately, the packaging of these fans does not give a lot away apart from its dimensions and weight. Any help on this matter will be appreciated. TIA.
Regards
MT
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Hi MT Most B&Q fans have the arrangement you describe as they can be fitted with a remote control .
What you need to decide is how you want the fan to work.
1 light switch controls power to both fan and light (fan cords then turn off or on fan and lights.)
2 light switch controls fan lights but fan works all the time from pull cord.
3 light switch controls fan but fan lights work all the time controlled by pull cord.
(You get the idea I hope)
Firstly make sure you fix the fan bracket firmly into the joist (not the laths) use inch and a half No 8 or No10 woodscrew minimum; longer if plaster is thicker.
Now for the wiring. The system you describe is common and consists of 3 off 2 core and earth cables. these are :- power in .. power out .. switch wire.
They are connected as follows :- power in red to power out red and switch wire red. (usually in the centre terminals of the rose.)
Power in black to power out black and lamp holder neutral (blue or black)
Switch wire black (should really be a twin red cable but from you posts seems they have used a red/black )to lamp holder brown or red.
3 bare copper earths sheathed in green sleaving connected together in earth lug.
Your fan should have a connector block with 4 terminals marked earth ; negative ; live fan ; live light. If the light kit is separate (you have to screw it onto the fan) then you will only have 3 cables in the block and there will be a cable loose marked LIGHT .
Cable colours on these fans varies and I have seen all colours used from purple to white.But whatever colours are used they are always marked.
To connect simply connect the negative fan connection to the 2 black wires of the ceiling rose. The earth to the bare copper earth wires.
Now decide what you want the wall switch to do.... Remember whatever you connect to this will only work when the light switch is turned on.
When decided connect the appropriate wire (or wires) to the single black wire of the ceiling rose. (the one with the lamp holder brown wire)
Should you have decided to have a permanent supply connect the remaining wire (fan /light) to the 3 reds joined together.
NB It goes without saying that you have turned of the power at the mains before starting.
HTH and good luck
CJ
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Hello CJ,
Thanks for the response, this has cleared a few things up.
I would just like to confirm my electrical connections before I go and proceed with the installation (sorry to sound so dumb).
My current rose connection stands at: Single black wire connected to brown wire terminal. Three red wires connected to centre terminal. Two black wires connected to blue wire terminal. Three bare copper wires converged into one lug with green sleeve.
The fan wires include: Earth (green/yellow wire) Live (brown wire) Neutral (blue wire) Light (red wire) The fan has a four-block terminal connector on the mount and one single block terminal connector (discovered today in nuts and bolts bag), so total 5 possible seperate connections.
Now regarding the options with the light switch I would prefer the switch to only operate the lights, and the pull cord on the fan to operate the fan as when needed.
So taking the above into account, my proposed connection (if you can be kind enough to check please) would be:
1. Earth wires to fan earth wires. 2. Single black wire (from brown wire terminal) to fan light (red wire). 3. Two black wires (from blue wire terminal) to fan neutral (blue wire). 4. Three red wires connected together on seperate fifth terminal. 5. Fan Live wire - no connection to other wires.
I am assuming that the fan live wire operates lights and fan if connected to the switch live (single black wire). The manual also states that no fan wire should be connected to the red wires (loop).
Is this correct for my settings?
Thanks MT
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Hi MT You are nearly there . But for the fan to work it will need power so you will have to connect the fan wire to the 3 red wires in the 5th terminal as these are always live. This will allow the fan to work solely on its own pull cord.
In other words your list is correct except you need to connect Fan live wire (5) to Three red wires (4)
Again remember turn off the mains before you start.
Regards CJ
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Many thanks for your help on this. I will have a go at installing the fan this weekend.
Regards MT
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Hello,
During fitting and installation of the fan, i've come across a slight problem with the terminal block. I have come to realise that the block is only capable of taking one wire through each end (the holes in the block are only wide enough for one wire and can not squeeze any other wires in there; especially the fan wires which have the fancy crimps on the end).
With some terminals taking up to three wires on each end (3 earth wires from supply and 3 earth wires from fan), I set out again to the diy store in search for a larger-holed terminal block. I have realised that there are larger blocks available, but they come with different amp ratings (the larger the terminal holes the higher the amps of that block).
I'm not sure what amp rating my current terminal block is (but i'm guessing that it may be 3 or 5 amps, judging by its size), but I would like to know if it is safe to install a larger-holed (maybe 13 amp) terminal block on my fan to resolve this issue.
Once again, sorry if this sounds stupid. I suppose I could hack the ends off from some of the fan wires (and get rid of the crimps) and twist the wires together to squeeze into the terminals, but plan on doing this as a last resort (as it would be rather untidy - I think).
Regards
MT
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Hi MT As already stated go for it get some 15a terminal strip from your local DIY dealer ,the current rating is for the maximum that the connector will safely carry so there is no problem other than physical size of the block.
CJ
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Hello,
Finally got round to installing the fan today and it is up and running. Now looking forward to a better night's sleep for the next few months!
Many thanks for all your help on this topic.
Regards
MT

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