Buzz in ceiling fan assy

I inherited a ceiling fan when I bought my little brick bungalow in the midwest US 20+ years ago.
Closest to the ceiling is the fan. Under that is a unit with 4 small lamps that I've not been using. Under that is unit for a single globe lamp.
Needing light control, I wired it to a dimmer switch all those years ago. Knowing the fan should be 100% on or off, I'd set the dimmer to max before switching the fan on. Same as "on" with a bipolar (on/off) switch?
When I run the fan with dimmer on max and switch the globe lamp off at the unit, I get a funny buzz. Never wired a ceil. fan myself, not sure what causes the buzz. It doesn't appear to be from vibrations.
Any ideas?
Thx, Peetie
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Either rewire the fan, separating the fan from the light, or lose the dimmer and just use the pull chains

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Peetie Wheatstraw wrote:

Sounds to me that the lamp's resistance across the motor damps out some sort of inductive kickback from the motor's inductance when the triac in the dimmer switch changes state.
Without the bulb the waveform to the fan may have enough breaks or spikes in it to make the motor buzz.
Like the first responder said, get smart and lose the dimmer before something unforseen (and maybe bad) happens.
Jeff
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"Jeff Wisnia" imparted this great wisdom:

Yup - exactly what he said!

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On Fri, 01 Jun 2007 20:48:29 GMT, Peetie Wheatstraw

You need TWO hot wires going to the fan plus the ground and neutral. In other words 3 conductor cable plus gnd. Then you need TWO switches on the wall. One can be a dimmer. That one is for the lights. The other is just a plain switch. That one is for the fan motor.
You need to rewire and add another switch. If that requires ripping out walls and stuff, I'd just use a switch for everything and put a dimmer on some lamps in the room.
Of course you know not to use a dimmer on compact florescent bulbs, right?
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snipped-for-privacy@nomail.com wrote:

Or if the ceiling box is wired with a switch leg you can pull the fan down, leave the switch leg wired to the light, and put the fan on the always hot wire, and use the pull chain to control the fan.
nate
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I pulled the cover. Like I figgered: a disconnected ground and *only* 1 (switched) hot wire into the integrated unit.
What the hull, I've been running it like this for 20+ years. I ain't gonna dissemble the whole thing to rewire it, run an unswitched hot, etc.
I *really* need the dimmer for the light (onliest one in the room).
Thx, Peetie
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Peetie Wheatstraw wrote:

is there one cable or two going into the wall box?
nate
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Looks like 1 black hot going into the wall box. 1 switched (actually dimmer'd) and 1 unswitched going out.
Doesn't matter if there's only 1 hot to the fan/lite ass'y? Why'd you ask?
P
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wrote:

because I can't tell whether your wiring is set up like this:
http://www.electrical-online.com/basiclightswitchwiring1.htm
or like this:
http://www.electrical-online.com/basiclightswitchwiringvariation1.htm
The latter is actually more common in older homes, and if you have that setup (what I referred to as a "switch leg" above) you can rewire the fan to be "always hot" and leave the light on the dimmer *without* having to pull any cable whatsoever.
nate
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...

Well, you must know something I don't know ... not surprising ...
The only difference I see is whether the common runs thru the switchbox before running to the fan/lite. But some of their diagram conventions likely escape me. And colors: yellow is common? Yellow is Hot?
2 white wires are nutted in my switchbox. So it *looks* more like:
http://www.electrical-online.com/basiclightswitchwiring1.htm
P
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Peetie Wheatstraw wrote:

Eh, you probably don't have a switch leg then - sounds like you have power going to the switch box, then a 14/2 going to the ceiling. So yes to do this "right" you would need to pull more wire. Just wanted to rule this possibility out before you gave up.
If you did have a switch leg, you'd have only one black and one white wire in the switch box, and they'd both be connected to the switch. If it were a recent install, the white would have a ring of black or red tape around it.
nate
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Or something very much equivalent.

Even if I had switched and unswitched wires -to- the fan unit, I'd -still- have to dissemble the unit to independently wire hot to fan and lites. And I don't wanna take the damned thang apart.
Thx, P
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