Ceiling fan/light wiring options

From an earlier post, I have a top floor (second floor) apartment where the ceilings in the living room, 2 bedrooms, and a small hallway have now been removed. This was after the last tenant moved out and I am doing some improvements to the apartment before a new tenant moves in.
Now that the ceilings are out, I want to add ceiling fan/lights in the LR and each BR, and a new hallway light and a new BR closet light. The electrical panel is on a wall in the apartment.
I think I may want to split this up into two circuits -- one with two ceiling fan/lights (LR and one BR) and the closet light; and the other circuit with the other BR ceiling fan/light and the hallway light. Or, I could just put all 3 ceiling fan/lights and the hallway light and closet light all on one circuit. Is either of these two options okay?
Also, for wiring the ceiling fan/lights and the hallway and closet light, I think the easiest option would be to run the power through the ceiling to each ceiling fan/light and the hallway and closet light -- then do a 3-wire switch loop down to each ceiling fan/light control switch and a 2-wire switch loop down to the hallway and closet light switches. Is there any disadvantage to doing the wiring this way?
The alternative would be to run the power to each wall switch and then do 3-wire connections up to the ceiling fan/lights etc. Any suggestions as to which way would be easier and way would make the most sense?
Thanks.
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Oren wrote:

Thanks. I agree. The plan is that each ceiling fan/light will be controlled from the wall switch, and each wall switch will have one switch for the fan and one for the light. That is why I will be using 3-wire instead of 2-wire between the wall switch(es) and each ceiling fan/light. I may not have made that clear in my original post. The question for me is about whether the 2-wire power (feed) would go to the fixture first or to the wall switch(es) first.
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I don't see why you would want to run the power to the light first. Running it to the switch box is the most common way it's done. I'd also consider using remote controls for the fans, as I find them easier to install and more convenient. However, with it being a rental, the wall switch might be a better idea.
Also keep in mind that arc fault breakers are required for bedrooms and I believe living rooms too.
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On 9/7/2011 5:44 PM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Arc faults are required now in most "habitable" rooms.
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On 9/7/2011 3:51 PM, RogerT wrote:

You'll be fine with one 15 amp circuit. Ceiling fan boxes tend to be small, so routing the feed through them won't be practical. You would also need to run cables with an extra conductor to the switches as neutrals are now required by the NEC at all switch locations. I would use large switch boxes, daisy chain the feed between them, then run whatever cable is necessary from each switch to it's respective light, fan.
This post may be a duplicate, as my reader is acting flaky today

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*I agree with RBM. The 2011 National Electrical Code requires a neutral conductor at each switch location so bringing the feed directly to each switch box works for that. Use deep switch boxes or 4" square boxes to fit the wires and switches comfortably inside.
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Thanks. I'll have to look and see what type and size boxes are out there. I like using plastic old work boxes instead of metal boxes. At all 3 of the locations where the ceiling fan/light switches will be going there is already a single wall switch box that controls an outlet in each room. So, I may end up replacing them with 3-gang deep boxes or something like along those lines. That way, I could keep the original switch wiring and add the ceiling fan and ceiling light control switches.
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you need three wires plus a safety ground going up to the fan/light fixture, two switchable hot wires and a neutral wire, plus a safety ground. The switch for the fan is simply off-on, you use a pullchain to control the fan speed. Had this for 30 years in our bedroom, and it works just fine as long as the fan chain is reachable.
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wrote:

With the fans I've bought in the last 15 years, the speed was controlled with the wall switch/controller or a remote. The fans do have a pull chain, not sure if it also controls the speed, but don't see why anyone doing a new install would do it that way.
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On 9/8/2011 11:14 PM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

As long as you have a 3 conductor cable going from the switch, you can use separate wall switches, dimmers, or speed controls for independent operation of the fan and light. There are also combination devices which incorporate both a dimmer and speed control into a single device, so save space. I don't find them to work particularly well though.
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RBM wrote:

Thanks. We are doing what you suggested and it seems like it is going to work out fine. We did the feed by going from panel to switch to switch to switch etc.
For the ceiling fan/light combos, we are running a 3-conductor (plus ground) from the switch box up to the ceiling fan/light combo. And, so far, we are using the blue 3-gang old work boxes for the ceiling fan/light combos-- one gang is for the original switch to an outlet that was already on the wall and the other two gangs are for the separate fan and light controls. I don't like the combo fan/light controls that fit into one gang, and I would rather have more room for the wiring by using two of the 3-gang slots for separate fan and light controls. I didn't see the "smart box" plastic boxes at Home Depot. I still have to check at Lowes, and if I can, I'll check at electric supply places -- which is probably where I need to go. Unfortunately, most of the elctric supply places around here went out of business over the past year or two, so I have to find one that is nearby and is still open.
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Thanks. I'm glad I asked the question here before doing anything. I had forgotten that the new codes call for a neutral at the switch boxes. I'll do what you suggested and daisy chain the feed between the switch boxes. By "large switch boxes", I assume you mean deep boxes, right? The walls are thick enough for deep boxes to go in, so that would be no problem. Or, is there another type of "large switch box" that I should be using?
But, now that I think about it, I am not sure what kind of switches are out there that would allow the ceiling fan and ceiling light to be controlled separately from the wall switches. In the past, I just used pull chain ceiling fan/light combos in rental units and didn't bother trying to be able to control each fan and light separately from the wall switch. I know there are remote control units out there, but I don't want to put them in a rental unit since I think the tenants will end up breaking or misplacing the remotes etc.
If I can't figure out a good wall switch setup for controlling the fan and light separately, maybe I'll just stick with the pull chain type of ceiling fan/lights for now. If I do that, maybe I could still run a 3-wire up from the switch to the fan/light (for possible future use) but only use two of those wires for now.
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On 9/7/2011 9:56 PM, RogerT wrote:

If you want to use a large old work plastic box, get a "smart box" SB3G, There is no reason you can't use separate wall switches, speed controls, dimmers , etc. Just run a 3 wire cable from the switch box to the fan/light
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The wall mounted fan controllers support controlling both the fan and light.
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RogerT wrote the following:

There's a third option. Get remotes for all fan/lights. You can control the lights and all fan speeds with the remote anywhere in the room, including from bed.
--

Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
  Click to see the full signature.
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