Ceiling fan question


We currently have only a light (no fan) hanging from the second story ceiling over the center landing of the stairs between the two floors and want to add a ceiling fan. The light is controlled by switches both on the first floor and the second floor.
Although I have installed several ceiling fans, I have never installed one that had a remote nor have I ever even bothered to look at how the ones with remotes work.
This is a relatively new home built to look like an older Victorian Home so the wiring is all up to date but it is nearly impossible to get into the attic thus I would prefer not to have to change any wiring.
Now finally, my question(s): how exactly do the remotes work? Can the hot wire(s) just continue to be like it is to the light and it actually goes to both the light and fan and then the remote controls the fan (in short, do I need to change any wiring). I would still like to control the fan light with the current switches and the only the fan with the remote, I this possible?
If anyone has a clue as to what I mean, please advise.
Cheers,
Don
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We currently have only a light (no fan) hanging from the second story ceiling over the center landing of the stairs between the two floors and want to add a ceiling fan with light. The light is controlled by switches both on the first floor and the second floor.
Although I have installed several ceiling fans, I have never installed one that had a remote nor have I ever even bothered to look at how the ones with remotes work.
This is a relatively new home built to look like an older Victorian Home so the wiring is all up to date but it is nearly impossible to get into the attic thus I would prefer not to have to change any wiring.
Now finally, my question(s): how exactly do the remotes work? Can the hot wire(s) just continue to be like it is to the light and it actually goes to both the light and fan and then the remote controls the fan (in short, do I need to change any wiring). I would still like to control the fan light with the current switches and the only the fan with the remote, I this possible?
If anyone has a clue as to what I mean, please advise.
Cheers,
Don
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Yes you can leave the wiring as is (assuming neither switch is a dimmer) and control the fan with a remote. But,... You will always need to leave the switches on. The receiver in the fan needs power all of the time in order to turn the fan or light on or off.
Probably the only way you will be able to control the light with switches and have the fan controlled by remote is if the power feed is to the light and the switches are wired on either side. See the second set of examples on this page titled "3 way switch wiring diagrams with the electricity source at the first switch and a light fixture between the two switches." http://www.do-it-yourself-help.com/installing_3-wayswitches.html
A lighting store or electrical supply house (read NOT Home Depot) will have some fancy switches for your situation. An example might be remotes that mount where the switches currently are to turn the light on & off and also the fan on & off. Or,... Just by two remotes and velcro them next to the switches. If you are buying a Hunter or similar fan it should be relatively easy to find what you need.
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You might want to take a look inside the box (both with your eyes and with a tester) before you go any further. Some electricians are smart/ non-lazy enough to run an extra hot line to most/every ceiling box (especially if it's wired with cable)...just in case someone wants to add a ceiling fan later. I don't know how common this is, but it's worth a look...
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The wiring will not be a problem, and some of the fans with remotes allow you to turn the light off and on with the switch as an override to the remote (really handy when you walk into the area in the dark and are close to the switch but not close to the remote). I installed one like this for my dad, where the remote is by the switch at the top of the stairs, but they can still turn the light off or on at the switch at the bottom of the stairway.
In the case of the fan in my bedroom if you walk into the room in the dark you have to ensure the power is switched on and then find the remote to get the light on. One of these days I will replace the remote and receiver in the fan to a better one so we don't have this issue.
I would be more concerned with the box... make sure it is meant to hold up a ceiling fan.
John
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IGot2P wrote:

For cooling, installing a fan over a landing seems like a complete waste of money and time since a fan ONLY cools by blowing air over a person. OTOH a fan might be used to move warm air down from the ceiling in winter.
Lou
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LouB wrote:

Hi, Not really. Fan helps circulating air to even out the temp between floor to ceiling.
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Tony Hwang wrote:

And what good does that do, esp in the summer?
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First, make sure the box holding the existing fixture is a fan support box. It probably is, as heavy fixtures are usually hung in center halls with high ceilings. You cannot control the fan-light from both a remote and set of 3 way wall switches, as the power must be on for the remote to work. You can use fans made by Casablanca, with one of their systems like "intellitouch" controls, which replace the existing wall switches and allow you to control the fan and light from multiple locations.
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Agree with RBM. Without a direct hot going to the fan, it would work but not the way you would want it to. You could get it to light and/ or fan to run, but to do so would require both the current three way switches and the remote. To get either to go on, you'd potnetially have to work both the wall switch and the remote.
Also agree with Lou that a stairwell location is questionable for a fan to begin with. I have one there and figured out that the orginal owner had it installed so the fan was blowing upward into essentially a boxed in area that did nothing. I reversed the fan so that it blows down. In the summer, with the AC on, I turn it on to help move hot air down. But even in that mode, I can't say that I notice much difference.
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RBM wrote:

RPM,
Are you saying that with the "intellitouch" system I could control both without any additional wiring? I realize that one of the switches would have to be in the "ON" position so that I would have a hot wire to the unit but are saying that even with the a hot wire going to the unit I could control both the fan and light independently and the light would not be on all the time?
I want the fan for two reasons, first I want it to move warm air to the lower story (it is an open stairway), and secondly I simply want it for decor. In short, the decision to place a fan and light there has been made if I can control it as I want.
Don
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Casablanca has an in wall control, that replaces the existing wall switch. They also make one for 3 way setups. These switches are line carriers similar to X-10 or Leviton DEC controls. Each switch has a control for fan speeds and light on-off-dim, as well as the ability to reverse the fan, and you can do anything from any switch location. You can check out their stuff at http://www.casablancafanco.com /

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RBM wrote:

Okay, I read everything that I could find about the controllers (actually, they are pretty neat) at www.casablancafanco.com but I still need to know if I have to add any wiring? A basic "yes or no" would be great. :-)
Don
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You don't need to add any wiring. The intellitouch controls don't connect to the existing wiring the same way that 3 way switches do, but they do work with the existing wiring
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RBM wrote:

Okay, I read everything that I could find about the controllers (actually, they are pretty neat) at www.casablancafanco.com but I still need to know if I have to add any wiring? A basic "yes or no" would be great. :-)
Don
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