ceiling fan wiring

Hello,
I want to replace a ceiling light fixture with a ceiling fan and have a question about the wiring. The light is controlled by 2 3-way switches, meaning I can turn on the light from 2 sides of the room. The fan has a blue wire that powers the lights, and a black wire that I assume powers the fan, a green wire is the ground and *1* white wire.
I can install the fan and hook up the lights to the existing 3-way circuit, but I'll need to run another conductor for the fan. No problem, there is an outlet below where I want to put the variable controller for the fan. But when I get to the fan, I'll have to connect the white wires together to complete the circuit.
Question: isn't there a possible hazard if the two circuits are different (the one for the fan and the one for the lights), is there a possibility that I'd energize one circuit from the other through the common neutral in the fan box?
Thanks,
Teabird
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 8/20/2012 5:14 PM, teabird wrote:

question about the wiring. The light is controlled by 2 3-way switches, meaning I can turn on the light from 2 sides of the room. The fan has a blue wire that powers the lights, and a black wire that I assume powers the fan, a green wire is the ground and *1* white wire.

but I'll need to run another conductor for the fan. No problem, there is an outlet below where I want to put the variable controller for the fan. But when I get to the fan, I'll have to connect the white wires together to complete the circuit.

(the one for the fan and the one for the lights), is there a possibility that I'd energize one circuit from the other through the common neutral in the fan box?

It's not a good idea to do what you're suggesting. If you're going to hard wire the fan, the 3 wires should come from the switch. Depending upon the make and model fan, and how the 3 way system is wired, you may be able to operate the lights from the existing 3 way system, and the fan by a pull chain. It's also possible to get a remote control kit for the fan, instead of using the wall switches. Depending upon the 3 way wiring, it may be possible to operate the fan from one of the switches, and the light, from the other. You could also spend a pile of $$$ and get a Casablanca fan with "intellitouch" controls. Make sure that the ceiling box is strong enough for fan support as well.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Monday, August 20, 2012 5:50:02 PM UTC-4, RBM wrote:

If I wire the fan and light together, they will operate together when I throw the switch. I'm looking for a way to operate them separately.
The fan housing does not have a slot or a string for a separate fan switch, and I'm trying to understand a way to hard-wire it.
Even with a remote control unit, it still needs to be powered.
Perhaps the fan I have can't be wired to operate separately, then so be it.
Teabird
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 8/21/2012 6:21 AM, teabird wrote:

question about the wiring. The light is controlled by 2 3-way switches, meaning I can turn on the light from 2 sides of the room. The fan has a blue wire that powers the lights, and a black wire that I assume powers the fan, a green wire is the ground and *1* white wire.

but I'll need to run another conductor for the fan. No problem, there is an outlet below where I want to put the variable controller for the fan. But when I get to the fan, I'll have to connect the white wires together to complete the circuit.

(the one for the fan and the one for the lights), is there a possibility that I'd energize one circuit from the other through the common neutral in the fan box?

and fan can be operated separately. Usually there are pull chains to control fan and light, in case there are no wall switches. Many manufacturers sell a wireless remote kit. It's a two piece kit, a receiver sits up in the fan's canopy. It only needs one set of feed wires, white and black. The receiver has a black, blue, and white wire that connect to the corresponding fan wires. Once connected, you operate the fan speeds and light kit from the remote.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

It can be wired to operate separately. The only issue is the way you proposed the fan and the fan light would be on different circuits. Since the fan/light has only one neutral, you would be cross connecting neutrals which is a code violation.
As RBM suggested, I'd look in the switch box for either of the two controlling switches. Find the hot there that runs the light and use that as the source to run up to the fan. I'd run a hot, neutral and light wire to the new fan switch location, then go from there to the fan.
The other option suggested was to possibly use a remote to control the fan, and leave the light on the 3 way switch. As long as the hot to the remote receiver comes off the 3 way switch hot, that is OK too. The remotes come with a wall mounting bracket so if you want to have it serve as a wall switch type arrangement, you can just leave it in the holder.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tuesday, August 21, 2012 10:29:30 AM UTC-4, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Thanks for the code information, that was what I thought. I think it would be easier for me (because of the layout of the house and switch boxes) to tap the outlet and run another line, rather than find the hot from the panel behind a switch and then have to fish another line. Of course, if it's indeed a different circuit, I won't do that.
Thanks again, and to Unknown for his answer as well.
Teabird
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

What makes it so much easier to tap into the outlet and run that line to the fan, as opposed to tapping into one of the 3 way switch boxes that serve the light? What is going to control the fan? A wall switch? Pull chain? Remote?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tuesday, August 21, 2012 4:58:19 PM UTC-4, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

The hard part is fishing the new wire into the back of the switch box. It's much easier to cut a new opening in the wall halfway up to accept a blue box for the controller, that way I have easier access to fish/force the new wires into the back of the box. And at the top, I'll need to drill through the top plate, then send the wire down. It'll be easier to have the fresh cut hole to reach through.
Tea
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Why can't you just put the new blue box for the controller next to the existing 3 way switch box that has the hot in it? You have a hole right next to the 3 way box and can feed cable right into it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tuesday, August 21, 2012 5:39:01 PM UTC-4, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Sure, I could do that but neither switches are where I want them. The first is right next to the front door, and accessing the top plate right under the eve will be very difficult, and other is just inside the next room, the kitchen nook. Anyway, I first need to identify which box has the hot, and hopefully it's the one in the nook.
Tea
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Monday, August 20, 2012 5:14:07 PM UTC-4, teabird wrote:

You should not use different circuits. You need to run 14/3 from one of the existing switch boxs where the incoming hot is. If you are lucky that will be the box that presently has the 14/2 going to the ceiling. But since you have a couple 3-way switches that might not be the case. It's possible to have a hot 14/2 going to the first switch box, 14/3 going from that box to the second box, and finaly 14/2 going to the ceiling box. In that situation you have no full time hot in the second switch box.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 8/21/2012 12:10 PM, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

a question about the wiring. The light is controlled by 2 3-way switches, meaning I can turn on the light from 2 sides of the room. The fan has a blue wire that powers the lights, and a black wire that I assume powers the fan, a green wire is the ground and *1* white wire. I can install the fan and hook up the lights to the existing 3-way circuit, but I'll need to run another conductor for the fan. No problem, there is an outlet below where I want to put the variable controller for the fan. But when I get to the fan, I'll have to connect the white wires together to complete the circuit. Question: isn't there a possible hazard if the two circuits are different (the one for the fan and the one for the lights), is there a possibility that I'd energize one circuit from the other through the common neutral in the fan box? Thanks, Teabird

existing switch boxs where the incoming hot is. If you are lucky that will be the box that presently has the 14/2 going to the ceiling. But since you have a couple 3-way switches that might not be the case. It's possible to have a hot 14/2 going to the first switch box, 14/3 going from that box to the second box, and finaly 14/2 going to the ceiling box. In that situation you have no full time hot in the second switch box. Existing wiring could also be hot to the light with separate 3-wire romexes to each switch. If wired that way one switch could be abandoned and 2 switches installed at the other location - or light switch at one and fan control at other. Or new wiring from light location to controller. More flexible if controller does not need neutral.
Slight chance it is wired with a hot an neutral at each 3-way (4 wires between).
--
bud--


Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.