I have three inoperative ceiling fans that I just don't understand.
When I bought the house (foreclosure), there was only 1 remote control
which operated only one of the four ceiling fans.
That operating ceiling fan has a wall switch, and a pull switch, and a
remote control. The pull switch just changes the speed while the wall
switch and remote control appear to work in series.
But, I don't have *any* remotes for the three inoperative ceiling fans.
Worse yet, one (the one pictured), is a good 25 feet in the air, with the
top of the stairs just out of reach by leaning over the railing - but
enough to pull the pull cord.
In *all* the inoperative fans, I have pulled the pull cord multiple times
and operated all potential wall switches, none of which operate the fans.
I have never worked on a remote-controlled fan before.
QUESTION 1: How can I tell *if* the fans are indeed remote controlled?
QUESTION 2: How can I debug why 3 of 4 won't ever turn on?
On Sat, 27 Jul 2013 20:56:56 -0600, Tony Hwang wrote:
Exactly what I was thinking, simply because none of the
wall switches operate 3 of the four fans.
It could be as simple as their batteries are dead (if
the remote transceiver inside the fan housing even has
Or, it could be that the three fans were turned off via the
remote and then the remote was lost.
That's what I was hoping to find out.
Here's a picture of the one working fan:
The one remote that works with that one working fan is this white
Emerson RF unit on the right, next to three other remotes that came
with the house - but which don't do anything that I know of.
The two gray 3-button "Clicker" brand remotes look like RF garage
door openers to me; and the one tan "Aloha Breeze" looks like it might
be one of the fan remotes; but it doesn't operate any fan.
Yes, I put batteries in all of them. I'm not sure how to test
if a remote is working though, other than to aim the infrared
remotes directly at a camera and press a button.
This proves the infrared light is working on the "Aloha Breeze"
above, because I can *see* the infrared light up in the cellphone
camera as I press the buttons (presumably because a cellphone
camera is more sensitive to infrared than human eyes are).
That particular fan is a Casablanca 3 or 4 speed pull chain fan. They
make a remote kit for it called Adapt Touch (W-52). Each fan can be set
with a different code, so you have to access the receiver in the fan
canopy to see it's setting, then match it to the setting on the
transmitter. Not an easy task as you have to drop the fan and the canopy
to get to the specially designed receiver module.
Well, in my experience, you should only have to 'drop' the canopy cover.
ones I have, you turn the cover a few degrees and it comes down the
receiver is located in the bracket that holds top of the pipe.
Yeah, that's how the garden variety "universal" remote receiver mounts.
Casablanca makes a canopy cover like no others. It's a two piece cover.
One piece is 3/4 ths of the cover, which is screwed to the mounting
plate using 3-3" machine screws, which go straight up from the bottom.
This leaves a quarter section open, which is where you insert the ball
hanger of the fan. Once the fan is hanging on the 3/4 part of the
canopy, you install the 1/4 section of the canopy with another 3"
machine screw to close it up. The receiver kit made for these, (W-52)
actually has holes through it, so the canopy mounting screws go through
the receiver. The thing I'm not sure of, is the location of the code
switches. It is possible that they are accessible by removing just the
quarter section of the canopy, but I wouldn't count on it.
Thanks Oren, that diagram was very helpful as I have never worked
on fans before.
I will remove one of the canopies of the easier fans.
1. For the one working fan, I'll determine how the remote, pull switch
and wall switch interact (so I know how to debug the others).
2. For the fan on the extremely high ceiling, I'll hope to try all the
combinations of the DIP switch inside the one Emerson remote that
works the similarly looking fan (#1 above).
Surprisingly, since this fan is located in a foyer which has four
side entrances, the number of unknown wall switches is astounding.
There are roughly a dozen wall switches in that foyer, scattered
about, only about 3/4 of which I have identified what they do (most
turn on lights and some turn on outlets - but a few don't do anything
that I know of).
They should make it mandatory that houses come with wiring diagrams!
3. For the other two fans, both of which are different, I can drop the
canopy and see if there's a remote inside.
Does anyone know if these remotes inside the canopy need batteries?
(it might be *that* simple?)
That's what I'll do, but, it's actually harder to do than you may
The reason is that there isn't a single switch in the house (except
in the garage) that is your typical on/off switch.
They're all unmarked paddle switches. Entire arrays of them.
Worse yet, since the house is a wide-open design with many entrances
in the main foyer, there are a plethora of 3-way switches.
So, the hunt-and-peck approach, which I am forced to do, won't
be so easy as just flipping a switch. :)
Assuming the one working fan is similar to the non-working foyer fan,
I'll figure out how that one working fan works (without taking it down
because it too is high up in the air).
Once I get the hang of how the pull cord and light switch affect the
remote control operation, I'll try to see if I can "trick" the tall
foyer fan into working.
Once I get that tall foyer fan working, I'll work on the two non-working
fans. I'll probably tackle the one with the light first as I KNOW the wall
switch enervates that light.
I see. Thanks. Two of my inoperative fans look heavy, so, the
hanging of the motor on the hook under the canopy will be important.
The main fan to get working is the foyer fan, 25 feet up (or so).
So, I'll first determine how the similarly looking working fan
works with the white Emerson remote, and, then, I'll try all the
combinations of the 4-pin DIP switch to guess at the code.
Interestingly, the problem will be compounded by not knowing which
of the dozen or so wall switches in the foyer actually operate the
There is also a cryptic switch with LEDs mounted at the front door,
which I will snap a photo of to ask if anyone recognizes what it is.
(It's hard to get photos off my phone and my camera busted.)
Will do and report back. But I will concentrate on the tall foyer fan
first, as this is the critical fan to get working.
The hint that the universal Emerson remote control has that 4-place
DIP switch is the key to running through the 16 frequencies, hoping one
of them will enervate the fan without me having to take it apart.
Correct. This is the only one that appears to be a Casablanca. You can
call their technical help line and ask them if a universal transmitter
will work with their W-52 receiver, but ultimately you will have to know
how the dip switches are set
Thanks for the tip.
I'll call Casablanca tomorrow:
They do have manuals here:
But, the only manual that had W52 in the name was this one:
I don't have any wall switches that look like that W52 unit though.
For the three fans in the ceiling, I don't mind dropping
them to access the remote unit.
Is that master remote unit in the smaller cap part of the fan
that is attached to the ceiling, or in the larger part of the
fan housing that is closer to the fan blades?
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