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#2107 - 06/23/01 10:37 AM Can you connect ceiling fan to 3-way traveler?  
clzander  Offline
Junior Member
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 2
I've got a light in my livingroom, connected to 3-way switches, that I've replaced with a ceiling fan with light. The ceiling fan/light has separate hot leads--one for the light, one for the fan--and a common neutral. Currently both hots are connected to the original 3-way outlet hot. The problem, obviously, is that when you shut off the switch, the entire unit shuts off. Since the fan also has pull-cords for both the light and fan, I'm wondering if it's acceptable to connect the light to the normal outlet hot, and the fan to the 3-way switch traveler? The theory would be that the wall switches would shut off the light, and the fan pull-cord would be used to shut off the fan.

My apologies if this is a ridiculous question, but I thought I'd better ask.

Thanks for your assistance.

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades

#2108 - 06/23/01 01:23 PM Re: Can you connect ceiling fan to 3-way traveler?  
sparky  Offline
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 5,311
we need a little more info to answer fully, specifically-does the 3-wire go from switch to switch ?

#2109 - 06/23/01 02:14 PM Re: Can you connect ceiling fan to 3-way traveler?  
clzander  Offline
Junior Member
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 2
Thanks for the help Sparky. No, I don't believe the three-wire goes switch-to-switch. The light is between the two switches. As such, I believe there's a separate three wire from each switch going to the fan (a feed goes to the first switch, a three-wire from it to the fan, and another three-wire from the fan to the next switch, with the last switch the end of that 'line'). At the junction box for the fan, the red wire from each three-wire is joined together to 'pass thru'.

If my description doesn't sound correct, please let me know and I'll more fully disassemble things to post a more accurate description.

Thanks again for the help!

#2110 - 06/23/01 02:29 PM Re: Can you connect ceiling fan to 3-way traveler?  

What we need to know is where the power comes into the circuit.

If it comes in at the fixture, just hook onto the hot there.

If it comes in at a switch, and you have just three conductors, then you are lacking one wire and if it is wired correctly, there is no one traveler that is always hot. You need four conductors from the switch to the fixture.

#2111 - 06/23/01 02:48 PM Re: Can you connect ceiling fan to 3-way traveler?  
njelectricmaster  Offline
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 109
Lead, South Dakota
I have a sugestion that may or may not work, but here it is.

If you have power at the first switch, with a 3-wire (black, white, red, and bare ground)going out to the light-- you can get a fan/light combo controler and have the red wire control the light and black wire control the fan, with the white as a common and the ground as ground. This will make the second switch useless, so if you need the light to come on in two places it won't work. If this will work for you, make sure you disconnect the other 3-wire in the light box that goes to the second switch.

Jon Niemeyer

#2112 - 06/23/01 03:10 PM Re: Can you connect ceiling fan to 3-way traveler?  
sparky  Offline
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 5,311
ok we have
Power Feed 2-wire > S3 switch > 3 wire to cieling > 3 wire from cieling to last S3


If this is so, then there is only so much you can do by conventional means, being that you would like to retain the two switches AND have a constant hot available for the fan's pullcahin switch.

One unconventional scenario could be to install Lightolier Digital Dimmers 1-800-526-2731
p/n 85-0969B

These operate by sending a 'signal' as oposed to switching from traveler to traveler, the configuration you have can feed both locations ( thereby gaining a constant hot & nuetral @ the cieling location for the fan) and utilize the red as said signaler bettween the two switches.

The only other option are the remote controlled fan/lights, which would basically need the availability of the 'controller'
( looks like the TV channel remote) to be readily avaliable at both S3 locations
( dip switches would need to match up)

[Linked Image]

#2113 - 06/24/01 10:00 AM Re: Can you connect ceiling fan to 3-way traveler?  
C.Urch  Offline
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 36
Kill Devil Hills, NC USA
If you have a 3 wire going from switch to switch with an additional 3 wire going to the fan/light, you would be able to switch them separately by installing a stack switch. If you have a 3 wire going from one 3 way to the fan/light box and from there, 3 wire going to the other 3 way, I don't believe you can. If the latter is the case, your neutral from the feed would be sent up to the fan/light on the white wire of the 3 wire using black and red for travelers. On the other end, your traveler colors would change in the fan/light box to white and red using the black of that 3 wire for the common on the other 3 way switch (switch leg).I believe that if you tie into one of the travelers at the fan/light for the light on the fan, you would not be able to use the fan and light at the same time. Posters, please correct me if I'm wrong.

#2114 - 06/24/01 12:47 PM Re: Can you connect ceiling fan to 3-way traveler?  
sparky  Offline
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 5,311
i believe Chris has the second scenario you described

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