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I currently have a standard three way switch: 14/2 source -> three way switch -> 14/3 wire -> three way switch -> lights. I would like to add a ceiling fan. I have room and access in the box with the 14/2 source. I can easily wire the fan to a simple switch and then control lights and motor with the ceiling fan chains.
I would like to have the motor on the single switch and the lighting from my three way circuit. I can run 14/3 to my fan, but I don't see any possible way to provide power for the lights from the 14/2 supply box. Is there a way? My other option is power to the motor from the 14/2 supply box using a simple switch then run a second line from an existing light to the fan. The idea of running two 14/2 romex lines to single fan seems wrong to me though.

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    What make and model of fan+light kit are you using? Also, are you opposed to using something more sophisticated than a simple switch for fan and/or light control, and how able are you to replace existing cabling in the walls? – ThreePhaseEel Dec 19 '17 at 2:19
  • I can't see myself pulling 14/4 to the far switch, so I think you are right a duel motor/light control switch should work. It's not a huge deal to have two switches to turn on all the lights. – Spencer Easton Dec 19 '17 at 4:05
  • Can you run a 14/2 from the new fan/light location to the existing light fixtures? – ThreePhaseEel Dec 19 '17 at 4:21
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You could replace the 14/3wG between the two three-way switches with a 14/4wG cable, and use the fourth conductor to carry the switched-hot back to the 14/2 supply box, where you would connect it to the fan light wire.

This is more labor than your other plan, to connect the fan light directly to the existing light, but it will be a lot less confusing to any future electrician or handyman who has to deal with the circuit.

  • "...any future electrician or handyman..." Which might be you, years later. – A. I. Breveleri Dec 19 '17 at 3:46
  • That does seem to be my only option to have the lights all switch together. I'm still assuming that powering the fan from two locations is probably a bad idea. I think I'm going to go with a lesser option and install a duel control motor/light switch. Thanks – Spencer Easton Dec 19 '17 at 4:07
  • @SpencerEaston -- there's a better way to do this actually, if you're willing to plunk down a bit on the right parts – ThreePhaseEel Dec 19 '17 at 4:21
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Making your controls slightly smarter and more capable makes this an easier job.

While not being able to re-run the cable between the two light switches sounds like a problem, it really isn't. Certain fan speed controller/dimmer combinations that rely on a communicating canopy module, such as the Lutron MA-LFQ35M + CM-L300FQ1 combination with a Lutron MA-ALFQ35 accessory control, can provide you with three-way control of both the fan and the lights with only a single additional 14/2 run beyond what you have planned: namely, from the new fan box to the existing light boxes.

You'd wire the MA-LFQ35M at your existing line-side switch box with an "old style" 3-way loop to the MA-ALFQ35 at the existing load-side box. From the line-side switch box, you'd run a new 14/2 to the fan location, where the CM-L300FQ1 is installed. The light output from the CM-L300FQ1 would then be tapped with another 14/2 that feeds the existing light fixtures. This would require abandoning the existing 14/2 from the existing load-side switch box to the existing light fixtures, but this is a small price to pay to get full multi-way, multi-speed control of the fan as well as multi-way light dimming.

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It is OK to run two different cables to the fan as long as they are on the same circuit. Another option is to install a stack switch in place of the single pole switch. Now you have two switches (plus the other 3-way) to turn on all the lights and one switch for the fan.

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You can do it without pulling any wires

Use smart switches.

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Uses the existing cables. New/moved wires are drawn THICK. I also "mark wires with colored tape" to designate their function when it isn't the natural wire color:

  • Gray - neutral
  • Black - always hot
  • Red - Switched-hot for lamp
  • Blue - switched-hot for fan

Put the master switch at the left location in the 3-way pair. The remote goes onto the right location. The 14/3 between them, the messengers get new jobs: black to be always hot to the remote smart switch, red to be switched hot to the lamp - and notice that's carried right past the remote smart switch, without that ever touching it. Now the lamp control is at the left switch and you're all set.

We're not a "shop for me" site, but you would need smart switches that communicate via power-line signaling or wireless, like a variety of HomeKit, WeMo or Insteon switches. There are no spare wires available for signaling.

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