I have two large 72" ceiling fans on our lanai that operate on one wall switch. The fans don't appear to be running on their top speed, even set on high. Could this be because they are on the same wire and shouldn't be or could it be the switch itself? This was a new house and the wiring was specified for two fans.

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    If the the house wiring is to code, it would not limit the current to two fans. – Jim Stewart Sep 26 '18 at 22:35
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    What makes you say they aren't operating at top speed? – mike65535 Sep 26 '18 at 23:08
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    A 72" fan at "top speed" may appear to be "slow" compared to a smaller diameter fan at "top speed." Beyond that, it's difficult to say without more detail, as there are many different control schemes and switch arrangements; some would be fine with a single switch, others would want a switch per fan - but it's unlikely that the fans use so much power that a separate circuit would be called for. I'd check with the folks that built and/or wired the house as it's new construction. Or check the fan documentation, that they should have left for you, as it's new construction. – Ecnerwal Sep 26 '18 at 23:53
  • What kind of switch? Dimmer, toggle, wifi? – Jeff Cates Sep 27 '18 at 1:38
  • I'll add that outdoor ceiling fans can often appear to move less air than one inside. If you're not right under it, you may not feel a thing. In an open space, the forced air escapes on the ground and does not circulate as it does in an enclosed room. – Gary Bak Sep 27 '18 at 12:05

If installed by an inexperienced do-it-yourselfer*, they may have wired the fans in SERIES, instead of in parallel as they should have been. That would make the fans divide the voltage between them, in effect giving each one half of the voltage it was designed for. Many ceiling fans are designed to operate from dimmers, so reducing the voltage to them is allowable and is how your reduce their speed. So it would not harm the fans, it would just not allow them to run at their designed maximum speed.

  • This could have been done on purpose by the way, thinking that full speed was too much for the space anyway. I've seen that done at restaurants so that customers or workers cannot turn the fans up to full speed and make a mess.
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  • I believe this is the issue. I'm going to check with an electrician. – Holly Reynolds Oct 7 '18 at 19:45

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