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Newb so be gentle. I installed a fan that doesn't seem to be wired for a separate fan and light switch at the wall, so I capped off the red wire from the ceiling at the fan, and installed the fan black/white/ground as per the instructions. (it comes with a remote to turn on the fan) The light works at the wall on both switches, but as expected, the fan doesn't.

I want to install a wall control that operates 3 fan speeds and the light dimmer at the wall, similar to the remote, but there are specific instructions with the wall control not to hook up the white/neutral wire to either black lead on the wall control. Wall control only has 2 black, one labelled for power, one labelled for fan, and a ground. Based on by knowledge of circuits, which is little, it seems like this wont complete the circuit, and expectedly, there is no power at the control when installed this way... or am i missing something? Is the red something else on a 3 way switch?

Right now there are 2, 2-gang switches on separate walls, each with a red, white, black, and ground running to them. They used to operate the fan and light separately.

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  • Can you post the full instructions for your fan control? – ThreePhaseEel Jan 20 at 21:47
  • When you say "3-way switch" do you mean a fan/light switch, or do you mean switches in 2 different locations that control the same thing? – Harper Jan 20 at 21:48
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Depending on the remote, it may just act as a disconnect for the fan/light (like to turn it off so the remote does not function. Does the remote switch have batteries?

  • thanks for the reply. no batteries. i think it just needs power to act like a remote, but without completing the circuit i dont know how. – Jeff S Jan 20 at 21:17
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Newb so be gentle. I installed a fan that doesn't seem to be wired for a separate fan and light switch at the wall, so I capped off the red wire from the ceiling at the fan, and installed the fan black/white/ground as per the instructions. (it comes with a remote to turn on the fan) The light works at the wall on both switches, but as expected, the fan doesn't.

So you have a 3-way setup, meaning either wall switch will turn on power to the fan controller. When you capped the red off at the ceiling, how was it connected before? Also, if the controller is hooked up as the instructions say, the fan should also work as the controller takes your power in and it splits to the desired function that is called for by the remote(needs batteries, just making sure). If one of the switches is on, it could be that the fan has a power-on state of light. If the light is on and batteries are good in the remote, try to activate the fan via the remote and also trigger the light on/off with the remote.

I want to install a wall control that operates 3 fan speeds and the light dimmer at the wall, similar to the remote, but there are specific instructions with the wall control not to hook up the white/neutral wire to either black lead on the wall control. Wall control only has 2 black, one labelled for power, one labelled for fan, and a ground. Based on by knowledge of circuits, which is little, it seems like this wont complete the circuit, and expectedly, there is no power at the control when installed this way... or am i missing something? Is the red something else on a 3 way switch?

A wall control such as you have, won't work in a 3-way setup. The wall control you have only cuts the power off, like a regular light switch. That is why it only has 2 black wires and a ground. It wouldn't matter what wire you hook to the black as that would only determine if the switch is "on" or "off" based on the how the switch is marked. And since it doesn't have the switched leg running to it (red wire), it won't work in the current setup.

Right now there are 2, 2-gang switches on separate walls, each with a red, white, black, and ground running to them. They used to operate the fan and light separately.

Did these operate them separately as in one switch operated the fan and one operated the light, or do you mean, you cold flip either switch and have power to the fan? As I suspect, you mean the latter. That's because you had a red wire as a switched leg. This means either switch is in the off position, or one switch is on and other off, and if the one is on, and the other is flipped, then they are both off. A 3-way switch won't have a designation of on/off because it would depend on the other switches position. How you want to wire it now, won't allow you to either 1) Use the new remote setup or 2)Use a 3-way switch. If you use the current 3-way setup as it is, then you have to leave one switch in the on position for the remote to actually be of use. If you want the wall switch to control dimmer and fan, then you need a wall switch that can accommodate that and must have a separate dimmer and switch with 3 terminals or wires plus ground. This is different than a 3-way switch.

  • So yes, each wall has 2 switches, one for the fan, one for the light. They operate independently. I am willing to lose the control on one wall, but still cant get the wall control to work. I have tried it with the other wall switches both on and off... no luck. I was going to cap the other switches so they dont get turned off, but may leave them. Would they both have to be in the "on" position for the wall control on the other wall to work? – Jeff S Jan 22 at 18:25
  • First, you need to find which switch(or if the fan box) the power comes in from the panel. Once you have this figured out, you can disconnect all wires from that switch, and the other switch, and the fan box. Wire only the fan box and the switch with the incoming power source. Leave the other switch disconnected.If things work, you can safely cap the unused wires and put a blank cover over the unused switch box. – Jeff Cates Jan 23 at 18:36

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