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United States, California, house is built in the 90s.

I have a ceiling fan that says model number CF101H-60, 1.2A 120W.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Hampton-Bay-Industrial-60-in-Indoor-Outdoor-White-Ceiling-Fan-with-Wall-Control-52860/204507386

I'm planning to replace the wall switch controller, which is a 4-speed slider. The slider sometimes sparks when moved, and can be easily left between positions. I don't like it for obvious reasons. Also two of the 4 speed positions no longer work.

This is the replacement I plan to use, a Lutron fully variable rotary 5A. https://www.lowes.com/pd/Lutron-Rotary-Fully-Variable-5-Amp-White-Rotary-Fan-Control/3189379

The circuit breaker that this circuit is on is marked as 15A. As far as I can tell there are no other major loads on the circuit, and I'm not replacing the actual fan.

circuit breaker

circuit breaker

Two pictures of the same breaker. The lower one is for this circuit. Neither is very clear, sorry.

The wall position has a box as it should. There is a second, simple, switch in the box which appears to not be connected to anything (no outlets connected to that switch, I checked).

a) Is this an appropriate switch? It's not going to draw 5A, it's just rated for it, right?

b) Given the circuit breaker and the switches, is it possible to accidentally wire it such that it causes a fire? I don't mean wire hot-ground or hot-box, I mean like if the nuts come loose or cut through the wire too much or something.

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  • the linked product listing says it comes with a wall switch (which incorporates the speed control)
    – Jasen
    Jul 5 '21 at 5:03
  • The slider sometimes sparks when moved, and can be easily left between positions. I don't like it for obvious reasons. Also two of the 4 speed positions no longer work.
    – Satya
    Jul 6 '21 at 3:45
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There would be no reason to replace the breaker, they are designed to protect the wire, not the connected load. Those are SqD tandon breakers. Since you got the fan from a Big Box Store go to that store and get the correct speed control. You will then be safe, happy and only out a few more dollars. As far as loose wire nuts, etc I cannot answer because I do not know your experience or skill set. Put them on per the instructions and you should be just fine. Just a note, it states it is a 4 speed motor which are not normally designed to work with a variable speed control, but you should use a control that supports each of the 4 speeds. The dimmer style controls use phase control which slow down the motor by letting it increasing its "slip" which will cause it to get warmer. Some motors will fail with this type of control.

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  • Thanks, I was not intending to replace the breakers. Good point about the hot motor with phase control, that's good enough reason not to use this fan control.
    – Satya
    Jul 5 '21 at 0:45
  • You are Welcome!
    – Gil
    Jul 5 '21 at 1:45
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    most fan speed controls work by slip. the problem with using the wrong type of phase control is that the harmonics it produces cause extra heating in the motor but no mechanical work.
    – Jasen
    Jul 5 '21 at 5:06
  • Interesting, thanks Jasen. If I'd paid more attention in class all those... decades... ago.... :(
    – Satya
    Jul 6 '21 at 3:46

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