I have an IRIS home automation system. I want to put my fan on an IRIS switch however the on/off switches require a neutral - the dimmers do not. The neutral in the box is nearly impossible to get to... so my thoughts were to just use a dimmer but only run it at 100%. I understand its not a good idea to change the speed of a fan using a dimmer. Considering I have no desire to change the speed with the dimmer and plan on running it at 100%... is this safe?

This is the dimmer

The specs

Dimmer or Fan Control           Dimmer
Dimmer and Fan Control Type     Other
Remote Control Included         No
Amps (Amps)                     15.0
Voltage (Volts)                 120.0
Wall Plate Included             No
Color                           White
Color/Finish Family             White
RFI Filter                      Yes
Fan Speed                       N/A
Controller/Dimmer Wattage       600
Phase Type                      Single phase (120/240)
UL Safety Listing               Yes
CSA Safety Listing              No
ETL Safety Listing              No
Collection Name                 Iris
Iris Technology                 Yes
  • In the most ghetto since yes. But I wouldn't count on fan lasting as long.
    – DMoore
    Commented Mar 4, 2014 at 20:53
  • 1
    Most likely this switch sends a low level voltage through the switched device even when the power is off (which is confirmed by reviews of LED's flickering when the switch is off). I don't have enough knowledge to say that would be bad for a fan, but running a switch with a dedicated neutral for the smart components would be the better option IMO.
    – BMitch
    Commented Mar 4, 2014 at 21:43

1 Answer 1


Speaking from experience with the X10 equivalent, no. Even with the switch at 100%, the switch will overheat. You need a switch with a relay. Do it right or not at all; it's not worth burning your house down over.

  • OK so lets say I use a switch instead... can I just tie the neutral on the switch to the ground wire? I think its just there to help with the zwave.
    – AlanL
    Commented Mar 5, 2014 at 17:41
  • No. While it might work, it is not safe.
    – longneck
    Commented Mar 5, 2014 at 17:43
  • longneck is right. My comment was written before you showed what type of dimmer it was. My comment was for the old-standard dumb dimmers. Which I did have hooked up to a fan and said fan's motor went out after 8 months.
    – DMoore
    Commented Mar 5, 2014 at 22:44

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