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Last night I switched a ceiling light fixture with a Ceiling Fan. Before it was just a light fixture and it was controlled from a switch on the wall; one of two switches on the same switch plate/panel (so a double switch). The two switches controlled two different ceiling light fixtures.

Now that the Ceiling Fan is in, one of the switches does nothing and the other controls both the Ceiling Fan and Light Fixture. I've tried researching the issue however my search terms always resulted in tutorials on how to have a Ceiling Fan with Lighting controlled by two separate Switches.

There were only three wires in the ceiling box; red, green, and white. The green is the ground ostensibly (given how it was connected). There is a remote control kit installed for the fan. The red and white cables are connected to corresponding red and white cables on the kit box; which in turn has three wires which connect to the actual Ceiling Fans wiring.

Any and all help appreciated. The unit is a Harbor Breeze (0152426). I strongly suspect the problem lies with the wiring for the wall switch unit. Some pics for clarity:

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Here is a picture of the switch with the panel off (original wiring); it is the switch on the left that does nothing and the one on the right which now turns on and off a ceiling light and a then the Ceiling Fan which itself was a ceiling light prior: enter image description here

Here is the wiring for the Ceiling Fan:

enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

  • You'll have to describe how you wired the fixture, including what color wires are in each box (fan and switch). – Tester101 Jul 26 '14 at 17:31
  • I only connected the Ceiling Fan; I didn't do any wiring for the switch itself. – Gedalya Jul 26 '14 at 18:08
  • What colored wires were in the box in the ceiling? How many were there? – user20127 Jul 26 '14 at 18:40
  • I'll open it back up and take photos. – Gedalya Jul 26 '14 at 18:45
  • Ok I added the pictures. – Gedalya Jul 26 '14 at 19:22
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Another thing that seriously needs to get corrected is the totally unacceptable workmanship of the wire attachment at the switches. The wire insulation should be right up at the screw head. The tail end of the wire should only extend out from under the screw heads by a very small amount.

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If this wiring was prepared by someone that you paid to do the work you should take proper recourse to get them back to correct this extremely shoddy work.

If you have no recourse then you owe it to yourself, for safety and peace of mind, to get this mess cleaned up.

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I suggest first off to take the remote control kit out of the installation to see if you can get the fan going without it. Once that is successful then re-attempt introducing the remote unit.

  • +1 Simple, elegant. (And I slap may forehead and say Doh!) – bib Jul 27 '14 at 20:20
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Based on your descriptions (the pictures are hard to read), there should be red and black wires in the ceiling box. It sounds like you should have tapped the fan's AC IN L into the black wire for the fan's switched hot line, but you tapped into the red instead. If that is the case, just switch the fan power line over to the black.

Be sure to leave the other reds in the box connected or you will lose power in the other fixture.

  • Ok; I will troubleshoot with this information. – Gedalya Jul 26 '14 at 19:54
  • Actually, there were only three wires in the ceiling box; red, green, and white. The green is the ground ostensibly (given how it was connected). I left out that there is a remote control kit installed for the fan. The red and white cables are connected to corresponding red and white cables on the kit box; which in turn has three wires which connect to the actual Ceiling Fans wiring. – Gedalya Jul 26 '14 at 19:58
  • Red is hot, and probably switched. Green is ground. White is neutral. If the old fixture went on and off with the left switch, there has to be another junction somewhere since the left switch only has black wires. Also, it is unusual for a fan that is using one hot line to the remote control to use a red instead of a black. The fan instructions don't mention the remote unit. Is there a separate model number for that remote receiver unit? – bib Jul 26 '14 at 20:11
  • The remote unit is from a kit; some it is unrelated to the actual product. Yes I can get the serial number. – Gedalya Jul 26 '14 at 20:13
  • The remote kit is also a Harbor Breeze; model: RCE-103LW – Gedalya Jul 26 '14 at 20:15
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Fan/light with no remote

  • Put everything back the way it was.

  • Connect the white from the fan/light to the white from the ceiling.

  • Connect the green/bare from the fan/light to the green/bare from the ceiling.

  • Connect the black and blue wires from the fan/light to the black or red wire from the ceiling that was connected to the black wire from the old fixture.

Fan/light with remote

  • Put everything back the way it was.

  • Connect the white wire from the ceiling to the white wire on the input side of the remote receiver.

  • Connect the green/bare wire from the ceiling to the green/bare wire on the input side of the remote receiver.

  • Connect the red or black wire from the ceiling to the black wire on the input side of the remote receiver.

  • Connect the white wire from the output side of the remote receiver to the white wire from the fan/light.

  • Connect the black wire from the output side of the remote receiver to the black wire from the fan/light.

  • Connect the blue wire from the output side of the remote receiver to the blue wire from the fan/light.

  • Connect the green/bare wire from the output side of the remote receiver to the green/bare wire from the fan/light. If there's no green/bare wire on the output side of the remote receiver, connect the green/bare wire from the fan/light to the green/bare wire from the ceiling.

With this setup, the remote will only work when the wall switch is in the ON position.

  • I tried this; it did not correct the problem. In fact the fan stopped working:) – Gedalya Jul 26 '14 at 23:50
  • Are you following the instructions that came with the fan/light? – Tester101 Jul 27 '14 at 2:05
  • Please see the edit to this answer. – Tester101 Jul 27 '14 at 12:24
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Remote receivers control the light and fan usually, it only gets one power source. Once installed only one switch will work. It sucks but that's how they are. You are bypassing the ability to control both functions from wall to the more "convenient" option of a remote. The switches are both use less at this point. Use the remote as the switch. My fan had same issue. They include a mount for remote to be placed over switch so u can control it from switch location and take remote when needed. The one switch that does work will only provide power to the receiver from now and will not turn on either function. So if u turn off light/fan, then if u turn back on from switch, nothing will happen until you click remote. If u want both switches, remove receiver and straight wire the fan to the wiring. I recommend something like a Berlin wemo switch that will allow you to control the actuall switch remotely to control the fan, but at 40-50 a piece its not worth it to use for both functions, caus you will need two.

Good luck

-Joby

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If you only have red green and white wired coming from the ceiling, that means it's only meant for one switch. The other switch may be for an outlet in the room. Sometimes an outlet is set to a switch so you can connect a lamp and control it from a wall switch; if this is the case you will not be able to control the light and fan separately except with a remote control.

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