I wired our bonus room to include a 14/3 wire from switch to fixture with the assumption that I could hook up an "infinite" speed control fan. Come to find out that most if not all ceiling fans do not recommend this approach because it could burn out the motor or is otherwise a fire hazard? I don't get this. Our previous home had a variable speed dial to control the speed and I was hoping not to have to use those stupid remotes that run out of batteries or otherwise get lost. Certainly I could just replace the switch with a pole one and use a remote, but I was just wondering if I should proceed with my original idea or just default to the remote option?


You should not use a dimmer that is designed to control lighting, as that can cause problems. Instead, you should use a fan speed control device, that is specifically designed to control a ceiling fan. You'll also want to make sure the control you're using, is rated for the maximum current draw of the fan you're using.

There's no real difference between the in wall speed control, and a remote speed control module. Both devices control the speed of the fan, external to the fan itself. The only difference is where the device is located (wall box vs. ceiling box).

  • Just wanted to add that fan speed controls are different because they start at full voltage and reduce down, whereas regular dimmers start out with greatly reduced voltage and increase. Regular dimmers will make the motor have a shorter life-span because motors need to start out in full power. Also, regarding maximum current draw, if you don't know or can't figure this out, most fans are 25-75W. +tester Apr 13 '16 at 15:44
  • I have something along the lines of this: dual switch Are these a bad idea in general?
    – saigafreak
    Apr 13 '16 at 17:17
  • @saigafreak that should be fine, as long as the fan is less than 1.5 amperes. The fan switch likely has 2 to 3 presets, as well as an off position.
    – Tester101
    Apr 13 '16 at 19:03

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