I have a woodburning insert (like a wood burning stove) that has a fan. The cord for the fan is a 3 prong plug. Is anyone aware of an outlet that also dims? I have an appliance outlet, but it’s only on/off. I’d like to use the dimming to control the speed of the fan. When we watch TV, it needs to be slower so we can hear the tv.
Dimmers only intended for use with lights intentionally don’t have the third prong hole because variable speed motors, like fans, almost always have the third prong and it’s specifically to keep you from trying to use the two together. As already mentioned, the physics are just different and you can burn out the fan, the switch, or both.
(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy)
Not to dispute the official and common recommendations and physics, but anecdotally… I personally ran a bathroom light + exhaust fan combo on a single dimmer switch (designed for lighting only) for about 4 or 5 years with no damage to the fan nor the dimmer switch. The light would dim and the fan speed would slow as expected. I didn’t really need to control the fan speed, but they were on the same circuit, so it was the only way I could dim the light at the time.
Perhaps it was just a high quality dimmer. I don’t know if it had any special properties.
It has nothing to do with the quality of the dimmer. The physics are different. ( it has nothing to do with networked devices either.) You were just lucky. It happens. Not everyone who smokes cigarettes gets cancer. But it would be foolish to think that because one person didn’t, that makes it safe.
Read the specs on any device you are considering using. If it doesn’t say it can handle a variable speed motor, don’t use it with one.