I have a GE 12727 toggle switch I’m looking at installing to turn the ceiling fan on and off. The ceiling fan light is on a separate switch. Can I just install the GE 12727 to control the ceiling fan part and leave the normal switch to control the ceiling fan light or do I need to change the switch for the ceiling fan light also?
Wouldn’t you want to control and automate both the fan and light, especially since you have separate switches for each? That’s an ideal situation for the 12727 to control the lights, and then a 12730 fan controller for on/off/speed control.
I would think that depends on how it is wired. For my fans with lights I have 12 gauge Romex to the fixture, this would be my power or live feed, black, white, ground. The white splits to the fan motor circuit and light circuit, ground to the fixture (light and motor). The black at the fixture is connected to two wires that go to switches in the wall and then back to the light and motor.
So in the switch box I do not have a neutral or ground, just live (power) and load lines.
If you are lucky, your power will go to the switch box(es) first and then on to the fixture. This would give you power, load, neutral, and ground in the switch box.
I agree with John, would you not want to remote control the light and adjust the speed of the fan too?
We do not really use the light on the ceiling fan. We have other lights in the living room which are used. I have those on controllers.
If there is not a neutral in the box, is it still possible or am I looking at a bigger job?
Got it, then I’d use the 12730 for the fan. Just make sure you get the wiring right.
Yeah I was lucky @timlange3. Our home is fairly new, and all our fans in all the room were wired like that.
Without a neutral you will not have power to the controller so it would not work. Best to look before you try to do something. Code and best practices are not always followed in every instance. I just opened a three switch box planning to change one to a smart switch, two of my three switches have three black wires going to them, daisy chaining all three. I figured it out and know I will have to add some more wire to split stuff instead of a daisy chain. I have decided an electrician should do it instead (him 10 minutes, me 3 hours), and I will have peace of mind.
Yeah, Tim’s right. That switch requires a neutral. There are some switches available that do not require a neutral. Some are mentioned in this thread:
Just make sure they are rated to handle the fan motor.
I’m sure it is possible to have a switch not use a neutral, but that would mean power (at a low level) is always going through the fixture. If you are using normal incandescent (or even CFLs) the power level may not be enough to light them yet still power the smartswitch. But an LED light may actually be lit with such a switch. I have an old switch with a neon bulb in the switch so you can find it in the dark. Was no issue until we put a LED in the lamp the switch controls. Enough power to light the neon light also was enough to make the LED glow dim. If this switch were to control a motor, such as a fan, I would expect the motor to get warm and may even turn very slowly.
I was lucky. There was a neutral wire in the gang box. Have the switch hooked up and working great. I appreciate all the info and help with this. I am slowly learning.
That’s great to hear. I have 4 of these switches on my fans. There is something to be said for the other switches that can also automate fan speed but when my fans are on they are always on medium so I just didn’t need that.
Now if you have a ST device that reports temp, look in the marketplace at smartapps, you can use “Virtual Thermostat” to turn your fan on and off when your home goes above or below the temp you set in the app. I use this and I’m really happy with the result. It’s nice to have my bedroom fan shut off when it’s get cool at night instead of me having to get out of the bed to do it.