GE Fan Controller not working

Ok, been reading a lot of posts and cannot find one dealing with this issue.

In the kitchen/dinette combo room I have a triple gang box with one switch handling the kitchen can lights, one switch handling the lights on the fan and one switch handling the on/off of the fan blades.

There are two separate switches to control the fan. (light and fan) Each of these switches has there own load and a line wire.
I added the needed common jumper.
The fan is a Hampton Bay 3 speed controlled with a pull chain. The original wall switch just controlled on/off.

I am using a Smartthings V2 Hub.

When I hooked up the GE fan controller the blue ED did not light. The GE smart dimmer switches for the fan’s lights and the kitchen lights work perfectly.

I was even able to determine and set the fan to it’s high speed setting when trying the GE fan controller.

The blue LED never lit and the fan never turned on. I also tried two different fan controllers to be sure the one wasn’t bad.

Is there a trick to wiring the fan controller? Does it work with a mechanical 3-speed fan? (meaning the speed is controlled by the pull cord only). Should I just get a GE smart on/off switch?

I also notice there is NO “fan controller” option in the ST’s app to add the unit manually? What is the correct “thing” to select to manually add the fan controller? I tried using the GE Smart in wall dimmer (z-wave) and the GE on’off switch (z-wave). No luck using either.

And to just confirm. I was able to add no problem (well it took a few minutes for the hub to find the switches) the GE smart dimmers for the lights. So the hub was close enough. The troubling thing is that the led in the fan controller did not turn on. I also confirmed the system was hot and had power going to it and when I re-installed the original switch the fan worked as normal.

You should install it the same as the other switches. If the device won’t pair and the LED is not on, this would indicate the switch does not have power. Check that the line and/or neutral wires are properly connected. If they are you may have a bad switch.

Unfortunately there is no default handler specifically for fan controllers. What will be used by default is the Z-Wave Dimmer DTH. Since fan controllers work by stepping Off/Low/Med/High you will not see speed changes until you hit the next ‘tier’. There are many community DTHs that have Low/Med/High options instead of percentages.

Everything I read says that what you say is true and that the switch should work. I confirmed the line has power and re-installed the original switch and the fan works fine. I also tried a second fan controller as I have five fans to try convert. I had to add a ‘common’ wire jumper and have checked the connection repeatedly. The common wire jumpers I added for the other two switches in the same gang box work fine.

I have found a DH and will add that to my apps.

Is there an issue because the fan uses a “mechanical” switch with the pull chain to change speed? I did confirm that the switch was in its on and highest position when installing the switch.

Seems odd to me that you would connect two fan switches and neither would light up. That sounds to me like a wiring issue. As I see it, there could be two different wiring issues. Either the neutral jumper is not being connected correctly or the line and load are being reversed when connected to the smart switch.

So were you able to get the switch added to Smartthings or not? If it didn’t add to ST and it won’t work manually, i’d say wiring. Jump the line from your dimmer to your fan switch and try that. That way you know you have a reliable line connection.

I’ll try switching the line and load. But It seems pretty clear which is which. The electricians who installed the original wiring seemed to have done a pretty good job. I’m also going to re-do the jumper again. Because of the mass of wires I actually grouped the 3 switches with a jumper lead together, then had the jumper go over to the bundle of 5 common leads grouped into the box. So I jumped one bundle to another to avoid having too many leads in one wire nut. In this set up the two other switches work fine.

I guess as Long as everyone is sure that the fan controller should work with a 3 speed fan switched with a pull chain I’ll keep beating on it.

I’ll try that. Should have thought about jumping all the common wires from switch to switch. Would save a lot of extra wire in the gang box. Unless there is an issue with daisy chaining the ‘common’ connection from one switch to another to another then to the common bundle.

As long as everything is on the same circuit, daisy chaining is fine.

Do you have a volt meter or non contact tester?

Would be easy to tell if the wire you think is line is actually line (hot) with a non contact tester.

Would help eliminate guessing which wire is line.

Just my opinion

Yes I do and yes I did.
Which is why I’m so stumped because I’m sure they are in the correct order.
I can even tell when the fan is supposed to be running by the current draw.
The only way things could be going wonky is if the electrician ran the line lead back from the light and what appears as the return line is actually the line lead.

Wiring this up in a friends house and I can say that the electrician’s in her house did do a better job than in mine. I have found these switches to be a bit finicky to get to work, but that they do eventually work

Stupid suggestion, but is the fan on high with the old pull chain ? The wall switch can not turn on the fan, if the fan is not actually on.
I’ve got 4 of the GE fan control dimmers , hooked up just like you in double and triple gang boxes for ceiling light/fan combos and have never had any problems. I don’t even bother installing the pull chains on the fans. Hook them up, use the little 2inch chain to put them on high and then just control them with the wall dimmer. It is nice option to not be limited to low/med/high. I can set them anywhere between 1-100.

Thought of that and confirmed the fan pulls chains had the fan in the “on” and “high” position. The real symptom is that the blue LED is not going on, so when that happens it is my understanding that the switch isn’t “on” or active. The only thing I have left to d really is reverse the load/line wires. Which would mean there was some crazy wiring done when the fixture was originally installed. But not the first time I’ve found that to be the case.

Soooo what happens or happened if you already tried it.

If you use the line (hot) from the light circuit (since their beside each other, and the light works) to power the fan switch with NO LOAD connected but neutral connected to all the other neutrals? Use spare hole on light switch for line and neutral to jumper it over to the fan switch. Does the LED come on?

If it does then I would suspect as you already do that their is something in the light box that is not correct to wire the switch in the wall box like your trying. You might have to open up the fan wiring and check to be sure or rewire it to accept the smart switches new wiring requirements.

I’ve seen some electricians wire it so fan switch only worked when light switch is turn on. Never made sense to do it that way, since I am much more likely to only want the fan on than to want the light on.
No LED on switch does hint to it not getting power, but I have seen switches with bad LEDs so it is not a guaranty that is the problem. I dio agree with switching the line in wire from light switch that is working to the fan switch.

I just rewired my house that I purchased a 2 months ago, Installed 3 of these switches the same way with a GE smart dimmer for lights and a GE smart fan control for obviously the fan. I used 1 fan control switch on a Hampton bay that works perfectly fine, and on the other 2 fan controls I installed 2 hunter fans. They are all wired the same exact way but the 2 hunters don’t work. the blue leds don’t light up which claims something wired wrong but worked on the Hampton Bay Tried everything I can think of with no success.

Also once you have the LED working (assuming using light line fixes it) you can put your meter on the load line to see if the switch is actually putting an output on the load line.

If I remember when I wired mine. The line wires for both switches were connected to the line from the breaker (in the switch box). The romex going to the fan / light in overhead had the red wire hooked to the light switch (load side), black hooked to the fan switch (load side). then all the neutrals bundled / jumper-ed together.

Of course the load wires could be different depending on how you wire it in the overhead.

I would suspect the fans, or the wiring in the overhead.

Does the fan indeed have 2 separate wires coming out of it? One for light one for fan? It was a pain but I took down all of my fans enough to be able to make sure the wires were connected and going where I thought they should.

I’ll check. Really didn’t want to pull the fan. It is a pain in the tuckus. But there are actually 4 wires in the gangbox. So it looks like they ran 14/3 up to the fan twice. Or my fear is that they ran it UP to the fan once, then back DOWN to the box.

Have you checked the air gap tabs on the switches to be sure they are pushed in all the way?

A couple of other quick tests you can do:

Put a couple of inches of straight wire into the Line/Neutral positions on the switch, then strip some off the other ends and stick them into a wall socket, neutral in the big blade slot, hot in the small blade slot. Be careful not to touch any of the exposed copper or the screw terminals on the switch of course. If your LED lights up on the switch, then the switch is good.

Get your multimeter and test voltage across the hot and neutral wires that you’re attaching to your switch in the switch box and make sure you have 110V across them. Also check your hot-to-ground voltage (should be 110V) and your neutral-to-ground voltage (should be 0). For S&G, also test your load-to-neutral and load-to-line voltages to see if maybe there’s voltage somewhere there shouldn’t be.

You should be able to touch your Line and Load wires together too and have the fan turn on.

There’s not a lot of possible failure points here, it’s just 3 wires and two devices, should be fairly easy to track down what the problem is. Just test/validate each component separately.

Sounds like the neutral isn’t connected or connected properly. Won’t power on without it. Take a photo of the wiring.