Help with adding a switch


(Byron Saxon) #1

I have recently moved and the bedroom I now live in only has one switch for the ceiling fan with lights. I have a GE Zwave dimmer switch for both the lights and the fan. The problem is I cant just buy a new fan and run a wire to add the other switch because there is no access to the attic. I would like to be able to control the lights and the fan separately but outside of running a new wire across the roof of the room I don’t know what to do. Can anyone help me?


(Don) #2

I don’t think your supposed to use the GE dimmer switch to control a ceiling fan.

Maybe this set up in this thread will work for you.


#3

If you only have 1 switch controlling both the fan and the lights that means there is only 1 line running to the fixture. The fixture itself will have two separate load wires though. 1 for the lights and one for the fans. They will both likely be tied into the single line using a wire cap. This will be located within the canopy of the fan (the part that looks like a bowl against the ceiling).

You could try installing a micro switch at the point where the single line joins the 2 loads (fan and lights) in the canopy. That should give you separate control.

You could then install a switch like the evolve wireless switch. Expand your current switch gang box to a double, piggyback off the line and neutral to power the new switch. Then set up a rule that if this switch is turned on it turns on the micro switch that connects to the fan.


(Mark) #4

I 2nd what @TN_Oldman suggested. You need a wireless receiver in your ceiling fan canopy to control both lights and fan (these have existed for a long time with control by a local remote that usually uses a different RF frequency). Thankfully there is now a receiver that works locally via RF, and also has a zigbee module so it can be controlled by ST with the community device handler linked above.

Edit: he’s also right about the dimmer. If you use a dimmer intended for light bulbs to control the speed with most fans, you could burn out the motor (or worse :scream:).


(Byron Saxon) #5

That is the link to the fan controller I have.

I have thought about the micro-switches in the fan canopy but I wasn’t sure if the fan would turn on when the in-wall switch is set to off.


#6

It wouldn’t if the switch is off. You could bypass the switch and connect the line directly to the load, use a micro in the canopy, and two of the evolve wireless switches.


(Don) #7

If it was me, I would go the new method I linked to above.

I have 1 ceiling fan / light combo done the “old way” I have a GE switch controlling the light and a GE fan switch crammed into the fan shroud / box.

Some day I hope to redo mine to the new method.


(Mark) #8

At the risk of sounding repetitive, I’m with @TN_Oldman, again.

I really think you’re overthinking this. Long before ST existed there were in-canopy wireless receivers that allowed for independent control of fan and light with a remote control when you only have one wall switch. Now there is a manufacturer of such a receiver that also added a zigbee radio. So it can be controlled via ST thanks to a community-developed device handler.


(Don) #9

Another option is to use the fan controller you have in the wall and power the fan from it.

Then in the overhead install a micro to control the lights.

All of this is dependent if your setup has the fan and light power wires seperate. Some fans have only 1 power wire going into it. Also would require some rewiring and finding a line and neutral for the micro in the overhead.

This would allow control of the fan from the wall. The light would only be controllable through smart things or another non load controlling type of smart switch through smart things. This is how my setup I described before is except the rolls are switched. My light switch is on the wall and fan switch is stuffed in the shroud. So I have to tell Alexa to turn on my fan.