Installed a GE Fan controller in a box and had it control an outlet outlet and plugged a portable fan in the outlet. Basically wanted to have speed control over the portable fan via the app.
So far I have killed two fans, one was an expensive Vornado the second one was a cheap Honeywell. Both were 3-speed fans, with a mechanical switch for selecting the speed (low, med, high);
It took almost a year for each of the fans to die. At first they would take longer and longer to start-up and then they eventually stopped working. And once the symptoms developed they behaviour was same whether connected through the GE fan controller or directly in wall.
BTW I have 3 other switches controlling ceiling fans and they have been going great for 3+ years.
Anyway now that I have learnt this expensive lesson - wondering if there is someone here who has an Electrical Engineering background who can explain:
- Why did those fans stopped working? i.e. why was I wrong to use the controller, (really looking for a hard-core EE explanation, not because “it says so on the box.”)
- is there something that can be done to fix them?
- Is there a way to internally rewire an off the shelf multi-speed portable fan so it behaves like a ceiling fan from an electrical perspective and use these controllers>