16.09.2013

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Author: admin  //  Category: Quiet Ceiling Fan


Attaching a Ceiling Fan - How to Install a Light Fixture or Fan - Home & Residential Wiring.
Although a ceiling fan is a complex fixture with lots of parts, each step of installation is fairly simple.
Carefully lift the assembled fan and hook the ball-like end of the downrod into the mounting bracket. In this arrangement a standard single-pole switch turns the fan and the light on and off at the same time.
If you installed a fan only, with no light kit, a push-button fan control operates the fan at different speeds. A two-wire cable brings power to the switch and three-wire cable runs from the switch to the fixture box. Some manufacturers (Hunter for example) now recommend the fan mounting plate be screwed directly into the joist. Three simple projects to cross off of your to-do list -- just print these instructions and begin! Even if you are experienced in working with household electricity, the disclaimer at the top of this web page contains important notes about the information in this document, so please read it if you have not already done so. This web page describes repairs made to a ceiling fan with a pull-chain speed control switch.
Ceiling fans with pull chains typically include a speed control switch, a direction switch, and a capacitor. The information in this document is based on my experience fixing a ceiling fan with a 3-speed (plus off) switch and a 5-wire capacitor. In the lower hub of the ceiling fan where the capacitor and switches are located, several wires come down from higher in the fan. The black wires on the diagram are connected to the black wire that comes down from higher in the fan.
After completing the repair, I noticed than when switching from medium speed to high speed there is sometimes a slight audible "pop" suggesting sparking inside the switch. Before disconnecting any wires, make sure you write down what the original connections are. If you do not know the pattern of the original switch and cannot find any information on it, you might consider disassembling the switch (after removing it from the fan, obviously) to see if you can determine the contact pattern. If you cannot determine the pattern of your original switch or are unsuccessful working from the original pattern, a more in-depth approach is required. Most likely a capacitor needs to be in series between the incoming power and the motor winding.
You also need to know the internal configuration of your capacitor, since ceiling fan capacitors often contain multiple capacitors in one package. Once you know the internals of your capacitor block, you need to figure out a switch wiring that will create the desired combinations of capacitors. Note that all this experimentation with wire positions is done on paper, not with the actual wires. Push the canopy against the ceiling and secure it to the mounting bracket with the provided setscrews. With more expensive ceiling fans, switches are available that have separate controls for the fan and the light, though they require only two-wire cable. A common problem with these switches is that the pull chain can break off inside the switch. Unfortunately, there is no agreement among manufacturers about how to configure these components. However, I have also included some information on how to apply these concepts to the general case, so this information may be helpful even if you have a different type of capacitor or switch.


A fan capacitor with more than two wires will probably contain multiple capacitors in one block.
Basically this arrangement puts the input power through a capacitor and then into one of the motor windings. The black wire from the fan originally branched into two, but it was necessary to add a third to work with this switch.
If you know which contacts the switch connects in each speed position, then you can determine by inspection which wires get connected for each speed setting. In the case of my fan, as described in the previous paragraph, this means connecting a capacitor in series between the black and gray wires. If you do not know the internal configuration of your capacitor, you could make measurements to discover it.
Since you are replaceing all the arms as a set, style is not that important, but we will attempt to match your style.
Splice the switch light lead to the hot wire from the lamp and the switch fan lead to the hot wire from the fan. Unfortunately, there are many types of fan switches and it is very difficult to find the right replacement. First, increasing the capacitance in series with the coil will typically increase the fan speed. IMPORTANT: Keep in mind that this wiring is for a particular switch type and a particular fan. Then it is just a matter of finding a way to wire your new switch to replicate those connection patterns. The speed switch will also be involved of course, since it will determine which capacitor(s) are connected between the black and gray wires. Important: Remember when working with capacitors that they can store a charge even when not connected to anything.
However, please know that I cannot provide simple "this color wire goes here" responses to your questions about your particular fan. However, it may be possible to use a different type of replacement switch with modified wiring. The capacitors come in even more variations, including different numbers of wires, different wire colors, and different capacitance values. So, even if you are using a different type of fan, please read all the sections because they will help you understand how to figure out your particular ceiling fan. In this regard, note that a short (direct wire, no capacitor) is like an infinite capacitor (for AC power only, not DC). If you cannot get a replacement, or would rather just try to use whatever switch you can find at a local store, the following information may be helpful. For example, if you know that blue and black connect to make high and orange and black connect to make medium (just for example), then you would try to find a way to wire your new switch to make those same connections when you pull the chain.
Next I decided to use the 5 µF capacitor that is accessible through the green wire on the capacitor block. To check your wiring on paper, carefully trace out what the circuit will be for each switch position. The other gray capacitor wire twists together with the gray wire coming from the direction switch. Discharge the capacitor safely and verify that it is discharged (using a volt meter perhaps) before touching the leads with your hands.
Note that the two 5 µF capacitors are in parallel with each other and this combination is in series between the black wire and the motor. The red capacitor wire twists together with the red wire that comes down from higher in the ceiling fan.


Remember that the gray wires from the capacitor are connected internally to the other end of the capacitors that are on the green, brown, and red wires (see capacitor internals diagram above). Even in a good picture it may be very difficult to read labels engraved or stamped on plastic parts. The approach I took was to measure the capacitance between each possible pair of wires and then draw a diagram. Also, one of the gray wires from the capacitor goes to the gray wire from the direction switch, and from there to the motor.
So, for example, it starts by connecting L and 1 on the top deck and, separately, L and 1 on the middle deck. Then verify your design by looking at your diagram and thinking about which wires the switch will connect in each position. What I am describing here is just the logical process I followed for determining what these wires are. So now I have 5 µF in series between black and gray when the switch is in position L-1.
After discharging the capacitor, it may be wise to check with a volt meter to make sure no charge remains between any pair of leads. On the next pull it connects 1 and 2, then 2 and 3, then 3 and L, and finally back to L and 1. The red wire from the fan was connected directly to the red wire on the capacitor, so I left it that way. I found that the black wire is apparently hot (as usual), and the white is neutral (as usual). If you cannot find the internal configuration of your capacitor, another approach would be to consider obtaining a new capacitor whose internals you do know.
I needed black to connect with this in switch position 1-2, so I added another black on contact 2 on the middle deck. On the top of the direction switch, the yellow is on the right side of the switch and the pink is on the left. At the same time, I wanted black and brown connected on the top deck so that I would have the two capacitors in parallel.
YOU MUST TURN OFF THE CIRCUIT THE FAN IS ATTACHED TO AND VERIFY THAT THE FAN IS NOT RECEIVING POWER.
In the middle of the direction switch, the white wire comes into the left side and a gray wire is on the right side. By flipping the order of the yellow and pink wires (by moving the direction switch), the rotation direction of the ceiling fan is reversed. Since white (neutral) is on the left, the gray wire on the right seems to be the wire through which power is supplied to the motor winding. Now when the switch is in position 2-3, the black and gray wires connect on the top deck and there is no connection on the bottom deck.
Note that I had to put the gray wire in contact 3 on top because even though the middle deck has black on 2 as well, it also has black on L, which would make position 3-L another high, rather than off. In my fan, it originally connected directly to the capacitor and not the speed switch, so I left this connection as it was. This is just an example of the logical approach required to develop a suitable switch wiring once you know the pattern of your switch and the internals of your capacitor. The above information about wire colors is not intended to apply directly to any particular fan.



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