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        Adding new ceiling fan wiring options Sign In/Join 
        posted
        Okay, my garage project is on hold until warmer weather so on to the next best thing, getting up in the attic while its not too hot.

        I am putting a ceiling fan in the master bedroom, there is currently NO outlet in the ceiling for the fan so it will be added (obviously).

        Can I tap into the existing circuit of outlets and run a "spur" so to speak to the fan? or what other options would I have? plan on just running romex through the ceiling and down the wall to the existing outlet.
         
        Posts: 28 | Registered: Feb 21, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        Picture of Jaybee
        posted Hide Post
        You can tap into the existing outlets provided that they are not already at maximum number. Check your local codes as the number can vary. Also check to see if it's a 15a or 20a circuit.

        It may be better if you can find a separate circuit that powers lights. Same thing though, you can only add on to it if there is room for the extra load.


        Jaybee
         
        Posts: 10289 | Location: Knoxville, Tennessee | Registered: Sep 27, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        once Jaybee's issues have been resolved in your case, it's not hard at all. to center ours when I installed in both upstairs bedrooms, I measured corner to corner diagonally and placed a pin to mark center. did a little scanning with a stud finder to be sure I had clearance, and then pushed a straightened coat hanger through the drywall. measured from the outside wall to get the dimensions to the outlet.

        in the attic, I found the coathanger, positioned the fan mounting box/straps, marked the hole for the box, and cut inside the lines. measured from the correct joist along the wall's header, and drilled a hole to feed the Romex into the outlet box.

        shut off the breaker, knocked out a box KO in the plastic outlet box, knocked out a piece of drywall above the box to guide the Romex into that hole, and fed it. made the hookups, drove the wire staples. installed the fan. power up, check for smoke and spin, patched the hole. caulked the attic penetrations. not much of a DIY job at all.

        the ceiling lights were fed off the outlet box I chose, so it was a simple matter to use the same circuit and switch. I have an awful time using the supplied nails on these fan and pot light straps (one-eyed Jack,} so I use construction screws instead.

        This message has been edited. Last edited by: swschrad,


        sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?
         
        Posts: 5711 | Location: North Burbs, MN | Registered: Mar 14, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        Picture of CommonwealthSparky
        posted Hide Post
        quote:
        Originally posted by Jaybee:
        You can tap into the existing outlets provided that they are not already at maximum number. Check your local codes as the number can vary. Also check to see if it's a 15a or 20a circuit.

        It may be better if you can find a separate circuit that powers lights. Same thing though, you can only add on to it if there is room for the extra load.



        But checking for current draw with an amp meter is not something that I would recommend doing unless you are confident in your abilities. And have access to a meter as well. Not impossible to tally up all the lights on a circuit, but not really accurate IMO.
        Tough call with outlets as well. The American code NEC does not limit outlets on a branch circuit, but the Canadian code does.
        Lights and outlets on the same circuit is American NEC legal, but most try and avoid this set up. But you will see it all the time. As in cases like this OP.


        Popeye only reached for the Spinach can as a last resort...
         
        Posts: 1430 | Location: Central Pennsylvania | Registered: Jun 02, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        Ok I got up into the ceiling and also figured out the circuits (sort of). For awhile it seemed my entire house was on one circuit, I turned off the master bath breaker and nothing went off, turned off the 1/2 bath breaker and the master bath and the second full bath on the 2nd floor went off (they're on opposite sides of the house). Obviously nothing is really labeled correctly.

        Anyway, I have 2 choices.

        1) the attic access is in the walk in closet in the master bedroom. There are two switches right outside the closet, one for the light in the closet, one for the small hallway. I can jump onto those switches with no problem. Problem is its on the circuit that connects with the other bathroom on the other side of the house, WTF Mr. Contractor? So that breaker has 7 light fixtures between the two bathroom, 2 fans and 4 outlets (I think), there is a GFI in both bathrooms but I didn't think they would be on the same breaker? Didnt' test them either.

        2) I can run off the circuit in the master bedroom (off one of the outlets). This only has a switch to outlet and 5 outlets on the circuit.

        I think I would probably feel comfortable using option 2. The outlet to access is on the opposite wall of the walk in closet access to the attic so it wouldn't be much different as far as running the cable.

        Next question is how? The 1/2 bath I redid a couple months ago, had jumpers between all the switches going to the different fixtures.

        What I was thinking is running the wire from the outlet to new switches cut above the outlet for the fan. This would run the "hot" wire splice to the switches, which I can then put 2 switches in; 1 for fan, 1 for light with the jumper between??
         
        Posts: 28 | Registered: Feb 21, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        Picture of CommonwealthSparky
        posted Hide Post
        I would use your #2 idea to power your new work.
        I have no idea what you mean with your post about jumpers doing certain things in those boxes, though.


        Popeye only reached for the Spinach can as a last resort...
         
        Posts: 1430 | Location: Central Pennsylvania | Registered: Jun 02, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        UPDATE:

        Ok, I did go with option #2. Got the wire run, finally, was able to connect into an outlet that was closer to where we wanted the switches to be located, but it was an exterior wall so had to fish through insulation but wasn't too bad, used those fiberglass rods for the first time, worked like a charm.

        So, I just want to me sure I have this wiring down correctly (have to paint the room first so still have time to redo if necessary). I have the hot wire coming from the outlet to the two switches. The hot wire goes into the first switch and then a small wire takes it over to the second switch. The switches then have the black wire coming from the fan and light going into them.

        The white neutral wires all meet up in the switch box and twisted together.

        The grounds: I have one switch with the ground to the fixture. The other switch I have the ground from the fixture and the ground from the hot wire together. Does that sound right? The grounds were my biggest question.
         
        Posts: 28 | Registered: Feb 21, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        Picture of CommonwealthSparky
        posted Hide Post
        The black wire providing power to your new set up is best utilized by making up a pig tail with the number of hot leads needed in the new switch box. So you would have two wires coming off the pigtail. If I read your post correctly.
        The switch leg set up sounds correct.
        The white wires you have correct.
        All grounds should be combined together with leads coming off that pigtail for each switch in the new set up. And one wire grounding the box, if it is a metal box.
        Now technically the switch strap will ground all switches in a box if, the box itself is grounded and it is a metal box. But the NEC requires that all devices have a ground wire attached. Got all that, clear as mud?

        This message has been edited. Last edited by: CommonwealthSparky,


        Popeye only reached for the Spinach can as a last resort...
         
        Posts: 1430 | Location: Central Pennsylvania | Registered: Jun 02, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        Makes sense with the hot wire coming in, I was close lol. That set up with the hot wire going from switch one to switch two was what was done by the contractor in a bathroom I redid last summer.

        It is a plastic box, not metal, so I should place all three grounds together with a pigtail for each switch, am I reading that correctly?
         
        Posts: 28 | Registered: Feb 21, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        Picture of CommonwealthSparky
        posted Hide Post
        [QUOTE]Originally posted by NuclearSeal:
        Makes sense with the hot wire coming in, I was close lol. That set up with the hot wire going from switch one to switch two was what was done by the contractor in a bathroom I redid last summer.

        It is a plastic box, not metal, so I should place all three grounds together with a pigtail for each switch, am I reading that correctly?[/QUOTE

        -------------------------------------------------

        Look like you have a firm grasp on all this.

        Making up pig tails that supplies power for the hot leg is much more acceptable method than running the black wire onto switch #1 and then backstabbing that same screw with a short wire to supply power to switch #2. If you are using 14 gauge copper this is possible, but I do not back stab a device ever. {But it is NEC allowable, but rarely done by pros or everyday homeowners}.
        Never ever try and place 2 separate wires under one set screw, though. One it is a NEC violation, and two, extremely hard to do anyway !!! But I have seen that more than I ever care to and always marvel at such work.

        Yes all grounds get wired together under one wire nut, with 2 leads also tied into this, so each switch has a proper ground. And as you could guess, this is where the term "common ground" comes into play.

        Good luck with your project.

        This message has been edited. Last edited by: CommonwealthSparky,


        Popeye only reached for the Spinach can as a last resort...
         
        Posts: 1430 | Location: Central Pennsylvania | Registered: Jun 02, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        posted Hide Post
        UPDATE:

        All done and everything works perfectly. We actually changed things a bit and put in a ceiling fan without the light (but still attached to the switch) and separate light that highlights the bed (for those "home movies" ha ha).

        It all works, except for my drywall patch job, just haven't got the knack for it. Although now that i know how the electric was run the cutout I did was totally unnecessary, I could have run everything up the wall into the attic and back down, uses more romex but neater in the end.

        Only other "issue" was the box for the light fixture had some issues getting that in perfectly and then the fixture itself doesn't totally cover the hole (kinda weird) but it's in and it works.

        Thanks for the help and bouncing of ideas.
         
        Posts: 28 | Registered: Feb 21, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
        Picture of CommonwealthSparky
        posted Hide Post
        If its any help I could be the worlds worst mudder. Hanging sheetrock, easy peasy, but never will grasp the patience and skill to finish work like that...


        Popeye only reached for the Spinach can as a last resort...
         
        Posts: 1430 | Location: Central Pennsylvania | Registered: Jun 02, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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