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Author Topic: Replacing dual switch that controls fan and light  (Read 8506 times)

misha680

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Replacing dual switch that controls fan and light
« on: August 12, 2009, 08:28:45 AM »

Dear Sirs:

Is there a good way to do this. It is a two-switch wallplate that controls both a light and a fan? I would like to replace both if possible (it is one plate...)
keeping original location.

Thank you
Misha
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dave w

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Re: Replacing dual switch that controls fan and light
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2009, 12:25:29 PM »

There is no single X10 switch that will solve your needs.

If it were me, I would replace the single wall box with a dual (2 switch) wall box and use two XPDI3 wall switches. One for fan motor which would provide fan speed control and one for the light which would allow dimming. The XPDI3 needs a neutral line. Also,  the XPDI3 "may" ("will" is probably an better word) cause the fan to hum. If this is unacceptable you could use a XPS3 for the fan motor but you would not have X10 control of fan speed, only ON-OFF.
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misha680

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Re: Replacing dual switch that controls fan and light
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2009, 01:03:40 PM »

Thanks... so just to be clear if I went the XPS3 route I would
(1) buy two XPS3 switches...
(2) where would I get a dual face plate for these switches to replace the one i have now?

Thank you
Misha
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Brian H

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Re: Replacing dual switch that controls fan and light
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2009, 03:16:32 PM »

First you can only use the XPS3 if the switch box also has a Neutral Power Wire in it.
If it is a dual switch box with two switches next to each other now. They do make dual Decorator style face plates.
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dave w

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Re: Replacing dual switch that controls fan and light
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2009, 03:45:44 PM »

Thanks... so just to be clear if I went the XPS3 route I would
(1) buy two XPS3 switches...
(2) where would I get a dual face plate for these switches to replace the one i have now?

Thank you
Misha
1. The XPS3 will not DIM, and as Brian pointed out it, just like the XPDI3s also needs a neutral.
2. Assuming you are in North America: double "Decorator" faceplates are available from all the "big box" building centers like Lowes, Home Depot, Menards, and I think Walmart may stock also. My guess is where ever you go to purchase the double wall box will also have the Decorator style wall plates.
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misha680

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Re: Replacing dual switch that controls fan and light
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2009, 08:06:53 PM »

Thanks... so just to be clear if I went the XPS3 route I would
(1) buy two XPS3 switches...
(2) where would I get a dual face plate for these switches to replace the one i have now?

Thank you
Misha
1. The XPS3 will not DIM, and as Brian pointed out it, just like the XPDI3s also needs a neutral.
2. Assuming you are in North America: double "Decorator" faceplates are available from all the "big box" building centers like Lowes, Home Depot, Menards, and I think Walmart may stock also. My guess is where ever you go to purchase the double wall box will also have the Decorator style wall plates.

Thanks I found one here:
http://www.amazon.com/Sunbeam-Plate-Decorative-Double-20pcs/dp/B00299KP14/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1250121867&sr=8-1

Do I understand correctly these should be the same size as the wall plates I have now (non-decorative style).

Also my understanding is that the XPDI3 will cause my fan to hum? Can I use one XPDI3 for the light and one XPDI3 for the fan or will I still have the problem?

Thank you
Misha
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dave w

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Re: Replacing dual switch that controls fan and light
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2009, 08:30:21 PM »


Also my understanding is that the XPDI3 will cause my fan to hum? Can I use one XPDI3 for the light and one XPDI3 for the fan or will I still have the problem?

Thank you
Misha
The question isn't clear.
I'll say it again: The XPDI3 is made for inductive loads (i.e. motors, transformers, etc. ) whereas a regular dimmer (X10 or not) on a fan will usually burn up itself or the fan or both.
However the XPDI3 will cause many fan motors to hum when you slow the fan. You may find the hum objectionable if the fan is installed in a bedroom. With that in mind ...yes you can use two XPDI3s, one for fan and one for light. That would give you X10 variable fan speed and variable light brightness. If the thought of a humming in the bedroom is objectionable then use a XPS3 for the fan motor.
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misha680

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Re: Replacing dual switch that controls fan and light
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2009, 08:53:39 PM »

Thanks. I will try the two XPDI3 solution...
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misha680

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Re: Replacing dual switch that controls fan and light
« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2009, 01:35:08 PM »

Dear Sirs:

I have tried the XPDI3... I have a red wire and a black wire I believe for each of the two connectors
but no neutral wire. Furthermore, I tried hooking up all possible combinations to the XPDI3 I could
think of with no luck.

Notably I had a similar problem with no neutral wire for a fluorescent switch sometime ago:
http://forums.x10.com/index.php?topic=17412.new;topicseen#new

and got it to work. However, here I do not see any extra wires at all, just a red and black going
to two switches. Any advice much appreciated (one is light one is fan).

Thank you
Sincerely yours
Misha Koshelev
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Brian H

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Re: Replacing dual switch that controls fan and light
« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2009, 02:38:52 PM »

With no neutral as you have found. The XPDI3 will not work.

Red and Black sounds like a switch loop. Where the line goes into the fixture and then is routed to the switch on one of the wires and the other goes to the fixtures line in for either the fan or the light.

Any chance you could pull a neutral into the box?

With no white wires in the bundles. I don't think you can rewire the fan/light to use one of the wires as a neutral.

Any room in the fan/light fixture base to mount an internal module?
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dave w

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Re: Replacing dual switch that controls fan and light
« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2009, 03:28:44 PM »

This is a very strange way to wire a fan. The fan box would have a total of six lines: hot, neutral, loop 1 (two wires) and loop two (again, two wires) based on your 09:35:08 description.

"I have a red wire and a black wire I believe for each of the two connectors
but no neutral wire."

Lets eliminate the "believe" in that statement. How many wires do you have COMING IN the wall switch box? IF you only have three (maybe one red, and two black, with one of the blacks going to both switches?), then you cant use the XPDI3. As stated several times in this thread, the XPDI3 needs a neutral line.

However, if by chance you have four wires coming into the wall box (two red, two black?), then assuming they are coming from the fan celing box, you might be able to turn one of them into a neutral by rewiring the ceiling box. The four wires would then be a hot, a neutral, and load 1, and load 2, making both XPDI3 very happy. You should call an electrician to do that for you.
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misha680

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Re: Replacing dual switch that controls fan and light
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2009, 06:28:47 PM »

Ok nevermind. I found the "neutral" wire - as in my fluorescent bulb it was unstripped - I know the safety problems this can
lead to.

In any case I installed the XPDI3's in the bathroom, but am waiting on an XPS3 for the bedroom due to the buzzing as I was
warned about (curiously this buzzing does not occur with bathroom fan).

Thank you for your help
Misha
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misha680

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Re: Replacing dual switch that controls fan and light
« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2009, 09:25:36 PM »

Btw I noticed my XPDI3's aren't soft start. I've sort of gotten used to that for most of my switches. Is there a quick way to tell which
ones are soft start or where to get them?

Thank you
Misha
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Brian H

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Re: Replacing dual switch that controls fan and light
« Reply #13 on: August 23, 2009, 09:57:59 AM »

The small date code sticker on it may give you a clue. The first two digits are the year.
X10; in the wiki; indicated the soft start feature was added in early 2007. Not sure how long the X10Pro line took to implement it, but I doubt it would be much later than X10 did.
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misha680

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Re: Replacing dual switch that controls fan and light
« Reply #14 on: August 29, 2009, 05:22:20 PM »

Thank you. I have replaced the fan control with an XPS3 and have a weird problem. I wired up the load, line, and neutral I believe
correctly (it works fine when I press the button to turn on or off), but when I control through the X10 protocol, it turns on,
but then does not turn off unless I press the button.

Specifically, when I send the off command, it turns off, then clicks again and turns back on.

Any ideas/advice much appreciated.

I used one of the white wires from the XPDI3 as an extender for the neutral. Could this be causing problems?

Thank you
Misha
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