Converting 120v ceiling fan into wall motor

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by hilukasz, Aug 30, 2009.

  1. hilukasz

    Thread Starter New Member

    Aug 29, 2009
    6
    0
    I'm trying to convert ceiling fan into a fan that plugs into the wall. I think it was initially set up as a 3 speed and had lighting controls. is it possible to convert it to a normal wall plug and using a potentiometer to control speed?

    specs: 120v 60hz .6amps 68w

    here are some snaps of it:
    http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn65/hvideo1/Picture2-1.jpg
    motor

    http://sleeptyrant.com/Picture.jpg
    the potentiometer I have from lighting controls (not sure if it will work for motor speed)
     
  2. n2glox

    Active Member

    Aug 29, 2009
    38
    0
    There should not be a problem. Go to Local Home Store and pick up a length of 14 ga 3 wire cord (no plugs). Locally they sell it by the foot. Always available in Black or Orange around here. Buy a three prong plug to fit on one end and then wire in the three wires from the fan itself.

    If the wall Plug is not Switched (meaning that you will have to install a three speed switch yourself) then it is easiest to buy a metal electrical box, place it somewhere along the length of the cord you bought and wire in a simple three speed fan control. Secure the 3 speed control in the box then run the rest of the cord out of the box to the Male plug that will go in the wall.

    I do not know f your pot will work on fan controls, but locally those switches are cheap (under $10).

    More info might help.

    Warning: There might be code restrictions on running a ceiling fan from a cord. It might also be dangerous to run a cord away from a ceiling fan and have the cord fall into the fan.

    Jeff
     
  3. hilukasz

    Thread Starter New Member

    Aug 29, 2009
    6
    0
    well, I don't want it to be 3 speed (this is what it was before I took it down), I want it variable speed is the issue so as I turn the dimmer up the speed increases. Someone told me I have to buy a box, sounds like you're saying same thing. I'm not sure what kind of "box" though. also said that the ground isn't really a ground or something and blue one is the light kit, so can I ground it on this without issues?

    I'm actually using this more as a motor than a fan, so it wont be hanging, and that's why I need it to be variable speed.

    the switch I have says incandescent light switch dimmer 600w(this part is a bit scrapped up so not 100% if its 600) 120v ac single gang also says for permanent fixture only derated to 500w for ganging two or more. It switches the lights on/off by pressing it, then you turn it to dim lights. I want the dimmer to control the motor speed if at all possible.
     
  4. jj_alukkas

    Well-Known Member

    Jan 8, 2009
    751
    5
    You can use a TRIAC based dimmer rated for around 75W which you get from the local electrical shop. However, you must specify it to them that you are going to use it for a fan and not a light, or an incompatible device wont start the fan motor. it will only be the size of a switch.

    You can try that first by connecting in series.
     
  5. rspuzio

    Active Member

    Jan 19, 2009
    77
    0
    Most fans I've run into used induction motors, so you should
    first check what type of motor you have. If it has brushes,
    all is well but if not, you're out of luck. Rheostats and TRIACS
    won't do any good because the speed of an induction motor
    is determined by the frequency of the AC power supply and the
    number of poles --- different speeds in induction motor fans
    are implemented by making several windings which give different
    numbers of poles. The only way to make the speed continuously
    variable would be to change the frequency of the supply current,
    which sounds to me likely more trouble than it may be worth.
     
  6. hilukasz

    Thread Starter New Member

    Aug 29, 2009
    6
    0
    can't seem to get at the motor after screws are out it doesnt want to come apart. lets say it doesn't have brushes. can you recommend an affordable alternative? I thought about modding a fan that already plugs into the wall as well.
     
  7. n2glox

    Active Member

    Aug 29, 2009
    38
    0
    I do not know about the motor issue. There are Variable Speed Fan Controls. Buy a standard Metal Electrical Box (single Gang), the Wire, the Male Plug for one side. By a switch from Northern tool at

    http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_6970_200331285_200331285

    Or Somewhere else:

    http://www.ceilingfansontheweb.com/NoFrame/items_direct/081730nf.html?adid=13--081730

    One website says these can Hum. I Don't know.

    This is the only I know,and I do not guarantee it will work.

    Jeff
     
  8. jj_alukkas

    Well-Known Member

    Jan 8, 2009
    751
    5
    I'm sorry to say you are wrong there. Until 8 yrs back, all the fan induction motors in this world ran using 100W 5 terminal fixed coil resistor. They did change speeds with it. After that came TRIAC based regulators which every 75W induction motor based fan in my home runs on. If it was so that you can only control a fan's speed only by altering frequency, then maybe you should think about why a fan's speed decreases with low voltage. Should't it be running at full speed at 90V for a 240V fan??

    Post a pic of that dimmer you already have.
     
  9. hilukasz

    Thread Starter New Member

    Aug 29, 2009
    6
    0
    http://sleeptyrant.com/Picture.jpg thats what I have, I can take more detailed picture if you need. the motor is posted as well on the first post. the front is basically just a circular nob that you can press for on/off and for dimming of the lights (I think fan was controlled only by the 3 switch speed pull chain attached to the motor itself)
     
  10. jj_alukkas

    Well-Known Member

    Jan 8, 2009
    751
    5
    Isn't there a single nameplate on that device?? If its rated for your supply voltage and fan's current, then give it a try in series with your fan.
     
  11. hilukasz

    Thread Starter New Member

    Aug 29, 2009
    6
    0
  12. jj_alukkas

    Well-Known Member

    Jan 8, 2009
    751
    5
    Not quite sure if your fan has a load heavier than what the dimmer can support. If its name 61UL suggests something like a 60W, better not connect it. To be safe, I would suggest you to get one rated for 100W if your fan is 75W or lower from your dealer. He can give you the correct one for a fan too.
     
  13. CDRIVE

    Senior Member

    Jul 1, 2008
    2,223
    99
    I live in South Florida so I have 9 ceiling fans. I even have them in the bathrooms. Over the years they've come in three flavors of speed control. They are: Tapped Motor Windings, Tapped Inductor in a wall box control and Thyristor control. They all have one thing in common... They are all extremely low torque motors and can't be used to drive much of anything more than a fan blade. All of them are induction motors and some require a run cap. The run cap models can't make use of thyristor control.
     
  14. jj_alukkas

    Well-Known Member

    Jan 8, 2009
    751
    5
    In India, all fans are induction motors and all with capacitors. They too can't run anything other than a fan blade and I often stop them from full speed with my bare hands holding at the middle. Even today I opened one speed controller and spotted a TRIAC, the BT136 and all of them have the same circuit in here. I have a 400W dimmer circuit if anyone needs. I've repaired many fans at home as I have 8 of them and they have a fixed rotor like coil and a metal alloy ring rotates around it which is connected to the blades. No brushes no moving coils.
     
  15. hilukasz

    Thread Starter New Member

    Aug 29, 2009
    6
    0
    hmm maybe this is a bad idea then. any suggestions for a reasonably priced solution? It would have to turn 5-10lb or so.
     
  16. CDRIVE

    Senior Member

    Jul 1, 2008
    2,223
    99
    JJ, I suspect your climate is much like mine!:D
     
  17. jj_alukkas

    Well-Known Member

    Jan 8, 2009
    751
    5
    Yup pal, we have rain for 4 months, summer for the same and cool (not winter) for the rest. So all through the year, except for the monsoon, we need fans. Are you from Florida or somewhere near from TX?

    Hilukasz, Search for a motor online.
     
  18. CDRIVE

    Senior Member

    Jul 1, 2008
    2,223
    99
    South Florida.
     
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