Slow Down a ceiling fan

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by summerlove2, Jan 14, 2013.

  1. summerlove2

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jan 14, 2013
    1
    0
    I have a new (4 months) Monte Carlo 24" ceiling fan and want to slow down the slowest speed. I also have a KTE 3 speed switch from the old fan. It has 4 wires marked "L' (load ?) 1,2,3. 1 & 2 are attached to a cbb61 capacitor. If I wire the old switch into the power line to the new fan will that slow it down without blowing things up? Will using the L and the 1 wire do the job?
     
  2. K3CFC

    New Member

    Dec 4, 2012
    29
    0
    I put my fan on a light dimmer.
     
  3. crutschow

    Expert

    Mar 14, 2008
    13,006
    3,232
    Putting a capacitor in series is an efficient way to slow down many small fan motors. I did that with a large floor fan I have, so using your switch will likely work.

    A light dimmer may also work, but I experienced a annoying buzzing noise from my fan motor when I tried that.
     
  4. bountyhunter

    Well-Known Member

    Sep 7, 2009
    2,498
    507
    Just don't try to go too slow or the motor will stall.
     
  5. GRNDPNDR

    Member

    Mar 1, 2012
    435
    7
    DO NOT use light dimmers for motors. They cannot handle the inductive load provided by the motor and often will have contacts melt or fuse together.

    Fantech makes some decent motor controllers that are reasonably priced and SAFE.
     
  6. crutschow

    Expert

    Mar 14, 2008
    13,006
    3,232
    I've use light dimmers on several different fan motors without a problem.

    What contacts? :confused:
     
  7. GRNDPNDR

    Member

    Mar 1, 2012
    435
    7
    Contacts in the dimmers. MOST motors will eventually melt those down or cause failures, it doesn't always happen immediately.

    Motor speed controllers are roughly the same price but are designed for the load created by a motor.

    Fantech makes a 3 wire model for use with cap start motors and it runs motors right down to near 0rpm with almost no hum or whining.
    I tested a light dimmer and could barely stand to be in the same room due to the noise, and it also got really hot when running the motor at lower speeds.
     
  8. BillB3857

    Senior Member

    Feb 28, 2009
    2,400
    348
    I bought a unit that looks just like a light dimmer but it is made for fans. Instead of starting from OFF to dim to bright, it goes from OFF to fast to slow with the knob.
     
  9. GRNDPNDR

    Member

    Mar 1, 2012
    435
    7
    oh that's another problem that slipped my mind.

    Your motor controller works as it should, fast to slow. When you start a light dimmer on a motor and it starts of slow it draws a huge startup current due to the lower voltage, and if it isn't sped up will continue to draw a huge current until it speeds up.

    This is what melts the contacts.

    Thanks for reminding me of that Bill :)
     
  10. Duane P Wetick

    Active Member

    Apr 23, 2009
    408
    19
    The best control for a ceiling fan (I'm using one) is a small 10B Powerstat (2 A)...you can buy one online for under $20 with free shipping. No noise and smooth operation are its attributes.

    Cheers, DPW [Everything has limitations...and I hate limitations].
     
  11. DickCappels

    Moderator

    Aug 21, 2008
    2,651
    632
    My vote is for the powerstat solution if you can find and afford one.

    BTW, I believe that the reason that most light dimmers should not be used with electric motors is that the diacs do not fire at the same voltages in both polarities. If they differ by a few percent (and the usually do), you are putting significant net DC across the motor, which will sometimes exceed the triac's current rating.
     
  12. K3CFC

    New Member

    Dec 4, 2012
    29
    0
    That's funny i used one on my hunter ceiling fan for 26 years.

    K3CFC
     
  13. Metalmann

    Active Member

    Dec 8, 2012
    700
    223


    Same here. Don't remember how many times I've installed those.
     
  14. GRNDPNDR

    Member

    Mar 1, 2012
    435
    7

    Well I must be wrong then, I guess the last 2 years I spent in college were a waste of time.

    Just because something works doesn't mean it's right.

    I had a space heater some years ago, plugged into an extension cord rated for 20A, This was a beast of a cord and was substantially larger than the cord on the heater itself.

    It ran fine for about a year like this, no problems, never overloaded it and the heater was the only thing running on the circuit.

    One day sitting here at home watching TV I see tons of smoke, and I had assumed it was the heater itself.

    Racing over to the heater I found the extension cord plug melting, smoking and catching fire.

    Everything was over-rated for the current going through it, and it was the extension cord that failed, not the heater/plug, but it still melted and caught fire......thank god I was at least home.
     
Loading...