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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    10

    Default Piggybacking security light onto ceiling fan

    Hello all.

    I'm looking to install a motion sensor light on the outside of an enclosed sunroom. It appears that the closest wiring is at the sunroom's ceiling fan, so I was thinking about piggybacking onto it, then running the new wiring to the outside of the house.

    Does this sound like a reasonable option? To keep the security light on, I'm assuming I would have to leave the light switch to the fan on all the time, then just operate the fan with the pull chains.

    I don't have a lot of electrical expertise - mostly replacing light fixtures and such. I've never dealt with ceiling fans before.

    Also I'm unsure of the best way to route the wiring to the security light. I think I could go up above the sunroom ceiling, but I'm not sure how much space is there.

    Thanks for any replies.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,558

    Default Re: Piggybacking security light onto ceiling fan

    That's a hard question to answer with the information provided. We don't know how many wires you already have in the fan ceiling box, and code prescribes limits, we don't know if you have full time power in the ceiling box or just switch supplied power to the fan, we can't see the installation so how can we advise you how to run the wires.

    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Columbiana, Alabama
    Posts
    623

    Default Re: Piggybacking security light onto ceiling fan

    Matt, a ceiling fan/light is not the place I would go to get power. They are crowded, hard to access and you would have to either try to work between the blades or remove some.

    Then support the fixture with a wire or rope, if it doesn't have a maintenance hook.

    I would go the closest light switch that only had two wires in the box which means the light has constant power. If you can get in the space above (like an attic) it would be a good candidate to borrow power.

    Be sure to mount the motion light/sensor on a weather proof box, people who don't are called victims of a fire.

    Good Luck from Columbiana, Alabama
    Maurice Turgeon, http://thesemi-retiredelectrician.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Piggybacking security light onto ceiling fan

    We are in desperate need of help! We are trying to install a ceiling fan with a light kit and a wall switch that control both the light and the fan separately. The problem is that we have three wires plus the ground coming from the ceiling instead of the two wires and ground stated in the instructions.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    6,481

    Default Re: Piggybacking security light onto ceiling fan

    Quote Originally Posted by cashmart35 View Post
    We are in desperate need of help! We are trying to install a ceiling fan with a light kit and a wall switch that control both the light and the fan separately. The problem is that we have three wires plus the ground coming from the ceiling instead of the two wires and ground stated in the instructions.
    Is the ceiling location an existing light or is it newly wired? Is this light on a 3-way switch, meaning that it is operated from two separate switches? Will the ceiling location support the weight of a fan?
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    5,093

    Default Re: Piggybacking security light onto ceiling fan

    The additional wire is probably going to the switch.

    Try to attach a photo.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    231

    Default Re: Piggybacking security light onto ceiling fan

    MattB2517, as an alternate would you consider running conduit outside so you have more flexibility and an easier time pulling wire from a different location? If there is an exterior wall near the proposed location that would be more accessible if a conduit with a specific type of wire is run?
    My advice and opinions come from hands on knowledge...and This Old House Hidden Content

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