09:42PM | 05/30/07
Member Since: 05/30/07
1 lifetime posts
I have a wall switch in my home that controls an electrical outlet in the same room.

I am thinking of installing a rotary knob fan speed control switch in that box to control a nice antique fan I will be using which will be plugged into the controlled outlet. I am thinking of doing this because the fan only runs on 1 speed & I would like to be able to regulate it so I can slow it down to a more comfortable speed.

My concern is that some tell me that motors can be damaged by using "dimmers" or "rheostatic controllers". Others tell me that the resistance can cause the motor or the switch itself to overheat.

It is to my understanding that special control switches designed specifically for ceiling fans are better & safer to use on fans than ordinary light dimmers.

So my question is, will I be risking fire, motor damage or switch overheating, or any other kind of danger if I use a ceiling fan speed control switch to regulate an antique table fan rather than a ceiling fan? - Is there a difference between the motors in this situation?



doug seibert

09:24AM | 05/31/07
Member Since: 08/10/02
843 lifetime posts
You'll need to change both the fan/plug and receptacle to some type of matching twist-lock.....Code restricts controlling/dimming standard receptacles

"...measure once.....cut twice....throw that one away and cut a new one...."


12:11PM | 05/31/07
Member Since: 01/09/07
197 lifetime posts
Before wiring this up, you should test whether that antique fan motor will actually work at variable speeds via a dimmer. Many motors, even modern ones, won't.

Many motors are designed to work properly only in a small range -- trying to run them at less than that power causes problems. Including stalling, burning out the motor, and even possibly starting a fire!

Check it out BEFORE going to all the effort of wiring it all.


Post a reply as Anonymous

Photo must be in JPG, GIF or PNG format and less than 5MB.


type the code from the image


Post_new_button or Login_button

A Washington State couple called on BC&J Architects to transform their 400-square-foot boathouse into a hub for family bea... Built on a rocky island in the Drina River, near the town of Bajina Basta, Serbia, this wooden house was cobbled together ... Large steel-framed windows flood the interior of this remodeled Michigan barn with daylight. The owners hired Northworks A... Edging formed with upside-down wine bottles is a refreshing change. Cleverly and artistically involving recycled materials... If you’re up for a weekend project, why not try turning an old picture frame into scaffolding for a living wall? Low-maint... Similar to the elevated utensil concept, hanging your pots and pans from a ceiling-mounted rack keeps them nearby and easy... For windows, doors, and mirrors that could use a little definition, the Naples Etched Glass Border adds a decorative flora... The thyme growing between these stepping stones adds a heady fragrance to strolls along this lush, low-maintenance garden ... Decoupage is an easy way to add any paper design to your switch plate, whether it is wallpaper, scrapbook paper, book page... Twine lanterns add pops of crafty—but sophisticated—flair to any outdoor setting. Wrap glue-soaked twine around a balloon ... When securely fastened to a tree or the ceiling of a porch, a pallet and some cushioning make the ideal place to lounge. V... Reluctant to throw away any of those unidentified keys in your junk drawer? Hang them from a few chains attached to a simp... A stripped-down model, sans screened porch, starts out at $79,000. Add the porch, a heated floor for the bath, and all the... Salvaged boards in varying widths and colors make up the dramatic accent wall in this attic space. The high-gloss white of... Need a window and a door in a tight space? A Dutch door with a window may be your answer. These useful doors are split hor...
Newsletter_icon Google_plus Facebook Twitter Pinterest Youtube Rss_icon