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
842 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
198 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.
Click to reply button
Inspiration banner


Post a reply as Anonymous

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

Reply choose button


Post new button or Login button

To test the boundaries of small-footprint living, interior designer Jessica Helgerson moved her family to a 540-square-foo... Filling an underutilized area beneath the stairs is a smart way to save space. Doing so with a stash of wood, however, is ... The Audubon Society inspired wallpaper in this Adirondack-styled mudroom will get you in the outdoor mood. Grab your coat ... Chalkboard paint opens up endless possibilities for customizing your dresser time and time again. Use chalk to label the c... A fireplace in the bathroom creates the ultimate setting for relaxation. Homeowners often choose electric or gas over wood... This roomy boot tray made from punched metal stands up to all the elements. Station it in your mudroom or at your back doo... There’s nothing like a new set of cabinet hardware to refresh a room. The possibilities are endless: Go modern, rustic, or... FLOR tiles are an affordable way to customize a carpeted floor covering for any space. Make anything from runners to wall-... Chalkboard paint features prominently in this elegant yet unpretentious headboard design. Add a new message daily to reflec... Salvaged boards in varying widths and colors make up the dramatic accent wall in this attic space. The high-gloss white of... The indecisive homeowner need not fret over choosing one (or even two) cabinet colors. The kitchen cabinets in this artist... Incorporate nature into your lighting scheme by securing a dead tree in a concrete mold and draping your pendant lamp from... Simple and striking, a couple of pieces of "lovingly used" furniture creates a special kind of charm. A weathered chair fo... First dress up your metal shelves with a coat of paint in an accent color that complements your kitchen decor. Then arrang... Dark wood shelving and a matching upholstered bench keep this closet sleek and refined. The large window brightens the sub...
Follow banner a
Newsletter icon Flipboard glossy Facebook Twitter Pinterest Youtube Rss icon