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Additional on/off switch before rotary fan speed controller

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  1. #1
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    Default Additional on/off switch before rotary fan speed controller

    I'm having a conversation with my electrician, and was keen to hear another opinion.

    I have a rotary fan speed controller, that has 3 speeds and an off position. Would you recommend having an additional on/off switch that would turn this controller on/off?

    My electrician believes it is best to keep the load at the additional switch when off, as opposed to the off position on the fan controller.

  2. #2
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    There's nothing stopping you having an extra switch to isolate the fan speed controller, it just means you'll need an 'extra' switch position on your plate and a short piece of wire to go between them.
    Personally, I wouldn't bother as fans don't have a big current draw and it would look messy having extra switches.

  3. #3
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    Never pulled a rotating controller switch apart but I assume the off is just has switch contacts, never seen an additional switch.

  4. #4
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    Perfect, thanks guys!

  5. #5
    Community Moderator phild01's Avatar
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    When I had a dimmer done in a 3 way circuit the electrician would not put it where I wanted it as it was not allowable to have the active as it's first port of call ie the active had to go through a switch first. That's how am recalling the issue was anyway. Perhaps your sparky doesn't trust fan switches!

  6. #6
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    All the fan switches I've put in/had put in have been for a light/fan controller.

    I've used the standard light switch for the light and re-purposed the Fan/light switch solely for the fan.
    Most of the time our fans are set on low and rather then fumbling around in the dark turning the fan controller and listening if the fan turned off or speed up, I can just flick the switch to off. If it get too hot again, I turn the switch back on....just like a light.

    The type of controller I'm referring to is this, so there is never a hard stop left or right. https://www.google.com/shopping/prod...ZBKCY8Q9pwGCAU

  7. #7
    2K Club Member toooldforthis's Avatar
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    do you want the on/off next/close to the rotary?
    or on the other side of the room?

    next to: why bother?
    ... and I seem to remember with some of those 3 speeds there is a reason you go from off -> fast -> medium -> slow
    something about it better for the motor, or the circuitry or sumthing - probably folklore.

    other side of the room: it would drive me nuts trying to remember where I turned it off last.

  8. #8
    Community Moderator phild01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toooldforthis View Post
    ... and I seem to remember with some of those 3 speeds there is a reason you go from off -> fast -> medium -> slow
    something about it better for the motor, or the circuitry or sumthing - probably folklore.
    Mistral also made that advice and i suspect it was to reduce heat in the windings from a slow start.

  9. #9
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    how about fans with a remote control. do they have to have a on/off switch on the wall? or just hard wired to constant power?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by wozzzzza View Post
    how about fans with a remote control. do they have to have a on/off switch on the wall? or just hard wired to constant power?
    Common sense tells me switched. Mine is.

  11. #11
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    all mine are too, im wondering why? you got a remote, breaker, why a switch as well??

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by wozzzzza View Post
    all mine are too, im wondering why? you got a remote, breaker, why a switch as well??
    It is 1 am, the fan is going full bore cause when you went to bed it was 32 degrees but it has cooled to 9 degrees cause it is raining so you go to turn the fan off and the remote battery is flat and you don't have a spare battery and it is raining heavy and the switchboard is outside in the rain, how do you switch the fan off ?
    Ha Ha

  13. #13
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    yeah i guess so. now i know why. but the switches are sometimes more of a nuisance than not.

  14. #14
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    ...I suspect it would be a requirement under the AS/NZ wiring standards that the appliance (or specific appliances) need to have a physical switch to isolate and that isolation at the board wont suffice under the standard.

    The only thing that hasn't got a physical switch in my house is the split system....just a remote BUT they all have an isolation switch outside usually somewhere next to the unit on the wall. These also usually have their own RCD on the main board, so in theory why would you need an isolation switch.....which leaves me thinking its a standard under the wiring rules.

  15. #15
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    Not an electrician but an ordinary wall switch is not an isolation switch. It probably doesn't have the required gap when off and can't be locked. Normally the breaker is the isolator, other switches are just functional switches. If you're hanging off the ceiling light the last thing you want is someone walking in and flipping the switch if that's all you're using.

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