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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We have oscillating fans mounted on the walls here,they are used to cool our operators. The fans come with a standard pull chain switch mounted in them.
The problem we have is our operators manage to pull the guts out of the switch (not break the string). Do you guys know of a stronger switch than the standard plastic wonders? I know this seems minor but once it gets hot out it does keep us from other projects. Just shopping for ideas!
And the Boss allready said I am NOT allowed to break fingers.
Thanks
 

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I would never use a pull chain switch for anything that is used frequently. Can you install a standard switch?
 

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I would never use a pull chain switch for anything that is used frequently. Can you install a standard switch?
I would and do and for a base price for any ceiling fan what's included is a single gang switch, a 3 wire and a fan box. My upsell is a lutron fan/light slide control.
 

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If they are still around, McGill manufacturing made the Levolier switch that uses a pivoting actuator that works in any direction. It's a high-quality pull-chain switch which we still use on light fixtures, etc. when a wall switch is impractical. When we remove old fixtures that have these switches, we save the switches and re-use them as they seem to last forever.
 

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I like ceiling fans & EMT
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Are they 3 speed switches or on/off?

If they are on/off I also was going to recommend the Levolier.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I am toying with the idea of a two gang receptical box controled by a old school mechanical timer and your levolier switches in each fan. They are three speed but I think medium would do just fine. The girls can't remember to turn them off either and we are being pushed to go green. Nothing ticks of management more than a room full of fans running and no one there.You wouldn't believe the fan wars and thermostat wars we have around here.
Thanks for the ideas. Sometimes I can't see the forest for the trees.
 

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I like ceiling fans & EMT
Former commercial, occasional (small) residential
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I am toying with the idea of a two gang receptical box controled by a old school mechanical timer and your levolier switches in each fan. They are three speed but I think medium would do just fine. The girls can't remember to turn them off either and we are being pushed to go green. Nothing ticks of management more than a room full of fans running and no one there.You wouldn't believe the fan wars and thermostat wars we have around here.
Thanks for the ideas. Sometimes I can't see the forest for the trees.
Any reason you couldnt use occupancy sensors? Seems like it would be cheaper and less work then a mechanical switch/timer combination.
 

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I like ceiling fans & EMT
Former commercial, occasional (small) residential
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They used to make three speed/SP3T Levoliers, but the newest ones I've seen are from the 80s.
 

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I suggest that, instead of repairing the cheap pull switches, you install an expensive and complicated array of occupancy switches, thermostadts, timers, overrides, and air-flo sensors, combined with lighting and fan "scenes" so that your operators will be as comfortable as possible. Suggest to your boss that they give him a reduction in pay in order to pay for some or all of the improvements. :whistling2:
 
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I suggest that, instead of repairing the cheap pull switches, you install an expensive and complicated array of occupancy switches, thermostadts, timers, overrides, and air-flo sensors, combined with lighting and fan "scenes" so that your operators will be as comfortable as possible. Suggest to your boss that they give him a reduction in pay in order to pay for some or all of the improvements. :whistling2:
We used to have fans like that.
Labor wise it is cheaper to replace the fan then try and find and replace a switch.

I just started cutting the chains of and put a switch and receptacle in.
 

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Light Emitting Decoration
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Bypass the switch and sandwich a remote control receptacle at the outlet. $15 or so at Target. Attach a loop on the remote with duct tape and hang it on the end of the string or put it on a beam if there is a convenient one nearby. Everything is UL approved, except for the bypassed switch :eek:

I'm not sure what type of fan you have, but I assumed medium-heavy duty with a capacitor start >1/3 hp standard frame motor. None of those residential speed control will work on a real motor. They're meant for cheesy shaded pole motors which are only used for household toys or as a shaft speed independent cooling fan for VFD driven motors.

If you try to control a heavy duty fan with a residential controller, I think it will interact with the starting capacitor and flip out, then let out the smoke before the motor can even switch out the start winding :p
 

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I like ceiling fans & EMT
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Shaded pole motors dont have start capacitors.

Most three or four speed ceiling fan controls, residential or commercial, are capacitor based and are designed for PSC motors. They will work on any PSC fan with a similar sized motor including wall, desk, etc fans. They will also work on some shaded pole fans, but in many cases the speeds wont be right.

Motor controls designed for over one amp are usually solid state and infinitely variable. These will work but usually be noisy.

There's no harm in trying, as long as you dont greatly exceed any current ratings, you're unlikely to let the magic smoke out of a fan motor or fan control. If it's not a good pairing, there will be some other sign first.
 
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