How do I install a Dimmer Switch next to a light switch that controls an outlet?

I am installing a ceiling fan in my living room that has no overhead lighting. The only light switch in the room controls an outlet, which I still want to use. I want to install a dimmer switch that will control a ceiling fan light. I am going to install a ceiling fan and light kit, and want the switch to control the power to the fan and light, as well and dim the lights. How do I hook up the dimmer switch to the existing light switch and what type of wires and how many do I need to run through the wall and into the attic to my box for the ceiling fan?

3 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Your existing switch was probably designed to control a lamp , If this is a single pole switch and power do come to the switch , you can connect the line to the outlet directly to the power source , ( In the existing switch , one should be your power source and one should be going to the outlet ) when installing your new switch with dimmer , you'll have to connect one wire to the power source that's serving the outlet , then one wire will go directly to the light from your new switch , If you want to control only the light from the switch and manually turn on the fan you can run a 14-3 wire or a 12-3 wire from the switch box to the new light switch box , these wires will have two hot wires ( black and red ) so you can use one hot wire for the light as I mentioned earlier and you can use the second hot wire for the fan connecting it directly to the power source along with the outlet and connecting the other end to the fan wires in the new electrical box you'll have to install for the fan and the light , ( that's if you want to controll the fan manually ) If you want to control the fan by a switch also , you'll need two switches , they have switches that are built with two switches to fit a single box , you'll need to check on that to see if they have them with dimmers also , Now , before running your new wire you'll have to install a new electrical box in the ceiling , you want it strong because your fan is gonna be hanging on it , you want it to connect or be supported by the ceiling joist , mark the center or the location for your new light and check to make sure it's not directly under a joist , use a stud finder , lightly bang on the ceiling or go up the attic and measure , when you have found your new location , put the new box right up against the ceiling and mark around it before cutting it small saw with sharp end designed for this , or drill a hole and the use a jig saw , when done with this , cut a 2 x 4 to run in the attic from joist to joist right above the light box , calculate so the bottom edge of the box is flush with the finish ceiling , you can always lay down the 2 x 4 so you can see it through the new hole from the bottom , then align the new box with it and mark where it goes on the 2 x 4 , ( mark the screw holes ) then you can pre-screw the box to the 2 x 4 before nailing the 2 x 4 to the ceilng joist , have somebody hold up something flat right under the new hole so when you lay down the new box from above it'll be perfectly flush with the finish ceiling , then all you do up in the attic is nail the two ends of the 2 x 4 to the ceiling joist , ( If you decide to use this method use a metal box , it's stronger ) now to run your wire through the wall ,cut two holes about 5" wide and 12 " long from top to bottom , cut one hole 3 " below ceiling and one hole 6" above the switch , drill a hole through the double plates on top and run your wire through to the attic then fish it through the two holes and into the switch box, knock open a hole for your new wire or use the existing hole that's there if there's enough room , I just ran out of room to type , I'm sure you can figure out the rest .

  • 1 decade ago

    The best and SAFE way is to get someone over to do it and you help him, that way it's done right and safe and you'll learn.

  • 1 decade ago

    sorry mate...u lost me,,try re-wording the question

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