Can You Run 2 Ceiling Fans Off One Controller? (+How To)

Electrical wirings are tricky, and understanding how they work is very confusing. For example, if you wish to wire more than one ceiling fan from one controller, you need an electrician to deal with the wiring. But, can you do it? Let’s find out. 

You can easily run two ceiling fans using only one controller. The easiest way to do so is by using a BOND Bridge, also known as a Bond universal receiver. To make it work, you must change the channel setting on both fans so that their channel setting matches the remote setting.

You can run multiple fans off one controller, but you cannot add too much if your circuit doesn’t allow it. Today, we will share whether it is fine to run two ceiling fans using one controller or not and the steps to wire two ceiling fans without any issues.

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Can you run two ceiling fans off one controller?

You can easily run two ceiling fans off one controller without any problem. 

Ceiling fans work by sending wireless signals to the wireless receivers connected to the fan. 

The wireless receiver helps the electricity flow to the ceiling fan’s motor for the blades to rotate. 

The wireless receiver of the second ceiling fan you want to use also uses the same channel frequency as the controller.

You need to change the channel setting of both ceiling fans to enable the single remote control for two ceiling fans. 

It allows the fans to have the same settings as the channel on the remote controller.

Factors considering the number of fans from one controller

However, there are some factors:

  • The number of fans depends on the amperage of the circuit you own. Most standard ceiling fans need at least a 15 amp circuit. If you have a 15 amp circuit, you can use at least four fans with one controller. 
  • The type of switches is another factor. If you have two single pole switches, each switch will control the ceiling fans individually. So, if you turn off one switch, you can still turn on the fan with the other switch. 
  • If you use 3-way switches, the switches will remain interconnected. Besides, both switches should stay in the same place so that you can turn on or off the ceiling fans. 
  • Consider the wiring before installing two ceiling fans to use them from one controller. If you do not know about it, hire a professional to run two fans from one controller. 

So, there is no issue with running two ceiling fans from one switch as long as you consider the amperage of your circuit, the type of switch you have, and the wiring of the switch.

Also read: How Many Lights And Outlets On A 15 AMP Circuit?

How do you run two ceiling fans from one switch?

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Running and connecting two ceiling fans to the same controller or circuit is very easy.

But, the confusing part here is the wiring. 

In this case, the toughest part is running the new non-metallic sheathed wire from one point to another. 

To connect two ceiling fans and control them with one controller, you only need to connect the ceiling fans’ wires – the hot, neutral, and ground wires parallelly. 

However, you need to know the steps and materials required for working.

Things required

Non-contact voltage tester to confirm shutting off the circuit and other power supply:

Once you have gathered all the materials correctly, you will require the right steps.

Below are the steps to fix two ceiling fans with one controller:

Cut off the main power line.

You must switch off the main power supply line to start electricity-related work.

It stops the current from flowing and saves you from electrocution while working. 

Use a voltage tester to confirm you have switched off the power line. 

Ensure that the fan’s outlet box is safe to work. 

If there are any multiple circuits in the outlet box, you need to switch off these circuits too.

Unmount the ceiling fans

You have to unmount now the ceiling fans with which you will work. 

Disconnect the circuit wires from the fan and keep them aside in a safe place.

You will need them to reinstall the fan after finishing the work. 

Unscrew the outer cover of the ceiling fans.

After disconnecting the wires, slowly bring out the fan motor from its place.

Work on the second fan

Now, remove the circuit branch wires from the other ceiling fan. 

Unscrew the nuts for the wires onto their stripped ends and open the fan’s cover.

Disconnect the wires. 

You can wrap electrical tape for extra precaution.

Install the cable

After removing the cover and disconnecting the wires, it is time to install the cable.

Take a 12/3 sheathed cable wire and install it between the boxes of the ceiling fans. 

It would be best to be careful while working with cables because electrical wirings can be confusing and dangerous. 

Ensure the cable remains outside at least 6 to 8 inches from the front side of the fan boxes. 

Get rid of the outer covering of the wires by using a cable ripper or a knife. 

Cut the wire insulation around 3 to 4 inches from each wire – black, red, and white wire. 

Red and black are the hotwires, and white is the neutral wire.

Reinstall the ceiling fans

After you are done fitting the wires, you should reinstall the fans. 

Keep three separate connections for red, white, black, and ground wires on the first ceiling fan with the individual branch circuit and the cable wires (12/3) used previously. 

Follow the same process for your second ceiling fan. 

Make sure you do not leave behind any bare wires that are showing outside the wire nut.

Reinstall the fan covers

Push back the wires into the fan boxes and secure the fan motors in their proper positions. 

Then, screw back the nuts and cover the fan with the fan covers. 

Set the fan, switch the circuit breakers in their main lines, and turn on the main power to check if it worked.

How can I turn on/off the ceiling fan if the remote is broken?

By now, you know that there is no problem in running two ceiling fans with one controller.

But what will you do if the remote doesn’t work?

Here are some ways to make the ceiling fans work:

  • Find how the ceiling fans’ pull cord works. You can buy and attach one to the fans’ pull switch if your fans do not have it. One pull and your fans will start working at high speed. Two pulls, and your fan will work at a medium speed. 
  • People get confused about the light and fan cord. You must know that the fan cords are shorter than the lights. 
  • Since you cannot use the broken remote, get yourself a new remote. Please find out the problem first, because you might not need to replace it in some cases, like battery, range, frequency, etc. 

Reasons why ceiling fans stop working

Sometimes, the ceiling fans will stop working for some reason.

If one fan works and another in the same wire is not running, check the fan’s whereabouts – wiring, motor, circuit breaker, pull chain switch, the remote, etc.

  • The fan may get overheated due to dust or rust. Dust will strain the blades and fan motors, block the filters, and prevent the motor from cooling down. Rust seizes the motor.
  • Your circuit breaker might have tripped. It can be caused due to the use of too many appliances in the same circuit causing overload. Unplug a few appliances to avoid overloading. 
  • Another reason could be wire disconnection. It may happen because your fan is on from morning till night. Expect the problem to happen mostly during the scorching summers. Fan rotating for so long at high speed can loosen the wires within the fan’s motors. 
  • If you have pulled the fan’s pull chain hard, it will break and stop the fan from working. Replace the chain and pull it gently to avoid breaking.
  • The remote of your fans might face issues, like the battery or the range and frequency. Check the remote first before you go for the fan. 
  • The reverse switch could be neutral, for which the ceiling fans are not working. Many fans have reverse switches. If you have unknowingly pushed your fan’s reverse switch to neutral, fix it soon. 

Final thoughts

There is no problem in running two ceiling fans off one controller. You can do this without any problem. But, before you start doing it, you should know certain things.

To ensure one remote can run two ceiling fans, you must change the channel setting on both fans so that they can have the same channel setting as on the remote. 

Follow the right steps to wire two ceiling fans with one controller. Setting up this procedure is easy, but you should still consult an electrician. 

Also, follow the factors like the amperage of the circuit, the type of switch, and the wiring. 

You will have to deal with some wirings while doing this setup. The electrician does better wiring materials than laypersons. Besides, in some states, the local codes do not allow laypersons to indulge in electrical work. 

The ceiling fans may face certain problems like fans not working or remote not working. Please find out the right reason and then solve it.

How many fans can I use in a 20 amp circuit?

Generally, the fans have a maximum wattage of 60 to 80.

So, you can install around 20 ceiling fans on a 20 amp circuit.

Reference: Ceiling fan, Electrical wiringHome wiring.

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Arthur Smith

Howdy! I am Arthur Smith, an electrical engineer who is extremely passionate about electronics. I have lived in different parts of the US and currently reside in Wisconsin. I am one of those rare children who knew what he wanted to study and do in life right from the start. I was a curious child who wanted to know how switches work and how the AC works, and I would always observe my dad whenever he would handle the wires and fix things around the house. I currently work as an electrical engineer at a reputed company and write for this blog. And I read loads of books or play video games in my free time.

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