Ceiling fan motor noise after installing Inovelli dimmer

This might sound strange, but after installing an Inovelli Red series dimmer last night for a bedroom ceiling fan & light, the fan motor seems louder. Could the dimmer be affecting the power to the fan in such a way as to cause the fan to make more noise?

If so, is there anything I can do to fix it, or do I have to choose between the smart switch and a quiet fan?

The dimmer is installed in a single pole configuration with neutral wire, if that’s relevant.

According to the manual, the dimmer should not be used to control fans, as it can damage the fan motor

Technically, I’m not using it to control the fan. I’ve set it to disable the internal relay, so that the switch just sends signals to my hubitat to control the smart bulbs that are in the fan.

With that said, I’m not trying to slide by on a technicality. :slight_smile: I’m pretty sure that @Eric_Inovelli has said that these ARE ok to use with fans, based on information which wasn’t available at the time that warning was put into the manual.

@NeighborGeek - I thought Eric said the On/Off switches were okay for motors, not dimmers. I would highly recommend swapping it out with the On/Off switch and disable relay if needed.

That’s possible. I wish the holiday deal had offered the on/off switches as an option, or maybe even a mix & match deal. I really don’t need 4 dimmers, that’s just what happened to be in the box. :slight_smile: I have ceiling fans in every room of my house except the bathroom and hallway.

For that matter, all I really need in most cases is a pico remote on a wall plate, but with some way to still access the switch to cut power to the fixture for maintenance & to meet code.

Edit: Oh, the other reason I got the dimmers was for non-neutral wire support. In this particular switch box, I do have a neutral wire available, but that’s not the norm in the house.

Bypass the switch by pigtailing the load to a hot in the box. That takes the switch out of the equation but still accomplishes a constant hot to the fan. See if that solves the noise issue. Leave the line and neutral connected to the switch so that it has power and can still talk to your hub.

Hmm… that just might work. I’ll give it a try tonight.


On second thought, that would also bypass the air gap switch, leaving me with no way to cut power to the fixture for maintenance. Doh!

It would, but how often do you do maintenance on the fan? Is this just to the fan motor or are the lights on it too?

Lights as well, but all hue bulbs so I don’t want the switch cutting power to them under normal circumstances.

As for how often, I haven’t touched that fan in over 10 years, until I started screwing with this smart home stuff. I’ve been told though that electrical code requires a switch capable of disconnecting power to the circuit. I haven’t looked it up personally, but it seems like a good idea regardless.

Does your fan have pull-chains for the lights and fan speed? If so, you could always use those if you need to cut power for maintenance?

That would be sufficient for something like changing a light bulb, but doesn’t help if working on the wiring for some reason - changing out the fan, or adding a control module in the canopy, or something of that nature.

I believe the poster above is correct (not that the warning in the manual doesn’t suffice) that the dimmer cannot be used on a fan — even if a dimmer at 99 were the same as a switch when on (I don’t know enough about the electronics to say but can state from experience that something is clearly still different) — which may damage the fan — it’s also likely that the dimmer wouldn’t be able to handle the high inrush current from a motor load — which may damage the dimmer. Bad on both ends.

Sounds like we’re in pretty much the same situation. I have a fan with Hue bulbs in the light kit (so I never want to turn off power) and only one load wire at the switch (and there isn’t really room to add a gang for a fan switch even if I wanted to). I’m sure you’ve seen Inovelli’s Project Hurricane, Fan & Light Switch (Project Hurricane), which is what I’m planning on using to solve this problem … as soon as my pre-order ships in (hopefully) a few months :slight_smile: It does require installation of a canopy module for the fan, but I was already using one and just plan on swapping out my existing Hampton Bay Fan Controller with this. I’ll gain a usable wall switch for both the fan and lights in a single gang (via Central Scenes since I’ll disable local control, apparently the same as you — which I guess I could already do with the switch if I didn’t mind using the config button for the fan, but this will look nicer, be more intuitive, and give me the big LED bars that I’d be missing compared to the Dimmer that I prefer everywhere for this reason).

I also thought about permanently wiring the line and load to bypass the dimmer as suggested above, but the Hampton Bay Fan Controller requires a very precise reset sequence if it ever falls of your network, and doing that with a breaker does not sound fun. (But I will say my problems with it have practically disappeared since I replaced its antenna. I still want the Inovelli for the wall switch, though!)

Yeah, same setup. Having JUST installed the hampton bay controllers in my fans last month, I really don’t want to replace them at this point though. Plus, I’m not thrilled with the design of the Inovelli Fan & Light switch. I want a canopy module that uses zigbee or z-wave, not z-wave to a wall switch and proprietary RF from there to the canopy module. Who knows, maybe I’ll come around on that eventually, but for now I’m probably going to pull the dimmer switch from this room and go back to the wall mounted pico, with the custom wall plates we were discussing in the Hubitat forum yesterday.

If you’re just using the switch to cut power then going to play inside the fan you’re asking for trouble. ALWAYS cut power at the breaker before doing anything maintenance related.

It sounds like you’ve actually had good luck with your Hampton Bay controllers, I can’t get both of mine to continue working for more than a few days, one always seems to stop responding I’m guessing it antenna related but just decided to replace the modules rather than mess with trying to fix the Hampton Bay’s that have never worked well.

Rip them out, sell them as barely used on eBay, and get the Inovelli instead if you can wait? Haha. But for real, you should rip them out and replace the antenna (or at least verify the connection on the existing one) if you haven’t already. You’ll wish you did the first time it falls of your Zigbee network (a problem I’ve never had since doing that). That was one of the reasons I was looking forward to the Inovelli, but now I’m doing it anyway because I just want the functionality from the switch.

That’s what I do, but the Hampton Bay controller has a very picky on/off sequence you need to do to reset it, and I would not want to try that with a breaker. It’s hard enough being in the same room with a normal switch. I can’t blame anyone with this controller for not wanting to do that. :slight_smile:

This is almost always the case. Lots of people recommend having a repeater (or two) in the same room. I had to as well, until I replaced the antenna (link above in this post). That helped … but like you, I still want to replace it, in my case to get the switch. :slight_smile:

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I installed the first Hampton Bay controller in my bedroom and it worked perfectly. Thought it was perfect for every fan in the house. Bought 5 more, installed 2, and then started having trouble. The kitchen was the worst. I tried everything, put in an Ikea Tradfri outlet as a repeater, swapped the antennas, nothing worked. Finally, I picked up a couple of the Ikea USB charger repeaters, and put it in place of the outlet. I don’t know if it’s just a much better repeater than the outlet or what, but from that moment on the kitchen fan has been absolutely reliable.