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KPL on a 3 way fan, assuming not possible?


edokid

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On my second floor bathroom there's a fan in there, and then in the kitchen there's another switch that also controls that fan.  It's been explained to me many times why the 2nd floor bathroom fan also has a switch in the kitchen but I can never remember the reason other than I know it's normal.  Anyway in my kitchen there's 2 switches, it plus a KPL beside it for the kitchen light.  I have some spare 8 button KPLs which are dimmers, and then 6 button which are switches.

 

Is there any way at all to use either of these in that fan so that I can have 2 KPLs beside each other?  I'm assuming the 8 button ones which are dimmers aren't good for the fan, and if I can convert the 6 scene ones which are just a switch, to an 8 button one that would be ideal.  The issue is the 3 way fan thing.  If I installed the KPL here, would it just mean I have to keep the KPL load turned on all the time for the fan to work and be controlled upstairs?  I don't want to control it from the kitchen at all, I just want to put a KPL where the switch for it is and it just happens to be a fan vs another switch.

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Typically, you only need to have one switch control the load in this case the fan. So the other two KPL's would be capped off for the load wire and simply linked which would allow remote control of the fan. You are correct about not using a dimmer on a fan as this can cause issues and early failure to the extreme a fire condition. 

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Yes, you could put KPLs in both locations if your wiring is per the illustration.

 

The lack of black tape is NOT conclusive evidence that hits is neutral. Most likely, they simply failed to add the tape. White, in this case, is NOT neutral.

 

Basically, you would connect white from the power source to all whites. Connect black from the power source to the black going to the second switch. Red wire abandoned.

 

At both boxes connect switch white to other white wires. Connect left switch red to black wire connected to load. Connect switch blacks to supply black.

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Secondary Insteon devices (controller not connected to the load, it can be a device or a button) behave as the primary device (connected to the load).

 

A secondary dimmer is a dimmer if the load device is a dimmer and is an On/Off only if the primary device is a relay.

 

Likewise, an On/Off secondary device is an On/Off button if the primary device is a relay and it's a dimmer if the device connected to the load is a dimmer.

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I would first find out the reason there is a switch for an upstairs fan in the kitchen.  If the reason is real, ie. electric code where you live, then I'd put an insteon switch upstairs, abandon the 3-way wiring, and put a KPL downstairs (as Teken/oberkc mentioned, cap the red load wire) and link the buttons as you like... with one button linked to the upstairs fan switch.

 

If the reason is not good, ie., previous homeowners convenience, I'd abandon the 3-way wiring to make a normal 2-way switch upstairs, cap the extra wire downstairs and install any spare KPL in the kitchen with full use of all buttons for other things.

 

EDIT:  was the reason to tie into an existing GFCI protected circuit?  If yes, you can still eliminate the switch, just make sure the circuit is tied together correctly.

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It's in the kitchen due to some code here, I googled it before and seemed to be a local thing.  I put a KPL on both now, one on the fan and one in the kitchen after I read the actual manual and saw they have wiring diagrams to make it work.  So now the KPL in the kitchen turns the fan upstairs on by a scene.  I'd have preferred a switchlinc on the fan but I only have dimmers, but a spare KPL was a switch so will make it work.

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If the kitchen device is not wired to the load, then you can use a dimmer. (see #4)

 I took referenced "switch" to be in regards to the device that goes in the bathroom and actually powers the load. 

 

Which makes me think...if the actual wiring is as I suspect, with three conductors between the bath and kitchen location, there would be no reason not to put a relay keypad in the kitchen location and use that device to power the load.  Then one could put the dimmer switchlinc in the bath and link it to the keypad via scene.  The downside may be that the primary button in the kitchen would need be used for the fan.

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In most cases, switching which of the two devices controls the load in a 3-way configutation is easily done. There are actually two downsides to controlling the load from the kitchen device, requiring that the primary button be used and that the relay clicks. The dimmer is silent.

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Thanks everyone, I got it working the way I want, took some trial and error because my wiring was similar but not the same as any of the examples in the Keypadlinc manual, so used a pair of non 3-way old switches first just to confirm which was the load, and that the red was a traveller and not some lazy person using it for something else.

 

The way it is now, is the red traveller is capped at both ends, and in the kitchen I have a KPL switch 8 button, connected just to the line or load, I forget which, the black one that goes to the KPL beside it, and the other red is just capped, so basically the KPL isn't connected to any load.

 

Upstairs I originally hadn't touched the switch other than changing it to a non 3-way one to test which seemed to work fine, but I would lose control of the fan from the kitchen so figured should do it properly in case it is something with code.  So because I don't have any switchlinc's that are a switch vs dimmer, and only had a spare 8 button KPL switch, I decided to just put that one in.  That one was the huge pain, took so many tries to get it right because it doesn't match the diagrams in the manual.  So I finally just stopped and looked where the wires were going, and thought about it from a schematics view and then it made sense and worked right away.

 

So I then made a scene to link the KPL A button from downstairs to the KPL A load button upstairs, which is fine as that's 16 buttons downstairs side by side so pretty much just enough anyway so I am fine with it showing fan downstairs.  Plus by putting the KPL there (which I may switch to a switchlinc SWITCH if I don't have a need for KPL buttons), I can put a hidden door sensor to turn the fan on when the door closes etc as I have a spare sensor as well from my front door when I just installed a Schlage lock.  So far so good, thanks everyone!!!

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Thanks everyone, I got it working the way I want, took some trial and error because my wiring was similar but not the same as any of the examples in the Keypadlinc manual, so used a pair of non 3-way old switches first just to confirm which was the load, and that the red was a traveller and not some lazy person using it for something else.

 

The way it is now, is the red traveller is capped at both ends, and in the kitchen I have a KPL switch 8 button, connected just to the line or load, I forget which, the black one that goes to the KPL beside it, and the other red is just capped, so basically the KPL isn't connected to any load.

 

Upstairs I originally hadn't touched the switch other than changing it to a non 3-way one to test which seemed to work fine, but I would lose control of the fan from the kitchen so figured should do it properly in case it is something with code.  So because I don't have any switchlinc's that are a switch vs dimmer, and only had a spare 8 button KPL switch, I decided to just put that one in.  That one was the huge pain, took so many tries to get it right because it doesn't match the diagrams in the manual.  So I finally just stopped and looked where the wires were going, and thought about it from a schematics view and then it made sense and worked right away.

 

So I then made a scene to link the KPL A button from downstairs to the KPL A load button upstairs, which is fine as that's 16 buttons downstairs side by side so pretty much just enough anyway so I am fine with it showing fan downstairs.  Plus by putting the KPL there (which I may switch to a switchlinc SWITCH if I don't have a need for KPL buttons), I can put a hidden door sensor to turn the fan on when the door closes etc as I have a spare sensor as well from my front door when I just installed a Schlage lock.  So far so good, thanks everyone!!!

 

Glad you got it all sorted out.

 

As an aside, I believe lots of people tend to forget not only aesthetics but the long term use and human ergonomics of placement of a KPL vs Switch Linc.

 

Before I went down the HA path I sat down and really thought about how switches in key areas would be used by the average person.

 

NOTE: This is besides knowing custom keys should be used for KPL's which just makes sense. Only a fool would leave it to be A-B-C  and expect the family, friends, who ever to know what each button did.

 

So, the next step was noting daily life styles and real world use cases. In situations where your hands are full or where quick activation of a system is required a paddle should be used. I have seen a few people who have deployed KPL's on the bathrooms and really have to take pause because long term it doesn't work.

 

I could have changed out every switch in my home to use a KPL but didn't. Because it made no sense from a human ergonomic stand point, or from a safety stand point.

 

Every day since install (last 5-6 years) this design principle and deployment method has proven to just work and makes sense. This same basic and common sense approach is how I help others do the same in installs.

 

Its definitely the KISS principle . . .

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Yeah I agree.  I have these KPLs here because I have Hue lights under the counter and in the kitchen and they are super easy to control with their API from the ISY, so I have scenes and color schemes linked to various KPL buttons but I left a bunch blank because I know things will probably change daily around here.

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We prefer the control a Keypad provides. Each room's device depends on the switch box (except the BR we added) and what is automated. Every paddle and button is labelled, color diffusers help, also.

 

A example involving two adjacent rooms:

The kitchen has two entries, one end has a paddle in the kitchen, the other end has an 8-button KeypadLinc which is in the adjacent room. That room is where the computers are because it's a corner with two views. That particular area opens into the living room with no wall between.

 

From that Keypad, we have control of:

A: LR light

B: this area light

C: LR torchiere 1

D: Kitchen light

E: LR torchiere 2

F: Dining room light (on other side of kitchen)

G: LR window AC (we don't always need the front zone on)

H: this area ceiling fan (blue diffuser)

 

IMO, there is no, "that's better." My preference for Insteon was influenced by its flexibility. Others use, not choose, what I've set up. Well, OK--the WAF matters B)

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IMO, there is no, "that's better." My preference for Insteon was influenced by its flexibility. Others use, not choose, what I've set up. Well, OK--the WAF matters B)

I hope very much no one took any offence in my reply indicating my views. I also agree sometimes its the WAF that limits or makes us do something other than intended!

 

The key thing I was trying to stress is with small kids, or as we get older having paddles in key areas that must be used at any moment in time is critical for long term safety and satisfaction.

 

I speak from personal experience where a client asked to install all KPL's. I cautioned him the added expense was not warranted and also in the long term would not please the family unit.

 

About two months later the novelty wore off and the WAF was extremely low. Trying to get Charlie Brown to pick only one miniature chicklet for the bathroom was impossible.

 

He was too small, too young, and simply did not understand when he needed to pee the top upper most button needed to be selected.

 

After about three pee breaks in the hall way and in around the bathroom floor. A paddle was requested for install and the KPL was moved to another less high traffic use space.

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Put the button on the bottom.

Charlie Brown, has since been accustomed to use the large single paddle. I would rather not hear about Charlie Brown dropping a deux on the floor trying to figure out its the bottom KPL key.

 

I don't get paid for clean up!

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I hang my coat in the laundry room by the garage door. I went to grab it this morning and for a split second fumbled to turn on the lights which are now on a 6button Kpl. Fortunately, at that moment, the new motion sensor triggered the lights on. Paddles are definitely the easiet. I like the 6 buttons because they simulate paddles in that the top is on, bottom is off. 8 buttons can be more difficult to figure out, even when properly labeled. My two little ones (3.5 and 5.5) are insteon masters. Show them once which button to press and they have it.

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Toggles are even easier, but not as decorous as a paddle which, BTW, are often called Decora, a name trademarked by Leviton. But, if there's a need/desire to control multiple devices from a single-gang box, then only a KeypadLinc will do.

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