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Old 03-13-2020, 07:23 AM
Capn Carl is offline
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Ceiling fan is possessed


I replaced our old ceiling fan/light with one that is remote controlled. It’s fine, but occasionally, the light turns on, or the fan turns off, or changes speeds, all with no input from the remote. Sometimes we’re not even home. The fan is, IMO, too sensitive to signals from the remote. I can control the fan from the other end of the house, outside; the signal is being sensed thru several interior walls and an exterior wall. So I’m convinced that a remote in a neighbor’s house is triggering our fan. I’ve reset the fan and remote, which is supposed to reprogram them to a different ‘code’, but the problem persists.

Any ideas?
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Old 03-13-2020, 09:16 AM
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This is probably not going to help much, but I would definitely eliminate the possibility that the remote is the culprit. Take out the battery(ies) for a few days and see if the problem persists. If it does, you're probably right...it's another unit of some type from somewhere external to you. (OTOH, it could be another RF remote somewhere in your house.) If the problem disappears, you have a defective remote unit.
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Old 03-13-2020, 01:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZonexandScout View Post
This is probably not going to help much, but I would definitely eliminate the possibility that the remote is the culprit. Take out the battery(ies) for a few days and see if the problem persists. If it does, you're probably right...it's another unit of some type from somewhere external to you. (OTOH, it could be another RF remote somewhere in your house.) If the problem disappears, you have a defective remote unit.
Meanwhile, at Capn Carl's neighbor's house, the neighbor is glaring at his ceiling fan remote muttering "why doesn't this thing do anything?"
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Old 03-13-2020, 01:52 PM
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My experience with ceiling fan remotes is not good either. I removed them from the mount (it’s usually hidden behind the casing on the ceiling).
Installed a simple dimmer and speed control on the switch itself. Works like a charm.
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Old 03-13-2020, 04:18 PM
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I used to own a ceiling fan just like that, and I never found out what was causing it. I had to manually turn the light off at the switch to keep it from randomly coming on in the middle of the night.

From time to time I would take my remote outside and try to turn on my neighbor's lights to see if I could figure out whose it was but no dice. I sold that house 10 years ago, so maybe you own it. Do you live in Ohio?
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Old 03-13-2020, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Bill Door View Post
I used to own a ceiling fan just like that, and I never found out what was causing it. I had to manually turn the light off at the switch to keep it from randomly coming on in the middle of the night.

From time to time I would take my remote outside and try to turn on my neighbor's lights to see if I could figure out whose it was but no dice. I sold that house 10 years ago, so maybe you own it. Do you live in Ohio?
Exact same experience for us (though not in Ohio ). It's a Hampton Bay-branded fan. We just keep it powered off (from the wall switch) when we're not there to watch it. But sometimes we forget, and get awakened at 2 AM by score sheets flying off the piano while the fan runs in turbo mode. We live on a sparsely spaced street with no motorised garage doors for at least 100m (350 feet) in any direction.
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Old 03-15-2020, 05:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by am77494 View Post
My experience with ceiling fan remotes is not good either. I removed them from the mount (it’s usually hidden behind the casing on the ceiling).
Installed a simple dimmer and speed control on the switch itself. Works like a charm.
not that you appear to have done this, but anyone that wants to install a dimmer switch for lights on the fan - MAKE SURE the fan and lights are switched separately. can't tell you how many light dimmers I've seen on fans with a single circuit for both the fan and light.
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Old 03-13-2020, 05:17 PM
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We used to have a TV advert here showing a small boy trying to use a remote control on his toy car... "Dad, this car doesn't work..." Around the corner of the house, the garage door was going up and down, pounding dents in the car parked underneath.

Last edited by bob++; 03-13-2020 at 05:18 PM.
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Old 03-16-2020, 03:17 AM
Capn Carl is offline
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Thanks for all the posts!
It’s 1:00 am here. I’m awake because the ceiling fan light came on. It didn’t wake me, but it woke Wife, who gave me a nudge to shut it off.
I had pulled the battery from the remote (thanks, ZonexandScout), so it’s some external source that’s activating it.
The receiver is in the fan. It’s a little black box. Would it be weaker if I covered it in aluminum foil?
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Old 03-16-2020, 03:59 AM
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There was a previous thread about this. The OP's neighbour, in fact all of them in the condominium complex, had the same fans, with the same remotes, and there was crosstalk involved.

Anyone recall?
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Old 03-16-2020, 04:10 AM
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I had the reverse problem; every time I tried to turn on the ceiling fan, I rang the front doorbell (as well as turning on the ceiling fan).

So, yeah; it's the wireless equivalent of crossed wires.
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Old 03-16-2020, 07:50 AM
excavating (for a mind) is offline
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Have you tried contacting the manufacturer or the store you bought it from? It sounds to me like a manufacturing defect (unless they believe what you have described as being proper operation). I suspect the manufacturer has dealt with this issue before, and the store you bought it from might be able to apply more leverage with the manufacturer if they are looking at having to deal with a return.
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Old 03-16-2020, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by UDS View Post
I had the reverse problem; every time I tried to turn on the ceiling fan, I rang the front doorbell (as well as turning on the ceiling fan).
Meanwhile, some poor sod is on your porch wondering why he hears people inside and nobody is coming to the door.
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Old 03-16-2020, 09:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capn Carl View Post
I replaced our old ceiling fan/light with one that is remote controlled.
Another thought; have you searched online under the specific make/model of ceiling fan?

I've done troubleshooting on a number of different ceiling fans for myself and friends. In a few cases there were known problems with the specific make or model. None of my problems were situations like the OP's, but hey.
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Old 03-16-2020, 12:42 PM
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So things are turning around in your bedroom without an ovbious explanation? I did know a guy who could help with that but sadly, he died last week.
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Old 03-23-2020, 09:55 AM
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I have battled this issue for the better part of 10 years. For the longest time I was convinced my neighbors' (didn't get along with them) fan was interfering, but then the house was foreclosed on and it continued to happen for months while that home was vacant. It would happen in clusters and occur once or a handful of times a day and then disappear for nearly a year. It typically happens in the early morning around 5:30am or overnight, but has happened during the day while I was at work.

This issue returned for the first time in maybe six months a couple days ago and since I'm home more with Covid shutdowns I've noticed that the last 3 times it's happened have all been within about 30 seconds of my furnace blower kicking on. So now I'm wondering if the thermostat is somehow interfering occasionally. For me, it seems to be more of an issue in the winter months, but I do believe it's happened in the summer. The thermostat (not wireless either) is pretty far from the fan, but the HVAC system is in an adjacent laundry room to the fan. Just figured i would throw it out there as something to investigate.

I think the fan was from Lowes, a Harbour Breeze or something like that.
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Old 03-23-2020, 12:43 PM
excavating (for a mind) is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biometricks View Post
I have battled this issue for the better part of 10 years. For the longest time I was convinced my neighbors' (didn't get along with them) fan was interfering, but then the house was foreclosed on and it continued to happen for months while that home was vacant. It would happen in clusters and occur once or a handful of times a day and then disappear for nearly a year. It typically happens in the early morning around 5:30am or overnight, but has happened during the day while I was at work.

This issue returned for the first time in maybe six months a couple days ago and since I'm home more with Covid shutdowns I've noticed that the last 3 times it's happened have all been within about 30 seconds of my furnace blower kicking on. So now I'm wondering if the thermostat is somehow interfering occasionally. For me, it seems to be more of an issue in the winter months, but I do believe it's happened in the summer. The thermostat (not wireless either) is pretty far from the fan, but the HVAC system is in an adjacent laundry room to the fan. Just figured i would throw it out there as something to investigate.

I think the fan was from Lowes, a Harbour Breeze or something like that.
You may have something, there. Not that the thermostat is affecting the fan, but when the HVAC system starts, you experience a momentary voltage drop that scrambles the electronic brain of the ceiling fan (the electronics that communicate between the remote and the fan). It could be that it only occurs if your line voltage is unusually low to begin with (such as might occur when there is heavy electrical demand in your area that is not compensated by the supplier quickly enough).

Appliance designers have been very quick to incorporate microprocessors in their products, and it wouldn't surprise me that they haven't put enough development into how those microprocessors behave in all circumstances (such as momentary voltage drops).
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