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 Posted: Sat Sep 15th, 2018 03:32 am
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John Hilliard
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Hello everyone,  I need some help with switch wiring please.
I have two MobileAire hex motor stand up fans.
Both are switched with Levolier 2 speed switches.
I find that type switch unreliable in most cases in my experience.
I want to replace the Levolier switch with a toggle with HI/OFF/LO.
I have searched and only found one bit of information on how to actually wire the toggle corectly.
I came across this sketch from a post here back in 2015.
It seems the diagram may not show all the connections to the switch necessary.
I would need a complete wiring diagram in order to do this swap successfully.
I am not an electrical expert.
Can anyone please either help me out here?
The DPDT sketch at the bottom is what I am after.
Seems to me something is not shown in the lower right wiring diagram to the back of the switch.
I have seen to pictures of the finished wiring, and it has jumpers between some of the terminals.
Thank you for the help.




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 Posted: Sat Sep 15th, 2018 01:08 pm
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David Allen
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Hi John. That is an unusual motor design for sure.

We have documented Levolier to toggle conversions for the Emerson capacitor motors, in depth. I've done current draw testing and made videos of this.

The diagram shown above is definitely very different from the capacitor motors. It does seem that the switch diagram shown at the bottom left matches the individual low and high wiring diagrams at the right. I don't see anything missing.

Having said that, I would definitely want to run the motor with a current meter in series with it to be sure it's not drawing too much current. That would indicate a possible miswiring issue.

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 Posted: Sat Sep 15th, 2018 01:17 pm
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John Hilliard
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David,  Thank you for your reply.
I am confused because the diagram in the lower right shows just 6 lugs on the switch.
I watched a video of a switch conversion to a different fan and that switch had 9 lugs on the switch, 3 for HI, 3 for OFF, and 3 for LO, is what I presumed.  
Maybe I am not understanding what is going on inside the switch itself.
Should I get a switch with just 6 lugs as per the diagram?  
Also, back to the diagram in the lower right, are the two top terminals for HI, two for OFF, two for LO?  
I do not think so.  
Thank you.

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 Posted: Sat Sep 15th, 2018 01:54 pm
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David Allen
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John Hilliard wrote: David,  Thank you for your reply.

I am confused because the diagram in the lower right shows just 6 lugs on the switch.

I watched a video of a switch conversion to a different fan and that switch had 9 lugs on the switch, 3 for HI, 3 for OFF, and 3 for LO, is what I presumed.  

Maybe I am not understanding what is going on inside the switch itself.

Should I get a switch with just 6 lugs as per the diagram?  

Also, back to the diagram in the lower right, are the two top terminals for HI, two for OFF, two for LO?  

I do not think so.  

Thank you.


John, switches can be confusing. 

Switches are built with a certain number of "throws." Each throw is an active "ON" position. Another way to think of it is "A 'Throw' is a position of the switch handle." These switches are double-throw switches, with an off mode between the two throws. Also called "On-Off-On" switches. 

Switches also are built with a number of "poles" in them.  Each pole is one complete, individual switching circuit. For instance, a single pole, double throw switch has one circuit; with two possible power paths. It would have 3 terminals.  One for power to come into the switch; and two separate outgoing circuits.

The switch in the diagram above has 6 terminals on it. It is a double pole, double throw switch. It has two sets of switching contacts in it, each one with 3 terminals.

The 9 terminal switch is a three-pole, double throw switch. It has 3 separate circuits inside it, each one with two possible power paths.

There are no terminals for "off" mode. The center row of terminals on the switch are the common terminals. These are either connected inside the switch to one or the other of the outer terminals.

Hope this helps a little! Sorry to cut it short but have some prior obligations today!


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 Posted: Sat Sep 15th, 2018 04:41 pm
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John Hilliard
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David,  OK, I have been studying the diagram and you description of what the switch does.
Question: Should not the Green wire connect to the HI speed terminal at the top row?
Studying the wiring diagram, it looks like it is telling me, the center row of terminals, L2 + BLU + RED, are common to both HI and LO speeds.  

To get HI speed, both the center common terminals, L2 + BLU + RED + the top terminals, BLK + GRN should be connected, correct?  

To get LO speed, both the center common terminals, L2 + BLU + RED + bottom terminal BLK should be connected, correct?  

I need to buy a switch ON/OFF/ON, with 6 terminals total, 3 on each side as in the bottom right diagram,
double throw, double pole switch.  

Please take a look and verify or disagree with my assessment of the wiring connection points on the switch.

Thank you for your help.


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 Posted: Mon Sep 17th, 2018 02:37 am
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John Hilliard
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David,  Please give me a reply as soon as you can.  
I am also interested in your video about converting an Emerson Rollabout fan from Levolier to DPDT switch.
I have Emerson fans also.
Please let me know where your information is.

Thank you,
John

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 Posted: Mon Sep 17th, 2018 12:53 pm
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David Allen
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John, I am sorry about the delayed reply. I have had a short-notice work trip and won't be able to do in-depth replies for several more days.

Both the center common terminals never connect to each other internally. The upper common only connects to the upper two output terminals; wile the lower common only connects to its lower output terminals.

Here is a thread where an Emerson with capacitor motor was converted to toggle switch by Lane Shirley:

http://www.afcaforum.com/view_topic.php?id=50807&forum_id=5

Here's another where a Hunter capacitor motor was converted:
http://afcaforum.com/view_topic.php?id=34828&forum_id=5

Here is one where an Ilg fan is converted to a toggle switch, using similar motor design to the two others above:
http://afcaforum.com/view_topic.php?id=46946&forum_id=1

I'm hoping someone else can help out, because as said my time is going to be extremely limited.

Sincerely,
David

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 Posted: Mon Sep 17th, 2018 03:24 pm
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John Hilliard
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David,  I understand, and am in no hurry.
I can wait till you have more time.
I have purchased a DPDT 6 terminal switch and just want to know exactly how to wire the fan to the switch.
I truly appreciate your time and explanation of the internal workings of the switch.
This is very helpful to my understanding of what is happening.  

Just please let me know if the diagram shown in the photo at the top lower right is correct. 
The last thing I want to do is miss wire my fan motor and possibly cause damage.

Thank you,
John

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 Posted: Mon Sep 17th, 2018 04:46 pm
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Jason Neill
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I'm the guy that drew that diagram, and I can assure you it is complete and works perfectly for Westinghouse hex motor fans with 5 lead motors. Hook everything up the way shown and you're done.

BTW, this IS as complete a wiring diagram as you will ever find for the fans this applies to.

Last edited on Mon Sep 17th, 2018 05:42 pm by Jason Neill

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 Posted: Mon Sep 17th, 2018 10:06 pm
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John Hilliard
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Jason,
  Yes, thank you very much for the reply.
I am only trying to understand how the wiring works, which is confusing without knowing what is happening internally in the switch.  I will wire my fan up as shown.  I assume the black wire has a jumper wire between HI and LO, correct?

This is a great service to those of us like me, that are not electrical experts.
I restored one Westinghouse fan with a hex motor, and it worked fine till this year.
The high speed quit working.  
I assume the switch may be at fault, since that has happened to me in the past with the Levolier switch on my Emerson RollAbout fan.  It worked, then just abruptly quit, with no warning.

Thank you,
John

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 Posted: Mon Sep 17th, 2018 11:28 pm
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David Allen
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Jason Neill wrote: I'm the guy that drew that diagram, and I can assure you it is complete and works perfectly for Westinghouse hex motor fans with 5 lead motors. Hook everything up the way shown and you're done.



BTW, this IS as complete a wiring diagram as you will ever find for the fans this applies to.





Hi Jason. Thanks for posting the diagram. I could see that it's most definitely complete. I think one of the things that people like you and I (those with a strong electrical background) often overlook is how "different-looking" electrical schematic symbols are from the real-world parts that they represent. It's easy to take for granted that everyone knows how they relate to the actual part; but sometimes it's not obvious. This has bitten me in the posterior more than once at work I must admit LOL!

I'm going to look up an image of a 3PDT switch if I can find one; and notate which terminals correlate to which parts of the diagram.


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 Posted: Mon Sep 17th, 2018 11:37 pm
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David Allen
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This may help to clarify schematic symbol with physical switch...




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 Posted: Mon Sep 17th, 2018 11:53 pm
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David Allen
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 Posted: Tue Sep 18th, 2018 01:12 am
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John Hilliard
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David & Jason,  It means so much to me that you helped me get this switch replacement wired correctly.

The graphical pictures help very much.

I thank you so much for your time and talent,

Thank you,
John

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 Posted: Tue Sep 18th, 2018 01:47 am
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David Allen
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John Hilliard wrote: David & Jason,  It means so much to me that you helped me get this switch replacement wired correctly.



The graphical pictures help very much.



I thank you so much for your time and talent,



Thank you,

John


You're welcome. Happy to help, but wish I had more time.

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 Posted: Wed Sep 19th, 2018 03:47 pm
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Richard Daugird
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Thanks for all this info, I have several Mobilaire fans and this will come in handy.

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 Posted: Thu Sep 20th, 2018 07:51 pm
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Jason Neill
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John Hilliard wrote: Jason,
  Yes, thank you very much for the reply.
I am only trying to understand how the wiring works, which is confusing without knowing what is happening internally in the switch.  I will wire my fan up as shown.  I assume the black wire has a jumper wire between HI and LO, correct?

This is a great service to those of us like me, that are not electrical experts.
I restored one Westinghouse fan with a hex motor, and it worked fine till this year.
The high speed quit working.  
I assume the switch may be at fault, since that has happened to me in the past with the Levolier switch on my Emerson RollAbout fan.  It worked, then just abruptly quit, with no warning.

Thank you,
John
I think the following explanation may be what you're looking for:

If you refer to my diagram of the motor wiring, you will see two separate windings. One with 3 leads (yel, grn, & blk), and a second winding (red and blu). The yellow lead is L1, or line neutral.

Oh high speed, the second winding (red-blue) is in parallel with the lower half of the first winding (Grn-blk) with line 2 or "hot" applied to the blue and black leads.

On low speed, the second winding is in series with the entirety of the first, or, red and black are tied together with L2 or "hot" being applied to the blue lead, and no connection to the green. Imagine "sliding" the lower (red-blue) up and down to be either in parallel or series with the lower half of the upper winding (green-black).

When your toggle switch is in the center position or "off", while the line is still connected to one lead to each set of windings, there is no current path thru them because they are not connected in any way, and the fan is completely off.

I hope this helps with your understanding of the operation of this motor. Good luck with your fans!


Last edited on Thu Sep 20th, 2018 07:55 pm by Jason Neill

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 Posted: Fri Sep 21st, 2018 02:40 pm
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David Allen
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Jason Neill wrote:

I think the following explanation may be what you're looking for:



If you refer to my diagram of the motor wiring, you will see two separate windings. One with 3 leads (yel, grn, & blk), and a second winding (red and blu). The yellow lead is L1, or line neutral.



Oh high speed, the second winding (red-blue) is in parallel with the lower half of the first winding (Grn-blk) with line 2 or "hot" applied to the blue and black leads.



On low speed, the second winding is in series with the entirety of the first, or, red and black are tied together with L2 or "hot" being applied to the blue lead, and no connection to the green. Imagine "sliding" the lower (red-blue) up and down to be either in parallel or series with the lower half of the upper winding (green-black).



When your toggle switch is in the center position or "off", while the line is still connected to one lead to each set of windings, there is no current path thru them because they are not connected in any way, and the fan is completely off.



I hope this helps with your understanding of the operation of this motor. Good luck with your fans!






Jason, this is a really interesting motor design. It's interesting how it is changes inductive reactance by rearranging the auxiliary winding. Many motors have other ways to accomplish this; but this design is quite unique.

From an engineering standpoint, it has a major drawback. When the switch is in off position, the motor stator still has a connection to both the L1 and Neutral power leads. Because of this, there is always electrical stress on the winding insulation even when the motor is off.  With a healthy winding, that shouldn't matter. But, if there is a breakdown of the winding insulation, regardless if the switch is in the ON or OFF position, there would be a catastrophic failure.

One example of a possible scenario is, if the motor were extremely dusty; and the dust absorbed moisture while the fan was plugged in but turned off. If the winding insulation breaks down, the motor could begin to draw current and progress to a motor burnout.

Another issue with this design has to do with inductive voltage spikes caused by the switch. When the switch is turned off, there is a very brief but high inductive voltage spike. With a switch breaking the hot or neutral incoming power to the motor, the switch takes the entire inductive spike.  With this design, the motor's winding insulation takes this hit as well.




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 Posted: Mon Sep 24th, 2018 01:18 pm
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Jason Neill
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David Allen wrote: Jason Neill wrote:

I think the following explanation may be what you're looking for:



If you refer to my diagram of the motor wiring, you will see two separate windings. One with 3 leads (yel, grn, & blk), and a second winding (red and blu). The yellow lead is L1, or line neutral.



Oh high speed, the second winding (red-blue) is in parallel with the lower half of the first winding (Grn-blk) with line 2 or "hot" applied to the blue and black leads.



On low speed, the second winding is in series with the entirety of the first, or, red and black are tied together with L2 or "hot" being applied to the blue lead, and no connection to the green. Imagine "sliding" the lower (red-blue) up and down to be either in parallel or series with the lower half of the upper winding (green-black).



When your toggle switch is in the center position or "off", while the line is still connected to one lead to each set of windings, there is no current path thru them because they are not connected in any way, and the fan is completely off.



I hope this helps with your understanding of the operation of this motor. Good luck with your fans!






Jason, this is a really interesting motor design. It's interesting how it is changes inductive reactance by rearranging the auxiliary winding. Many motors have other ways to accomplish this; but this design is quite unique.

From an engineering standpoint, it has a major drawback. When the switch is in off position, the motor stator still has a connection to both the L1 and Neutral power leads. Because of this, there is always electrical stress on the winding insulation even when the motor is off.  With a healthy winding, that shouldn't matter. But, if there is a breakdown of the winding insulation, regardless if the switch is in the ON or OFF position, there would be a catastrophic failure.

One example of a possible scenario is, if the motor were extremely dusty; and the dust absorbed moisture while the fan was plugged in but turned off. If the winding insulation breaks down, the motor could begin to draw current and progress to a motor burnout.

Another issue with this design has to do with inductive voltage spikes caused by the switch. When the switch is turned off, there is a very brief but high inductive voltage spike. With a switch breaking the hot or neutral incoming power to the motor, the switch takes the entire inductive spike.  With this design, the motor's winding insulation takes this hit as well.




I think, IMHO, that you're overthinking this. When the switch is off, there is no path for current flow. With no path for current to flow, there is no stress on anything.

Now, a winding that shorts to the stator is another story, but can easily happen in any fan and would be just as hazardous. So, these fans are no more or less dangerous than any other.

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