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Wire a Ceiling Fan and Electrical Box

installikng a ceiling fan
Summary: How to Install a Ceiling Fan Box and the Support with Photos: The example shows the flat ceiling fan box, a spanner bracket box the box marker for drilling the hole for the ceiling fan box, installing the wire and attic wiring, wiring to the ceiling fan box, measure for the ceiling fan box support, installing the ceiling fan support brace, the electrical wiring to the ceiling fan box, and installing the brace for the box for the ceiling fan.

How to Install a Ceiling Fan Electric Box and Cross Support

Make sure to spread out a drop cloth to keep the floor and furniture protected from sheet rock dust and insulation that could fall and make a mess.
This installation provided great attic access to allow me to install a wooden block for necessary support. This saved the cost of a spanner bracket, and since I needed to bring Type NM Cable to the location anyway, it just made sense to select this approach.
As you can see I came prepared with a spanner box just in case. This Heavy-Duty Metal Pancake Box is designed for the weight of a ceiling fan. The 4 inch hole saw provides a perfect sized hole. After marking my location, the hole was cut and I was ready for installing the block of wood.

Attic Access Allows Installing a Ceiling Fan Box and Cross Support

See a ceiling fan wiring and installation in home wiring complete with pictures to help you get it right. This installation of a ceiling fan shows how a 2 X 4 wood block was installed to provide the necessary support for a 4 Inch approved ceiling fan box.

ceiling fan installing box ceiling fan box

Ceiling Fan Installing Box

This is a hole saw that is the same diameter as the metal ceiling fan box which fits in my cordless drill.

Flat Ceiling Fan Wire Box

This is the approved ceiling fan box that will be installed. This special box comes with an insulated bushing and special screws used to mount the ceiling fan assembly to the box.

ceiling fan spanner box bracket ceiling fan box marker

Ceiling Fan Spanner Wire Box Bracket

This is another type of approved box which may be used for ceiling fans as well. This assembly has spanner brackets that may be adjusted of the ceiling joists. This kit is great to use when the attic space is not accessible or when there is a second floor above.

Ceiling Fan Box Marker

The homeowner used blue tape to mark where the ceiling fan should be located. I used my awl to make the initial pilot hole for my hole saw.

drilling hole for ceiling fan box drilled hole for ceiling fan box

Drilling Hole for the Ceiling Fan Box

The hole is drilled carefully while supporting the drill motor to avoid binding between the hole saw and the sheet rock.

The Drilled Hole for the Ceiling Fan Box

A nice clean hole is made which reveals the attic insulation which is between the ceiling joists.

Safety measures must always be taken to get the job done without problems. Take a good light source, wear a dust mask and safety goggles. Plan your work when the attic will be the coolest. Stay on the wooden trusses and ceiling joists and do not put your weight on the sheet rock ceiling below the insulation.

Use a tote tray or parts caddy or tote tray to keep your materials together along with your tools. Its very easy to loose things in the insulation.

Take your time and be very careful.

Being in good physical shape is a must. If you don't feel comfortable about proceeding with your project, consult a reliable helper or hire a professional to do the job.

installing wire for ceiling fan attic wiring ceiling fan

Installing the Wire to the Ceiling Fan Box

The cable was installed from the existing wall switch and brought to the ceiling fan box location.

Attic Electrical Wiring for the Ceiling Fan

A view from inside the attic reveals good working space for installing the required cross support or block of wood.

wiring to ceiling fan box
measure ceiling fan support

Wiring to the Ceiling Fan Box

The opening in the ceiling is revealed and we see no further obstructions.

Measure for the Ceiling Fan Box Support

A measurement is made between the two ceiling joists so I can cut the cross support piece block of wood.

install attic wiring ceiling fan install ceiling fan support brace

Install Attic Electrical Wiring for the Ceiling Fan

The cable leading back to the switch was stapled to the truss for protection.

Installing the Ceiling Fan Electrical Box and Support Brace

The cross support is fit snugly into place and ready to be fastened into position.

electrical wiring to ceiling fan box installing the brace for ceiling fan

Electrical Wiring to the Ceiling Fan Box

Insulation is moved out of the way to allow me to secure the cross support between the ceiling joists.

Installing the Screws into the Support Brace for the Ceiling Fan

Using my battery operated drill motor, I drove in 3 Inch screws to secure the block.

Additional Resources

Safety Box Ceiling Fan Installation Manual

Here is the Detailed Instruction Manual for Ceiling Fan Safety Brace Spanner Box [PDF]

You will need Adobe® Acrobat® Reader to view PDF documents.
Download a free copy from the Adobe Web site

More about Installing and Wiring a Ceiling Fan

  • How to Wire Ceiling Fans and Switches

  • Wiring Connections for Ceiling Fans: Connecting the black wire, red wire, blue wire and the white wires. I am relocating an existing ceiling fan from a lower portion of a vaulted ceiling to a higher point on the ceiling.
  • Ceiling Fan Wiring With Other Switches

  • How to Make Ceiling Fan Wiring Connections and Existing Light Switches and multiple lights on the same circuit
  • How to Connect the Wires of a Ceiling Fan

  • Connecting the Wires for a Ceiling Fan Made Easy: Wiring connections for a ceiling fan may seem overwhelming when wiring to a wall switch for the fan motor and the light fixture, but this should help you out.
  • Using a Switched Outlet for a Ceiling Fan

  • How to Install Wiring for a Ceiling Fan from a Wall Switch that Controls an Outlet: Required Electrical Circuit Power for a Ceiling Fan, Wiring Switches for a Ceiling Fan and Light.
  • Replacing Ceiling Light Fixtures with Ceiling Fans

  • How to Wire Ceiling Fans and Wall Switches: Step-by-step guides with pictures, Easy to understand wiring diagrams for wall switches for Ceiling Fans.

Learn more about Wiring a Ceiling Fan


Questions about Wiring a Ceiling Fan to the Electrical Box

Why Do Ceiling Fan Lights Flash On and Off?

John, from rolling meadows, Illinois asks: I have 1-2 year old hunter ceiling fan with 4 lights, fan works fine with all speeds and direction, however my lights flash on and off. I have tried turning circuit breaker on and off, which did not help. The bulbs all seem tight enough. I also checked the wall switch seems ok. Trouble seems to be in the ceiling fan itself. Any suggestions? Thank you.

Answer: John, does this happen when the fan motor is working? If so I would check all the connections with the light kit including the Blue Wire. There may be a loose wirenut or connection. Also, make sure the light bulbs are the right size, because some ceiling fans have a built in sensor that can cause lamps to go ON and OFF if the total amount of watts is too high.

Replacement Ceiling Fan Wiring Configurations

How to Fix Ceiling Fan Wiring Problems: Common Problems with Ceiling Fan Wiring and How to Fix Them, Identify the Ceiling Fan Wires for the Right Connections, Wires for Ceiling Fan Light Fixtures, Wiring Connections that Cause a Tripped Circuit Breaker.

Electrical Question from Gary about Ceiling Fan Wiring

How Do I Wire my Ceiling Fan and Light Fixture? The Pull Chain Switch for a Ceiling Fan Light Fixture, and the Fan Motor Capacitor.

How to Improve Ceiling Fan Lighting

How can I make a Ceiling Fan Light Brighter? How to Make Your Ceiling Fan Light Fixture Shine Brighter, LED Light Bulbs and Additional Lighting, Ceiling Fan Light Kit Options.

Ceiling Fan Fixture Flashing On and Off

Why Your Ceiling Fan Lights are Flashing On and Off: When I turn on my ceiling fan the light fixture keeps flashing on and off, as if I am turning a dimmer switch high then low.

Ceiling Fan Remote for a Fluorescent Light

How to Wire a Ceiling Fan with a Remote Control for the Light Fixture: Troubleshooting a Ceiling Fan Light with Remote Control.


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