How to a Replace a Ceiling Fan and Hook Up the Wires

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Wiring a Ceiling Fan to a Wall Switch: Installing a Tandem Switch or Two Stack Switch for a Ceiling Fan and Light

Wiring Connections for a Ceiling Fan

Electrical Question: I am installing a Hampton Bay Palm Beach II model ceiling fan.
Here’s my wiring situation:

  • I am installing this new ceiling fan where there was a previous fan with no light, The new fan has no light but may I may want to add one at a later date.
  • There is one wall switch. I have 4 wires out of ceiling box, black, red, white, ground.
  • When the wall switch is off, the black wire is hot and the red is not.
  • When the switch is on, the red is hot and the black is not.
  • What is the proper way to hook up all the wires? I would be so appreciative to receive an answer.

Thanks so much!

This electrical wiring question came from Lori, in Fort Myers, Florida.

Additional Comments: Great info and thanks for offering this service!

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Lori.

Wiring a Ceiling Fan to a Wall Switch

Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate – Best performed by a Licensed Electrician.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools and Voltage Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience and ability to work with tools and electrical wiring.
Precaution: Identify the ceiling fan power source or circuit at the panel, turn it OFF and Tag it with a Note before working with the switch wiring.
Materials: Make sure the switches are fully compatible with the ceiling fan you have.

Installing a Tandem Switch or Two Stack Switch for a Ceiling Fan and Light

  • The description of the wiring from the wall switch for this ceiling fan indicates that the wall switch that was previously wired is actually a three way switch.
  • That switch worked OK as a single function switch, however if you would like to have the capability for switching both the ceiling fan and a future light then you may consider installing a tandem switch or two stack switch. A tandem switch is two switches that replace the single switch in the same size wall box.
  • The tandem or stack switch (both the same just different names) is two switches in one, so you will have the separate switches that are needed for the future ceiling fan light fixture.
  • If you would like to just work with what you now have and change the wall switch later then just connect the ceiling fan black wire to the ceiling red wire, and the blue wire to the ceiling black wire, then white to white, and the green and bare ground wires are connected together.

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