How to Make the Right Ceiling Fan Wiring Connections
How to Make the Wiring Connections for a Ceiling Fan and Switch: Ceiling Fan Box Wiring, Wiring the Switch Box, Wiring a Ceiling Fan that is Replacing a Light Fixture.
Wiring a Ceiling Fan
This weekend I replaced my ceiling fan, outlets, and wall switches in my bedroom after repainting. I have swapped out ceiling fans before, and never had problems but this is the first time I did it and replaced the switch at the same time, and it just wont work!
Here is the wiring that I have:
- Ceiling Fan
- One white wire
- One Black wire (power for fan)
- One Blue wire (power for light)
- Ceiling Box
- One Black/One white together (always hot)
- One Black/One white together (was hooked up to the light power on the old fan..assuming going to the wall switch)
- Light Switch
- 3 gold colored hookups
- 2 with gold colored screws
- one with a black screw
- 3 gold colored hookups
- Wall Box
- One Black/One white together (was hooked up to old switch and controlled the light only on the old fan)
- One Black/One white together (went to the other switch that didn’t do anything)
- The Way the Ceiling Fan is Now Wired
- I have the black wire from the fan connected to the black wire in the ceiling box (the hot one) and the fan works with the pull chain (like the old one did) so that is working fine.
- Both white wires from the ceiling box are hooked together and are attached to the one white wire from the fan.
- The blue wire from the fan (power for the light) is now hooked up to the other black wire in the ceiling box (assuming its going down to the wall switch), and there is no power to the light at all.
- The only way I can get power to the light and fan at the same time is to hook them up to the same black wire in the ceiling box (the one that is always hot) and then both work with the pull chains but not the switch.
- Wiring the Switch
- I have one black and one white wire hooked up to it..(that is how the old one was connected).
- I have tried every combination I can think of, and I tried connecting together the white wires and just hooking up the black ones. I even took the switch from the fan/light in the back room and tried it…still nothing.
- I know it is hard to tell without seeing it, but I am stumped. I took a pic, but you couldn’t really see anything. The new switch I bought is more complicated than the old ones. I must not have been paying much attention when I bought it, so I am almost thinking that is it, well, until tonight when I pulled a working switch out of another part of the house.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
This electrical question came from: Al, a Homeowner from El Reno, Oklahoma.
Additional Comments: Very informative!
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Al.
Wiring Connections for a Ceiling Fan
Application: Wiring a Ceiling Fan.
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced, Best performed by a Licensed Electrical Contractor.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools, a non-aluminum ladder and Voltage Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience, ability to work with tools and access to the switched outlet wiring and the proposed location for the ceiling fan.
Precaution: Identify the switched outlet circuit, turn it OFF and Tag it with a Note before working with the wiring.
Notice: Installing additional electrical wiring for a ceiling fan should be done according to local and national electrical codes with a permit and be inspected.
How to Make the Wiring Connections for a Ceiling Fan and Switch
With this scenario I see one item that is often misunderstood which is complicated by trying to install the wrong type of switch. From what was described in this question, a 3-way switch is being used instead of a single switch, and this can complicate things.
- Ceiling Fan Box Wiring
- In most cases, when the electrical box in the ceiling has two sets of wires with black and white wires (the grounds are assumed), this typically means that one set is the incoming power source, and the other set is used as a switch leg or the switch loop down to the wall switch.
- Switch Box Wiring
This can be verified if the wires in the wall switch box are a black and white, and both are connected to the light switch.
- If this is the case then the white wire of the pair that goes down to the switch (should be identified with black marker or tape at both ends) and connected to the black wire of the power source.
- This sends power down to the switch and the black wire on the switch sends the power back up to the ceiling fan, which is typically used for the blue light fixture wire.
- The white wire of the power source connects to the white ceiling fan wire.
- If you wish to control the fan motor by the pull chains only, then connect the black wire from the ceiling fan to the black wire of the power source.
- If you want the fan motor and the light to be controlled by the wall switch then the black and blue wire of the ceiling fan connect to the black wire coming back from the wall switch.
- Wiring a Ceiling Fan that is Replacing a Light Fixture
- When removing or replacing light fixtures, ceiling fan, wall switches or outlets make sure the power is turned OFF to the circuit, and be sure to record the original wiring connections. Do not take apart any spliced wires unless it is necessary.
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Home electrical wiring diagrams are an important tool for completing your electrical projects. An electrical wiring diagram can be as simple as a diagram showing how to install a new switch in your hallway, or as complex as the complete electrical blueprint for your new home or home improvement project.