How to Replace a Ceiling Fan Motor Speed Switch

By Dave Rongey - Summary:

The Process for Replacing a 3-Speed Switch for an Older Ceiling Fan: The pull chain 3-speed switch for most ceiling fans may be purchased and replaced fairly easily.

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Replacing a Ceiling Fan 3-Speed Pull Chain Switch

Electrical Question: My ceiling fan 3 speeds are not working.

  • The ceiling fan is approximately 15 years old and  I purchased it form Home Depot.
  • I opened up the cover where the switch is and wiggled the wires and it worked. But lately that doesn’t even work.
  • I can feel a slight vibration at three different levels using the switch and when I turn it off too.
  • Is the ceiling fan worn out or is it just the switch?

This electrical wiring question came from: Stan, from Bonita, Florida.

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

Ceiling Fan 3-Speed Switch

Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools and Voltage Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience and ability to work with tools.
Precaution: Identify the light circuit, turn it OFF and  Tag it with a Note before working with the wiring.
Materials: Make sure the replacement pull chain switch has the same as the original switch, and is fully compatible with the ceiling fan that you have.

The Process for Replacing a 3-Speed Switch for an Older Ceiling Fan

  • The pull chain 3-speed switch for most ceiling fans may be purchased and replaced fairly easily.
  • Turn OFF the electrical circuit for the ceiling fan and mark the circuit showing that the circuit is being worked on.
  • Remove the cover to expose the 3-speed switch.
  • Copy down all of the wiring connections before removing the 3-speed switch.
  • Cap any bare wires with small wire connectors or place electrical tape over them.
  • Take the switch to your hardware store and purchase the exact replacement.
  • Keep the original switch for reference. Install the new 3-speed switch and make the wiring connections.
  • Replace the cover and restore the circuit power.
  • If you find that the ceiling fan is worn out then purchase a replacement.
  • See the links below for instructions for installing a new ceiling fan.

More about Installing ans Wiring Ceiling Fans

Wiring Ceiling Fans

  • How to Install Ceiling Fans

  • Take the mystery out of ceiling fan wiring.
  • Ceiling Fans are a great way to lower your energy bill and brighten up one of your favorite rooms.
  • Step-by-step pictures – Easy wiring diagrams and installation guide – Light and fan switch variations.
  • Ceiling Fan Wiring
  • Ceiling Fan Installation

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