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Replacing a Ceiling Fan Pull Chain Switch

By Dave Rongey - Summary:

How to Replace and Wire a Pull Chain Switch for a Ceiling Fan: The ceiling fan has 3 speeds, so this is a 3-speed ceiling fan switch.

Replacing a Pull Chain Switch for a Ceiling Fan

Electrical Question: I replaced the pull chain ceiling fan switch with a new switch. The ceiling fan has 3 speeds, so this is a 3-speed ceiling fan switch. When I turn on the fan it is on high speed all the time and won’t turn off with the pull chain switch.

  • I connected¬† the electrical wiring as follows:
    • the black wire on the L (Line)
    • connected the gray wire on #1,
    • connected brown wire on #2
    • connected purple wire on #3

I even changed wires around on the switch but it still won’t change speeds properly. What is causing this to happen?
Thank you for your time in this matter.

This electrical question came from: Roger, a Handyman from Houston, Texas.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical question Roger.

Electrical Wiring for a Ceiling Fan Pull Chain Switch

  1. Before replacing the existing ceiling fan pull chain switch with the new one you must always examine the wiring configuration for all of the wires, and compare this to the new pull chain switch that has been purchased.
  2. Marking the wires or drawing a wiring diagram is very helpful as well.
  3. If the wiring configuration is unknown, then searching for the make and model number on the internet for the wiring diagram will be required in order to rewire the new switch.
  4. Essentially, the line will need to be identified, then the three speeds for the motor.

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8 Responses to “Replacing a Ceiling Fan Pull Chain Switch”
  1. jessica says:

    My pull chain light switch on my ceiling fan broke so I replaced it. After I hooked it up and flip the switch to turn it on it flips the breaker. The only way I can use my light is to screw the light bulb in and out for on and off. Please help me. It would be very much appreciated. Thank you.

    • Dave Rongey says:

      Hi Jessica,
      Double check the wiring to the new pull chain switch. Wire connections should be well insulated to prevent stands of wire from being exposed outside of the connectors. Make sure wires have not been pinched or damaged when the housing has been reassembled.
      I hope this helps,

  2. linda says:

    We replaced the pull chain 3 speed switch twice, but it wont turn off. We don’t know if wires are connected right. How can we be sure? Please help I and an old woman. Its a hunter fan. Is it possible that they don’t use a universal 3 speed gadget for the pull chain switch? The fan has 3 speeds plus off. Isn’t that 3 speed or is that 4 speed?

    • Dave Rongey says:

      Hi Linda,
      The hunter ceiling fan should have a standard 3 speed pull chain switch that is typical, the key is to get the wiring connections right and reconnected the way the original wires were connected to the old pull chain 3 speed switch. Typically the black wire from the pull chain switch is connected to the power source. The 3 speed switch should have a wiring diagram on the back side of the packaging which will be helpful as well. I will see about placing more info about this, but I hope this helps for now.

  3. danilo says:

    Hi Dave,
    Good morning to you. Please send me the diagram of the ceiling fan pull chain switch by using 3 wire asap!
    2 wire for 220 volts the remaining one for ground.
    Thanks and Regards

    • Dave Rongey says:

      Hi Danilo
      The pull chain switch that you have purchased will have a wiring diagram.
      I cannot assist you without specific information about the pull chain switch and the ceiling fan that you have.

  4. Jarret says:

    This is great info but I did not record the wiring diagram properly and now my fan has 2 settings (slow or off). How do I adjust the wiring

    • Dave Rongey says:

      Hi Jarret
      The replacement pull chain switch should have come with a wiring diagram. In order for me to assist you I would need to know more about your pull chain switch wiring diagram and the wires that are found on your ceiling fan, the make and model of the ceiling fan would be helpful as well.


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