Wiring a Ceiling Fan to a Switch Box
How do I add a Second Switch for a Ceiling Fan and Light? How to Wire a Switch for a Combo Ceiling Fan and Light.
Wiring Switches for a Ceiling Fan
Electrical Question: How do I add a second switch for a new ceiling fan and light?
- The wiring for a ceiling fan light combo was added with a 14-3 cable.
- The 14-3 cable goes to an existing single pole switch in a two-gang box that already housed three 14-2 cables.
- One 14-3 cable that was connected to a GFCI outlet in the bathroom.
- How do I add a second single pole switch for the new ceiling fan and light?
- Is a 2-gang box to small?
This electrical wiring question came from: Cleo, a Homeowner from Phoenix, Arizona.
Additional Comments: Great!
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Cleo.
How to Wire a Switch for a Ceiling Fan and Light
Application: Wiring a Ceiling Fan and 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 and the size of the lamps that will be installed in the fixture.
Guide to Wiring Switches for a Ceiling Fan with a Light
- The Circuit Power
The ceiling fan requires a power source consisting of a hot, neutral and ground wire.
- Identify the Power Source Cable
The power source cable in the 2 gang box must first be identified for the proper connections to the new switches for the ceiling fan as explained below.
- The Black Wire of the Power Source
Because the existing power source will also be used for the ceiling fan the black wire of the power source is spliced, then an additional wire is added to the splice which is attached to one screw terminal of the switch.
- The Black Wire of the Ceiling Fan Cable
The black wire of the ceiling fan cable is attached to the remaining screw terminal of the switch.
- The White Neutral Wires
The white neutral wire leading to the ceiling fan and light combo are connected to the white neutral wire of the circuit power.
- The Ground Wires
Ground wires in the switch box are all spliced together and bonded to the box.
- Switch Box Size Considerations
Because the existing switch box already contains two switches, a stack switch or tandem switch may be used in place of a single. If a stack or tandem switch is not used then there is the option of removing the existing switch box and replacing it with a 3-gang switch box. Further examinations of the internal wall space will need to be explored to make sure there is room for the larger 3-gang switch box.
- More Wiring Diagrams and Resources
The resources below provide wiring diagrams which will explain the wiring in detail and provide photos of ceiling fan installations to assist you.
More about Wiring a Switch for a Ceiling Fan
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.
How to Wire a Switch
Wiring a Light Switch – Diagram 1
Fully Explained Light Switch Wiring Diagrams. Detailed Electrical Wiring Diagrams and Pictures assist your Home Electrical Projects.
The following may also be helpful for you:
Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.
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This is a testing tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and is the first test tool I grab to help identify electrical wiring. It is a Non-contact tester that I use to easily Detect Voltage in Cables, Cords, Circuit Breakers, Lighting Fixtures, Switches, Outlets and Wires. Simply insert the end of the tester into an outlet, lamp socket, or hold the end of the tester against the wire you wish to test. Very handy and easy to use.
The Quickest Way to Check for Faulty Electrical Wiring!The Plug-In Outlet Tester
This is the first tool I grab to troubleshoot a problem with outlet circuit wiring. This popular tester is also used by most inspectors to test for power and check the polarity of circuit wiring.
It detects probable improper wiring conditions in standard 110-125 VAC outlets Provides 6 probable wiring conditions that are quick and easy to read for ultimate efficiency Lights indicate if wiring is correct and indicator light chart is included Tests standard 3-wire outlets UL Listed Light indicates if wiring is incorrect Very handy and easy to use.
Strip Off Wire Insulation without Nicking and Damaging the Electric Wire!The Wire Stripper and Wire Cutter
My absolute favorite wire stripping tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and this is the tool I use to safely strip electrical wires.
This handy tool has multiple uses:
The wire gauges are shown on the side of the tool so you know which slot to use for stripping insulation.
The end of the tool can be used to grip and bend wire which is handy for attaching wire onto the screw terminals of switches and outlets..
The wire stripper will work on both solid and stranded wire. This tool is Very Handy and Easy to Use.
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It is important to understand that neutral wires should not be connected to switches because this would create a direct short.
Dave has reworded this comment which originally described a concern about the wiring of the neutral wire of the circuit to the neutral wire for the ceiling fan. The original article has been updated for further clarification.