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Electrical Wire and Cable


Ceiling Fan Wiring and Connections

Where do the red and black wires connect on a ceiling fan? The Wires of a Ceiling Fan and How to Connect Them, Wiring at the Ceiling Electrical Box, Wiring of the Ceiling Fan.


Wiring a Ceiling Fan with a Light
Electrical Question: Where do the red and black wires connect on a ceiling fan?

I am installing a ceiling fan that has a light fixture. Where does the red wire connect to if there are no red wires coming from the fan assembly.

This electrical question came from: Bobby, a Homeowner from Leesburg, Georgia.

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

How to Connect the Wires for a Ceiling Fan and Light

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.

The Most Common Wiring for a Ceiling Fan and How to Connect Them

To directly answer this question: The red wire at the ceiling is typically for a separate switch to control a ceiling fan light, so if your ceiling fan does not have a light attached then just cap off the red wire and connect the other wires as color to color as you have indicated, for the black, white and ground wires.
Keep reading for detailed information:

ceiling fan wiring diagram

EXAMPLE:

The Typical Wiring Connections at the Electrical Box of a Ceiling Fan

EXAMPLE:

The Typical Wires Found on a Ceiling Fan

NOTE: Wiring colors and connections may vary with some ceiling fans, or with other home wiring methods and locations.

More about Installing and Wiring a Ceiling Fan with a Light

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» You Can Avoid Costly Mistakes! «

Here's How to Do It:
Wire It Right with the help of my Illustrated Wiring Book

Great for any Home Wiring Project.


  electrical wiring  

Complete Guide to Home Electrical Wiring

Perfect for Homeowners, Students,
Handyman, Handywomen, and Electricians
Includes:
Wiring GFCI Outlets
Wiring Home Electric Circuits
120 Volt and 240 Volt Outlet Circuits
Wiring Light Switches
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Electric Range
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Dryer Cord and Dryer Outlet
How to Troubleshoot and Repair Electrical Wiring
Wiring Methods for Upgrading Electrical Wiring
NEC Codes for Home Electrical Wiring
....and much more.





Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.

Electrical Tips to Help You Wire it Right

The Safest Way to Test Electrical Devices and Identify Electric Wires!

The Non-Contact Electrical Tester
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.


« Using Copper and Aluminum Wire for Home Circuits How to Install Ceiling Fans and Remote Control Wiring »


FAQs Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

7 Responses to “Ceiling Fan Wiring and Connections”
  1. Armington says:

    I am trying to install a ceiling fan with light and two wall switches. From the ceiling there are 2 white wires, 2 black wires, and a ground. From the ceiling fan there is a black, a white, a black/white, and a ground. How should I connect the wires?

  2. john anderson says:

    I pre-wired for a ceiling fan so the black wire is “always on” and the red wire is switched at the wall for the fan light. Can I cap off the black at the ceiling and just use the switched red wire for the fan since no light will be on the ceiling fan?

    • Dave Rongey says:

      Hi John,
      Yes – the black wire can be capped off and insulated and the red wire that is connected to the wall switch can be used in place of the black wire so the wall switch will be the primary switch and the pull chain switch will control the speed of the ceiling fan.
      Dave

  3. Jennifer says:

    I’m trying to install a ceiling fan. Coming out of the ceiling is 4 white copper wires connected together and one red wire. On the fan there is a white blue and black wire. What goes with what?
    Thanks

    • Dave Rongey says:

      Hi Jennifer,
      The wiring coming from the ceiling that you have described will need to be traced or identified using a voltage tester to determine what these wires are and how they may be connected to the ceiling fan. It would be best to have a licensed electrician check out the electrical wiring and the integrity of the installation.
      Dave

  4. JLamb says:

    Is it safe to wire a ceiling fan (no light) to a swag kit and cap off the ground wire (as directed)?

    • Dave Rongey says:

      Hi J.,
      Wiring a ceiling fan with a swag style power source is not the idea method.
      The swag cord and chain method is typically used for swag lamps where the chain and cord are 12 feet in length or less, and a ground wire should be added if not present when the fixture has a metal housing or assembly.
      Keep in mind that all ceiling fans must be well supported and installed onto a UL approved box rated for ceiling fans. One alternative may be to install a surface Wire Molding type of conduit where the method protects the electrical wiring and includes approved boxes for ceiling fans.
      Dave

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