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Electrical Wire and Cable

Ceiling Fan Wiring Diagram #1

ceiling-fan-wiring-diagram-1 Summary: This wiring diagram explains how the power is starting at the switch box where a splice is made.
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Installing a Ceiling Fan: Wiring Diagram #1 - Power Enters at the Wall Switch Box

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Install a Ceiling Fan

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Power Starting at the Switch Box

  • This wiring diagram shows the power starting at the switch box where a splice is made with the hot line which passes the power to both switches, and up to the ceiling fan and light. 

  • The power is provided by a 2-wire cable with a ground wire which makes a total of 3 wires.

  • A 3-wire cable is then taken from the switch box up to the approved ceiling fan junction box. The wires are connected to the leads from the ceiling fan.
Ceiling Fan Wiring Diagram #1

Additional Resources

Hunter Ceiling Fan Installation Manual

Here is the Detailed Installation and Operation Manual for the Hunter Ceiling Fan [PDF]

Wiring Ceiling Fans - Example Projects

Wiring Connections for Ceiling Fan Switches

Switch Box Wiring for Ceiling Fan Switches
  • I have a switch box with power coming from an outlet with 14/2. I ran 14/3 wire from the fan fixture to the switch box. My fan has a light kit and want to control it with one combo switch.
    The switch has: black, green, red(fan) and yellow(light) wires.
    In the switch box I have white/white, black switch to black hot, red switch to black fan, yellow switch to red fan and all three greens together. In the fan fixture I have: black/black, white/white, red/red and green/green.
    I cannot get the switch to turn on the fan or light. What am I missing?

  • Greg, I wish I knew the exact switch that you have however, the wiring it typically as follows:
    Fan Motor -- Black -- Red
    Fan Light -- Red -- Yellow

  • The Black on the Switch is typically Power In.
    The Whites/Neutrals - Connected.
    The Ground wires all connected and bonded.

Wiring a Dimmer Switch to a Ceiling Fan

Required Wiring for a Ceiling Fan Dimmer Switch

Brenda's Ceiling Fan Project

  • I bought a ceiling fan and a separate dimmer switch, and I was told by the guy at Home Depot that I could install a dimmer switch for the ceiling fan light, and that I could use the pull chain switch on the ceiling fan for the ceiling fan motor. I cant seem to make that work. I have only a black and white wire at the wall switch for the dimmer switch, and two black and white wires in the ceiling fan box with about four separate white wires due to the fact that the ceiling light provides power to several wall plugs in the room. Can you please explain the wiring connections?

  • Brenda, because the ceiling fan box has power that feeds to wall plugs in the room then the black wire for the ceiling fan motor is attached to the power for the wall plugs which will enable the fan motor to be operated by the pull chain switch. The dimmer switch for the ceiling fan light is connected the same way as the regular switch which was wired at the wall switch box which will enable dimmer switch control for the ceiling fan light. Because the ceiling fan box is a junction box which supplies power to the wall plugs the wiring can be a little complicated and it would be best to have a qualified electrician make these wiring connections for you.

Identifying Wires for a Ceiling Fan

Wiring Connections for a Ceiling Fan

  • I never have a problem replacing an old fixture but now I'd like to install a ceiling fan where there was no fixture before, just a plastic cover. The wires are orange, yellow and white. How can I test them with a multi meter to figure out which wire is which?

  • Dave's Response: Tom, a voltage tester is great for identifying circuit wiring. Using the ground wire as a reference will help identify the remaining wires. If the yellow wire is marked with a green stripe then it is the ground, or there may be a solid green wire that is used for the ground. In many homes that are pre-wired for ceiling fans there will typically be two colors and the white, along with the ground wire. The darkest wire is generally for the fan motor connection, the next colored wire is generally for the ceiling fan light. It appears that your area is Chicago, which has homes that are typically wired using conduit and not a Type NM Cable, and this is why the colors of the wires are not found to be Black, Red and White. Be sure that the ceiling electrical box is rated for a ceiling fan and not a light fixture box.

Taking off the cover of the Ceiling Fan and got a Pow with Smoke!

Testing and Identifying Ceiling Fan Wiring

  • Replacing Ceiling fan.
  • I didn't get shocked even though I was holding the cover with both hands maybe my sneakers? It did leave a black circle the size of a dime on the side of motor housing. I used a voltmeter and touched one to the box and other to fan bracket and I got a long beep until I removed the red or black tester lead. Coming out of the left side of box is 4 wires an exposed red an exposed blue (They were just cut and left)a white wire and a black wire. Coming in the right side of the box is White wire, Black wire, and a silver stripped thick wire that was wrapped around the center nut of the box. The white wires are connected with a white cap. But the black ones each have a cap on them. The box is a little loose.
  • The fan would wobble on high speed so I picked up one of those boxes with adjustable side feet that push into the rafters. Should I just attach the two black wires with a cap then cap the red and blue wire. Replace the box and follow my new fans wiring diagram. The only hot wire is the right side black wire. Now that I'm thinking about it, the fan just stopped working no lights. I bet you that black wire (Hot One) got pulled loose from the wobbling. That's why it stopped working. And it was probably touching the bracket because its pretty short. So that would mean the left side goes to the wall switch. Sound about right. LOL I don't know but God was looking out for me cause I had to change my boxers after that POOW-LAMO! Thanks for your time.

  • Dave's Reply: Anthony, be Careful! What I will suggest is to make sure the fan box is mounted securely and your connections are tight. Your tester is great for identifying the wires, but it sounds like you have it right. The lesson here is to make sure the circuit is off, or the wall switch is in the OFF position. Enjoy your Ceiling Fan! Dave

Connection for the Red Ceiling Fan Wire

Ceiling Fan Wiring Connections

  • I have a red, black white and ground wire from the ceiling. What do I attach the red wire to? The Black or white?

  • Dave's Reply: Veronica, if the ceiling electrical box only has a black, white and ground wire, then the red and black wires of the ceiling fan attach to the black wire of the ceiling electrical box, and the remaining wires connect white to white, and green to the ground.

Replacing a Light with a Ceiling Fan

Dimmer Switches Do Not Work With Ceiling Fan Motors

  • I'm installing a ceiling fan where there once was a light fixture with a wall switch. There are 2 BIG wires coming out of the ceiling, with a copper, a black, and a white from each BIG wire. The two coppers are spliced together. The white from one BIG and the black from other BIG are spliced together. The ceiling fan has a light kit, and a blue wire (for the light, it says)in addition to the white and the black. I spliced the black and blue from the fan to the black that was attached to the old light, and the white to the white. The light works, but not the fan. I can hear it buzz a little, but doesn't go. Any help? I had a ceiling fan up there before, and had it wired the same way, and the fan worked, but barely- only had a very slow speed, not 3 like it's supposed to. This fan was in a different room and worked fine...

  • Dave's Reply: Michelle, make sure that the wall switch is not a dimmer switch. Standard dimmer switches cannot be used to control a ceiling fan motor.

A Ceiling Fan for a Manufactured Home

Identify Wiring for a Ceiling Fan Installation

  • I have a Ceiling fan to install in a 1997 manufactured home. There are no overhead lights, only switched outlets. I purchased old work stud mounted gang box and 12-3 Type NM Cable. I am going to fish the cable through the ceiling to drop down the wall. I need the wiring diagram. I'm assuming black and red are my 2 supply wires, red to the light black to the single pole, single throw wall switch. I can follow ceiling diagram #1 but I am not going to use a dimmer. I am going to use a SPST switch to close my project. I would like the stitched outlet to remain constant on. YES, both receptacles of the switched outlet go dark when the switch is used. Thank You Dave

  • Dave's Reply: Make sure the ceiling box that is being installed is Ceiling Fan Approved. The existing wiring will need to be identified for proper connections.

Circuit Wiring for a Ceiling Fan

Wiring a Ceiling Fan to a Light Switch

  • Alan's Project: I was going to tap into a light switch that is mounted on the wall, but everyone keeps telling me that i can't do that because their is no neutral wire there.

  • Dave's Reply: You have not provided a lot of details here, however if you are trying to extend a 120 volt circuit to be used for a ceiling fan, then yes, a full power source is needed, hot, neutral and ground. The switch box in question will need to be examined to determine if a neutral is present or not. Some switch boxes do, some do not, and you must understand that just because you may see a white wire, the white wire may be used for switching, especially if it is connected to the light switch. Please see the other wiring diagrams found in this section on wiring ceiling fans.

More about Ceiling Fan Wiring

How to Install Ceiling Fans and Remote Control Wiring

How do I wire a universal remote control for my ceiling fan? Installing a Ceiling Fan and Remote Control Module, Wiring diagrams and installation guide for Light and fan switch variations.

Ceiling Fan Wiring and Connections with Video

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.

Ceiling Fan Wiring With Other Switches

How can I make the wiring connections for my ceiling fan where there are other light switches? Make Ceiling Fan Wiring Connections and Existing Light Switches and multiple lights on the same circuit.

How To Connect Ceiling Fan Wires

Where do I connect the Red Wire for the Ceiling Fan? Ceiling Fan Installation and the Wiring Connections.

Wiring for Ceiling Fan Remote Control Operation

How do I wire a Ceiling Fan Remote Control? Wiring a Ceiling Fan Remote Control to your Existing Wiring.

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.

Why a Ceiling Fan Trips the Circuit Breaker

Why is my new ceiling fan tripping the circuit breaker? Common Ceiling Fan Wiring Problems and How to Fix Them.

See more about Ceiling Fan Wiring.
Be sure to get your copy of my BIG New Home Wiring Book:

A Complete Guide to Home Electrical Wiring

Perfect for Homeowners, Students and Electricians
Methods for Installing and Wiring Ceiling Fans
Ceiling Fan Wiring Diagrams
Wiring Ceiling Fan Remote Controls
Electrical Codes for Wiring Ceiling Fans
....and much more.
  electrical wiring book  


More about Ceiling fan

Wiring a Ceiling Fan Wireless Remote Control
How to Wire a Ceiling Fan Wireless Remote Control Module: Common Mistakes with Ceiling Fan Pull Chain Switches and Remote Controls, Remote Control Module Unit Applications.

Tripping Breaker for a Ceiling Fan and Light
I have a problem with a light circuit where I removed an old light fixture and hung a ceiling fan and wired it into the existing setup then powered the circuit and hit the wall switch to check functions and the breaker tripped.

How to Connect the Wires of a Ceiling Fan
I bought a new ceiling fan and can not figure out the wiring. How do I wire it? Connecting the Wires for a Ceiling Fan Made Easy.

Installing a Ceiling Fan in a Bathroom
How to Plan and Install a Ceiling Fan in an Older Home: I am trying to install a ceiling fan in a bathroom, the house was built in 1922. I am not positive how old the wiring is that I am finding up there but it is old.

How to Fix a Ceiling Fan with Lights Going On and Off
I have a ceiling fan with a problem with the lights that go on and off. What is the little tiny fuse that has two wires connected to it? Is this causing the problem with the lights going on and off?

Making the Right Ceiling Fan Wiring Connections
I replaced my ceiling fan and the switch and now it does not work, how do I check the wire connections? Ceiling Fan Box Wiring, Wiring the Switch Box, Wiring a Ceiling Fan that is Replacing a Light Fixture.

Wiring a Ceiling Fan in an Older Home
I am installing a ceiling fan in an old home where there are three wires in the box - Connecting the wires, Connecting the Wires for a Ceiling Fan in an Older Home: The Process for Identifying Wires for a Ceiling Fan.

Installing Remote Control Ceiling Fans
How to Install a Remote Control Module Kit for a Ceiling Fan: Some new ceiling fans have the remote control module wired directly into the fan so there is no exterior remote control module to wire.

ceiling fan - 1906