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Electrical Wire and Cable

Correct Electrical Wire Size for Ceiling Fans and Lights

Selecting the Correct Wire Size for Ceiling Fans and Lights: Selecting the Correct Wire Size for Ceiling Fans and Lights.

Home Electrical Wiring Video

Hooking Up a Generator to the House Panel
Using a Circuit Breaker Interlock Kit
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Determining the Wire Size for a Circuit
[ad#block]Electrical Question: What wire size should I use for wiring my ceiling fans?

This electrical question came from: Mike, from Flemington, New Jersey.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your home electrical question Mike.

Electrical Circuit Wire Size

Selecting the Correct Wire Size for Ceiling Fans and Lights

NOTE: As mentioned in this question, Romex is a brand name which is owned by the Southwire company, however Type-NM cable is manufactured by other wire and cable companies as well.

More about Home Electric Wiring

The following may also be helpful for you:

Dave's Guide to Home Electrical Wiring:

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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, Handy Women, and Electricians
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
Troubleshoot and Repair Electrical Wiring
Wiring Methods for Upgrading Electrical Wiring
NEC Codes for Home Electrical Wiring
....and much more.

Learn more about Home Electrical Wiring
with my Online Video Course:
Basic Home Electrical Wiring by Example

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.

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FAQs Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

6 Responses to “Correct Electrical Wire Size for Ceiling Fans and Lights”
  1. gary says:

    The last statement about extending the same size wire when adding to it. Here’s my situation on a remodel, there is a 12 gauge going to the large florescent kitchen light. I was going to remove that fixture and run 14/2 into 5-6 can lights, and tie them into the existing junction box. The new lights are LED and do not require a box at the connection, it says they are self sufficient with wire in and wire out going to the next fixture.

    Thoughts and Comments welcome and thanks.

  2. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Gary,
    In order to be code compliant for the project you should maintain the 12 gauge wire.

    Other options would be:

    Identify and tag that circuit at the panel and replace the 20amp circuit breaker with a 15 amp, then you may extend the circuit with 14 gauge wire. You should take an amp check to see how loaded that circuit is if it will be converted to 15amp.

    Install a new 15amp circuit to the kitchen and terminate the #12 cable into an accessible junction box.

    I hope this helps,

  3. Brian Williams says:

    The ceiling fans in my house produce a humming sound which is more intense at higher speeds. The fans are balanced and not on any dimmer switches. The ceiling mounts are specific to ceiling fans as installed by the builder in 2001. I just installed a new fan (not cheap) and Ive gone through 2 brand new fans and the humming sound is irritating. Is there something electrical in the house wiring that is causing the hum or is there any suggestions as to how to eliminate it?

  4. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Brain,
    The humming of the ceiling fan and the fact that you are having to replace ceiling fans would be a great reason to have the voltage to the ceiling fan checked to make sure it is correct. I would also make certain that the ceiling fan is not on a dimmer switch of any kind, which would include a 3way dimmer switch. If there are separate switches for the light and fan motor then the wiring should be checked to make sure the connections are correct as well.
    Thanks for sharing your ceiling fan question with us,

  5. Brian says:

    Thanks. I checked the voltage and it varies from 119-123. I do have separate wall controls for fan & light. No dimmer switches or 3 way switches on same circuit. These switches were installed by the builder just over 13yrs ago. Is there anything I should check the switches for to make sure everything is correct?

  6. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Brian,
    The voltage readings that you have stated of 119-123 are fine. When checking the voltage, make sure that a separate measurement is taken with the hot and the neutral, and then another measurement with the hot and the ground wire. Typically these measurements should produce the same results. It would be good to connect the ceiling fan to a separate power source to see if it is working differently. This could be dome using an extension cord, however an adapted would be required for the connections to the ceiling fan, and the fan blades should be removed to keep the cord clear.
    I hope this helps to troubleshoot this ceiling fan problem.