Electrical Question from Gary about Ceiling Fan Wiring
How Do I Wire my Ceiling Fan and Light Fixture? The Pull Chain Switch for a Ceiling Fan Light Fixture, and the Fan Motor Capacitor.
Repairing a Ceiling Fan Motor Capacitor
Electrical Question: I have a few questions about How To Wire my Ceiling Fan and Light Fixture.
- In my ceiling fan there is a small device labeled VM or VIM,4 MFD, AC250v, +- 10/5% TV, AC438V.
- Its connected to the whites and a small red wire from above.
- It seems to be swollen and I’m wondering if I should replace it.
- I would like to convert the light in the ceiling fan from standard to a three way light bulb.
- Can this be done using the wires currently feeding the fan switch?
- The fan switch has a gray wire connected to small gray wire from above and a gray wire to the reversing switch, a black wire from above, a small purple wire, and a small brown wire from above.
- My 3 way fan light switch has black, blue, red. If not, is there another way?
Thanks a bunch, Dave!
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Received from Gary a Handyman in Arizona.
Thanks for your electrical question.
The Pull Chain Switch for a Ceiling Fan Light Fixture
Application: Ceiling Fan Electrical Wiring.
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.
Electrical Repair for a Ceiling Fan Motor Capacitor and Pull Chain Switch
- The device that you are describing is an electronic circuit component of the ceiling fan called a capacitor. If the fan is not working and this component appears to be damaged then the capacitor should be carefully replaced.
- I’m hearing two different terms here – lets identify them:
- A Three Way Light Bulb is an incandescent bulb that is designed to be used in a three way lamp socket, which is typically used for some types of floor lamps and table lamps.
- The 3way light bulbs have three levels of light that is produced simply by turning on or off two filaments inside the light bulb itself.
- Many ceiling fans have two or more lights that are controlled by a pull chain switch which turns on one light, the second light, and then all of the lights for full brightness.
- Do not confuse this type of 3way pull chain switch with 3Way light switches which are two switches that allow one or more lights to be switched on and off from two different locations in the room or area where the ceiling fan is located.
How to Easily Control Your Ceiling Fan Light Fixture
- If I understand your question correctly, the easiest way to accomplish what you are asking is to install a Remote Control Module kit up inside the canopy of the ceiling fan mounting area.
- Then use the hand or wall remote control unit to operate the speeds of your fan and the levels of light that you desire.
- Make sure that the pull chain switches on the ceiling fan are such that they allow full speed on the fan and full light for the lamps.
More about Wiring Ceiling Fans
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.
This link is helpful as a Handyman
Make sure not to miss these Resources for: How-To-Videos
Be Careful and Be Safe – Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Electrical Wiring Codes
Ceiling Fan Electrical Codes
Electrical Code Directory with important codes for electrical boxes and electrical circuit wiring when installing ceiling fans.
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.
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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