Replacing a Light Fixture with a Ceiling Fan
How to Replace a Light Fixture with a Ceiling Fan: Guide for Wiring a Ceiling Fan, Common Problems When Wiring a Ceiling Fan.
Guide to Replacing a Light Fixture with a Ceiling Fan and Light
Electrical Question: I am replacing the light fixture with a ceiling fan that also has a light fixture with it.
- There was already a light in the ceiling which worked fine.
- There is one black and one white wire with ground coming out of the receptacle in the ceiling.
- That receptacle is operated by a wall switch in the room.
- The wall switch has two black wires going to the switch.
- There is three white wires together with a wire nut.
- I hooked the blue and black wire from the fan to the black wire out of the ceiling receptacle.
- The white wire is hooked to the white wire coming out of the ceiling.
- When I turn on the wall switch all that works is the lights to the ceiling fan.
- I cannot get the motor to come on that operates the fan blades.
- I have tried two different ceiling fans with the same results.
What am I missing?
This electrical wiring question came from: David, a Homeowner from Roosevelt, Utah.
Thanks for your electrical wiring question David.
How to Replace a Light Fixture with a Ceiling Fan
Application: Replace a Light Fixture with 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.
Common Problems When Replacing a Light Fixture with a Ceiling Fan and How to Fix Them
- Wall Switches
Remember that the position or setting of the pull chain at the ceiling fan overrides all other switches and controls.
- Pull Chain Switch
The pull chains are in essence the master control for the light and fan functions for motor speed and light levels.
- Fan Direction Switch Setting
On rare occasion the fan motor direction switch can slide into the Middle Position and cause the motor not to work.
- Motor Supports and Braces
These are plastic inserts, usually screwed in where the fan blade arms attach. They are put in place to prevent damage to the motor assembly and they need to be removed.
- IMPORTANT: If you are replacing a light fixture with a ceiling make sure to install an approved ceiling box rated for ceiling fans, otherwise the ceiling fan may come crashing down and could cause some damage!
NOTE: The links below lead to detailed pictures and complete wiring diagrams that will help you wire up you ceiling fan.
More about Replacing a Light Fixture with a Ceiling Fan
How to Install Ceiling Fans and Wiring
Step-by-Step pictures – Easy wiring diagrams and installation guide – Light and fan switch variations.
Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.
The Safest Way to Test Electrical Devices and Identify Electric Wiring!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, [amazon.com], I use for the detection of Standard 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.
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