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Electrical Wire and Cable

Wiring Ceiling Fan Speed and Dimmer Switches

How to Wire a Speed Control for the Ceiling Fan Speed and Dimmer Switch for the Ceiling Fan Light – If you locate this switch then both ceiling fans can be wired from one switch.

How to Wire Ceiling Fans for Speed and Light Control
Electrical Question: I am remodeling an addition that has two new ceiling fans in it.

Thanks for your help.

This electrical wiring question came from: Eric, a Homeowner from PA, Pennsylvania.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Eric.

Wiring a Speed Control for the Ceiling Fan Speed and Dimmer Switch for the Ceiling Fan Light

Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate.
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 ceiling fan.
Precaution: Identify the ceiling fan circuit, turn it OFF and  Tag it with a Note before working with the wiring.
Important: The selected switches must compatible and intended for the purpose of the desired functions.

More about Wiring Dimmer Switches for a Ceiling Fan

Electrical Question: I am installing ceiling fans (with light kits) in my newly constructed house. The electric hook up at the ceiling is pretty straight forward (black, white, red and green wiring in box) and the fan has black, white, blue (for light) and green. I assume I hook black to black, blue to red, white to white and grounds together. If wrong, please let me know.

The switch is a bit more complicated (to me anyway!). I am trying to hook up a single pole fan control and light dimmer (Lutron)…in the wall switch, there are two blacks tied together and capped, three whites tied together and capped, a single black wire, a single red and the ground. I am struggling to make a good connection. My little “electric tester” shows the two black bundle and three white bundle complete the circuit. How should I wire this to the switch so I can control the fan and fan light?
Thanks in advance!
Background: Kevin, a Handyman from Gainesville, VA

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

The Following will assist you to wire your Ceiling Fan and Dimmer Switches

Wiring Ceiling Fans

How to Wiring a Light Switch
Wiring a Light Switch – Diagram 1

Wiring a Dimmer Switch

» 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.

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Complete Guide to Home Electrical Wiring

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Wiring GFCI Outlets
Wiring Home Electric Circuits
120 Volt and 240 Volt Outlet Circuits
Wiring Light Switches
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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.

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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.
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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.
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FAQs Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

3 Responses to “Wiring Ceiling Fan Speed and Dimmer Switches”
  1. Joel says:

    I replaced my old working ceiling fan with a new one. The control is a dimmer with a rocker switch and was not changed out. The ceiling box has only 2 white wires coming out and I duplicated the installation putting the blue and black to the same white as the old one and the white to the other.

    There is no power to the light or fan but power to the wires that they are connected to. Should I reverse the wires or is it a switch compatibility issue?

    • Dave Rongey says:

      Hi Joel,
      Be aware that lighting dimmer switches should not be used with ceiling fan motors, so the first thing I would do is replace the dimmer switch with a standard light switch and see if the fan will work properly.
      If the fan does not work then reversing the wire connections of the ceiling fan to the original circuit wires sounds like it would solve the problem, however it would be best to positively identify the neutral and the power using a tester and taking a reading to a ground source. I have found that a non-contact voltage tester works great for this as well.
      Enjoy your new ceiling fan!

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