How to convert a remote control ceiling fan to switch operation

Updated February 21, 2017

A remote control fan is both convenient and a novelty. It's convenient because you can lie in bed and change the fan speed or dim or turn off the lights without having to come out from under the covers. It's a novelty because not many fans are wired to be remotely controlled, but all fans can have a remote control added. Whatever reason your fan was remotely controlled, you can convert it to switch operation by simply removing the remote receiver.

Turn off the breaker at the main electrical panel that supplies power to the ceiling fan.

Remove the hanging bracket canopy from the ceiling. This will give you access to the wiring and the remote control receiver.

Disconnect the remote receiver. The receiver will be either round or rectangular in shape with two wires connected to one end of the receiver and three wires connected to the other end. Remove the wire nuts that are connecting the wiring together by untwisting them all. Remove the receiver.

Wire the ceiling fan directly to the power-supply wires in the electrical ceiling fan box. Locate the white wire from the electrical box and the white wire form the ceiling fan. Use an orange wire nut to connect these two wires by twisting the wire nut onto the wires. Locate the black wire from the electrical box and connect it with the remaining two wires you removed from the receiver. One wire will be black and the other wire will be labelled as the lighting wire. Twist an orange wire nut to all three wires. Gently push all the wiring into the electrical box.

Replace the ceiling fan canopy onto the ceiling.

Turn on the breaker at the main electrical panel that supplies power to the ceiling fan.


If your ceiling fan is more than five years old, there is a possibility that the remote receiver is installed inside the motor housing itself and will not be able to be removed. In this event, your only option is to have it repaired by a professional or buy a new ceiling fan, the latter being the most cost-effective.

Things You'll Need

  • Safety goggles
  • Step ladder
  • Screw driver
  • Orange wire nuts
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About the Author

Cecilia Harsch has been writing professionally since 2009. She writes mainly home improvement, health and travel articles for various online publications. She has several years of experience in the home-improvement industry, focusing on gardening, and a background in group exercise instruction. Harsch received her Certified Nurses Assistant license in 2004. She attended Tarrant County College and studied English composition.