How to Wire a Ceiling Fan Pull Switch

Written by robert sylvus
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How to Wire a Ceiling Fan Pull Switch
Ceiling fans use pull switches to adjust the fan's speed. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Many broken ceiling fans only need the fan's pull switch to be rewired or replaced. Multi-speed fan switches have several different wires exiting a single housing. Single-speed fan switches only use two wires. Both types of fan switches use a hot "line" wire, which connects to the wire that feeds electricity to the fan. The other fan-switch wires connect to the fan motor. The wires from a multi-speed switch connect to different spots on the fan motor's internal windings. A single-speed fan switch uses the entire fan motor's windings.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Phillips-head screwdriver
  • Wire strippers
  • Wire nuts

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  1. 1

    Turn the circuit breaker labelled for the room where the ceiling fan hangs to the "Off" position.

  2. 2

    Unscrew the ceiling fan's switch cover, located below the fan motor, with a Phillips-head screwdriver. If the ceiling fan has a light, then remove the light to access the switch's cover.

  3. 3

    Pull the ceiling fan's switch wires out of the bottom of the ceiling fan enough to reveal the wires' identification tags. Single-speed fans will have two switch wires, two-speed fans will have three wires and three-speed fans will have four wires. Most fan switch wires will identify the wire powering the switch with an "L" tag and each fan speed wire will have a numbered tag. Some fans use lettered tags with "A" as the power and the speed wires will use "B," "C" and "D."

  4. 4

    Inspect the fan switch's identification tags. Some switches use tags taped to the wires and some mould the wire identification tags into the fan switch's housing. The switch will use either the numbered code or the lettered code to identify the power wire and the fan speed wires.

  5. 5

    Strip 1/2 inch of insulation from each fan wire and fan-switch wire, if needed, with wire strippers. Most fan wires and fan-switch wires come pre-stripped from the manufacturer.

  6. 6

    Match the fan's power wire to the fan switch's power wire using the identification tags as a guide. Twist the wires together and secure them with a wire nut.

  7. 7

    Match the fan speed wires to the fan switch's speed wires using the identification tags as a guide. Twist each speed wire together and secure them with a wire nut. Each wire nut will hold two wires and the wires must have identical speed setting tags.

  8. 8

    Secure the fan switch's cover with the removed screws and replace the light, if equipped.

  9. 9

    Turn the circuit breaker to the room to the "On" position.

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