How to wire a two speed fan motor

Written by william kinsey
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How to wire a two speed fan motor
This common house fan usually has two or more speeds. (ancient fan image by Luisafer from

Two-speed fans have a number of uses, from equipment cooling, to personal comfort or for room ventilation. These fans are usually designed with two field coils, one for low speed and the other for high speed. To simplify wiring, one end of each field coil is wired to one common wire. This means that each field coil shares one wire. With this design, a two-speed motor has three connection terminals: low, high and the common wire.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Single Pole Double Throw (SPDT) switch
  • AC power supply
  • White electrical wire
  • Black electrical wire
  • Plastic twist caps
  • Wire cutters
  • Wire strippers

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  1. 1

    Cut one 2-foot piece of electrical wire and strip 1/2-inch of insulation off of each end. Connect the common terminal of the AC power supply to the common wire terminal of the motor. This connection is usually a white wire.

  2. 2

    Cut three 2-foot pieces of black wire and strip 1/2-inch of insulation off of each end of the wires. Take the first black wire and connect one end to the "hot" terminal of the AC power supply. Connect the other end of that wire to the centre screw terminal of the SPDT switch.

  3. 3

    Label the remaining two terminals of the SPDT switch "A" and "B." Take the second black wire and connect one end to terminal "A." Connect the other end to the low speed terminal or wire of the motor. Connect black wire number three between the motor's high speed terminal and terminal "B" of the switch.

  4. 4

    Turn the power supply on and set it to the rated voltage of the motor. Flip the SPDT switch to terminal "A" and the motor should run at low speed. Flip it to terminal "B" to switch it to high speed.

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