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Even if you are experienced in working with household electricity, the disclaimer at the top of this web page contains important notes about the information in this document, so please read it if you have not already done so. This web page describes repairs made to a ceiling fan with a pull-chain speed control switch. Ceiling fans with pull chains typically include a speed control switch, a direction switch, and a capacitor.
The information in this document is based on my experience fixing a ceiling fan with a 3-speed (plus off) switch and a 5-wire capacitor.
In the lower hub of the ceiling fan where the capacitor and switches are located, several wires come down from higher in the fan.
The black wires on the diagram are connected to the black wire that comes down from higher in the fan. After completing the repair, I noticed than when switching from medium speed to high speed there is sometimes a slight audible "pop" suggesting sparking inside the switch.
Before disconnecting any wires, make sure you write down what the original connections are. If you do not know the pattern of the original switch and cannot find any information on it, you might consider disassembling the switch (after removing it from the fan, obviously) to see if you can determine the contact pattern. If you cannot determine the pattern of your original switch or are unsuccessful working from the original pattern, a more in-depth approach is required.
Most likely a capacitor needs to be in series between the incoming power and the motor winding. You also need to know the internal configuration of your capacitor, since ceiling fan capacitors often contain multiple capacitors in one package. Once you know the internals of your capacitor block, you need to figure out a switch wiring that will create the desired combinations of capacitors.
Note that all this experimentation with wire positions is done on paper, not with the actual wires. Attaching a Ceiling Fan - How to Install a Light Fixture or Fan - Home & Residential Wiring. Although a ceiling fan is a complex fixture with lots of parts, each step of installation is fairly simple.
Carefully lift the assembled fan and hook the ball-like end of the downrod into the mounting bracket. In this arrangement a standard single-pole switch turns the fan and the light on and off at the same time. If you installed a fan only, with no light kit, a push-button fan control operates the fan at different speeds. A two-wire cable brings power to the switch and three-wire cable runs from the switch to the fixture box. Some manufacturers (Hunter for example) now recommend the fan mounting plate be screwed directly into the joist.
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The amount of the Best Value discount will be reflected on the final order checkout page and will be allocated proportionally to all promotion items in the Shopping Cart, including the Best Value item itself. If you do not purchase the qualifying and Best Value items added to your Shopping Cart when the promotion is in effect, the discount will not apply. The promotion applies only to qualifying items displaying the offer message on their product information pages.
Unless the promotion indicates otherwise, it applies to the lowest priced qualifying item and may not be combined with other offers. All qualifying and Best Value items must be purchased in one order and shipped to a single address. If you return any of the promotion items, we will subtract your Best Value discount from your return credit. If you remove any of the promotion items from your Shopping Cart or violate any of the Terms and Conditions, the promotion will be invalid, and the discount will not apply. The easiest wiring of a light switch you can do is with a single-pole standard light switch.   View the following wiring diagram instructions on the wiring of a switch and replace that switch today!  This article explains the two most common methods for wiring a basic light switch. One method is to bring the power supply in to the light fixture outlet box, and then use what is called a “switch-leg drop” to the switch box, and the other way is to bring power in to the switch box, and then run the “switched” cable up to the light or lights.  The second method is by far the best way, especially if you are using the switch to control more than one light outlet. Run your 2-wire power feed cable to the outlet box for the light fixture.  Then run a 2-wire cable to the outlet box for the switch that will be used to control this light. Properly install the cables in the device boxes and terminate your ground wires as per code rules and accepted trade practices. The white neutral conductor from the source is connected to the white wire(s) or neutral terminal of the light fixture.  The remaining black wire returning from the switch will be connected to the black wire (s) or the hot or live terminal for the light fixture.
In the switch box, the white wire (which is a hot wire as described above) is again identified as such, and is connected to one of the terminals of the single-pole switch (It doesn’t matter which of the 2 terminals, but  personally I always use the bottom terminal for hot, the top terminal for the switched wire).  The black wire is then connected to the other terminal to complete the circuit. Run your power feed cable in to the switch outlet box first, then run a cable from the switch box up to your light outlet box. At the switch box, splice the incoming neutral or white wire to the white wire going to the light box. Connect the black live wire from the power cable in to one of the terminals on the single-pole switch (again, it doesn’t matter if you use the top or the bottom terminal of the switch, but I prefer to use the bottom terminal for the hot wire), and then connect the black wire from the cable going to the light fixture to the other terminal of the switch. At the light fixture, the white wire connects to the fixture neutral (white) wires or neutral terminal, and the black wire connects to the fixture live(black) wires, or hot terminal (terminals are found on basic fixtures such as keyless lampholders).  If you have more than one fixture to be controlled by the switch, then you would now run cable from this light fixture to other lights that you would like controlled by the switch. This entry was posted in Indoor Wiring and tagged box, cable, diy home electrical, DIY wiring, do-it-yourself wiring, home electrical, home electrical wiring, home electrical wiring diagram, home wiring, house wiring, household wiring diagram, how to wire a light switch, light switch, light switch wiring, outlet, single pole, switch, switch leg drop, wire a light switch, wiring, wiring a light switch, wiring a switch, wiring diagram. You would have to check with the educational requirements for you particular location, but usually training for an Electrician is by an Apprenticeship program.
I want to finish my basement and have some knowledge of electricity and want to put a switch in line with the 4 light fixtures that are pull strings, how?
We were upgrading our storage lighting from two lights, one on switch,one pullstring to two on switch and five on pullstrings.
I installed a ceiling light fixture and when I turned the power back on it was working yet the wall switch wouldn’t turn it off that I had installed. I have a light switch in the bathroom that has three black wires hooked into a single pole switch.


I have 2 new outside lights and i am trying to wire them up to an exiting outside light switch, which already has 2 brown wires in. I want to thank you so much for the detailed awesome info that you give for wiring a light switch. I’m trying to add(2) fluorescent light fixtures from a switch that currently operates (10) light, But the switch has a 3-wire cable to a j-box that has a light fixture attached.
I have a switch box which controls an outlet across the room, I would like to run from the out et a line to the outdoor light, between the outdoor light and the outlet I would like to add another switch to control the outdoor light. I have 3 recepticals on the same wire and I want to add a light switch the the middle receptical.
If I only have a black and white wire in my light switch receptical can I still install a motion sensitive device without a ground wire? Presently I have 2 lights on a switch, and I want to add an outlet so that the outlet is live, even when the switch is off. I have a 3 way switch for my outside house lights (1 in garage 1 in house) I want to make on a timer switch (garage) is this possible? I have recently installed a bathroom vanity light in a circular hole that was previously covered.
I removed an old, deteriorated light switch and replaced with a new switch, and no matter how I wire it, nothing happens. I have a pool light switch that has white and black wires i got new light switch for new LED light and switch instructions say white to white, red to red, black to black. I’ve changed the switch but when I flick the fuse on one light works normally and the other light stays on permanently and can’t be turned off by the switch how do I fix this problem? My new porcelain fixture has a connection for a hot and a neutral wire, leaving one white wire unconnected.
A common problem with these switches is that the pull chain can break off inside the switch. Unfortunately, there is no agreement among manufacturers about how to configure these components.
However, I have also included some information on how to apply these concepts to the general case, so this information may be helpful even if you have a different type of capacitor or switch. A fan capacitor with more than two wires will probably contain multiple capacitors in one block. Basically this arrangement puts the input power through a capacitor and then into one of the motor windings. The black wire from the fan originally branched into two, but it was necessary to add a third to work with this switch. If you know which contacts the switch connects in each speed position, then you can determine by inspection which wires get connected for each speed setting. In the case of my fan, as described in the previous paragraph, this means connecting a capacitor in series between the black and gray wires. If you do not know the internal configuration of your capacitor, you could make measurements to discover it. Twin and earth wiring is required for all installations except those using a double wall control.
However, If in doubt with any part of the installation procedure then please contact a qualified electrician.
Push the canopy against the ceiling and secure it to the mounting bracket with the provided setscrews.
With more expensive ceiling fans, switches are available that have separate controls for the fan and the light, though they require only two-wire cable. In order to post comments, please make sure JavaScript and Cookies are enabled, and reload the page. For example, if the promotion offers $5 off one item worth $10 when you purchase two qualifying items worth $20 each, the $5 will be divided proportionately between the three items, so that the Best Value item will appear with a $1 discount, and each of the two other qualifying items will appear with a $2 discount.
We got the lights installed and wired but had a heckuva time figuring out the connections for the switch.
I found that the hallway light just outside of the bathroom is connected through this switch.
If power comes into the switches first then the Black wire feed stays in the box and connects to each switch. The light in the bathroom is now on and also the socket but I had to disconnect the wires from the light switch so the trip would stay on!!! Unfortunately, there are many types of fan switches and it is very difficult to find the right replacement.
First, increasing the capacitance in series with the coil will typically increase the fan speed. IMPORTANT: Keep in mind that this wiring is for a particular switch type and a particular fan. Then it is just a matter of finding a way to wire your new switch to replicate those connection patterns. The speed switch will also be involved of course, since it will determine which capacitor(s) are connected between the black and gray wires. Important: Remember when working with capacitors that they can store a charge even when not connected to anything. However, please know that I cannot provide simple "this color wire goes here" responses to your questions about your particular fan. Splice the switch light lead to the hot wire from the lamp and the switch fan lead to the hot wire from the fan. We had a total of five wires in the box: one for run of new lights, one for single new light, one from switch, one from power feed, one out to bathroom. When I turned the power back on the ceiling fixture went on but the switch wouldn’t turn it off. The white joins together with the wire to each light feed and the black from each light return joins to the corresponding switch remaing screw. It also had a place for another connection (basically 4 connection screws with one black and two white connections and one empty).
I connected the black and red wires from the box to the black wire from the fixture and the white wires together.


However, it may be possible to use a different type of replacement switch with modified wiring. The capacitors come in even more variations, including different numbers of wires, different wire colors, and different capacitance values. So, even if you are using a different type of fan, please read all the sections because they will help you understand how to figure out your particular ceiling fan. In this regard, note that a short (direct wire, no capacitor) is like an infinite capacitor (for AC power only, not DC). If you cannot get a replacement, or would rather just try to use whatever switch you can find at a local store, the following information may be helpful. For example, if you know that blue and black connect to make high and orange and black connect to make medium (just for example), then you would try to find a way to wire your new switch to make those same connections when you pull the chain. Next I decided to use the 5 µF capacitor that is accessible through the green wire on the capacitor block. To check your wiring on paper, carefully trace out what the circuit will be for each switch position. I ran a new piece of Romex from new fan to switch area, installed double gang box, have second switch, but can’t seem to get right combination to get both devices working. The other gray capacitor wire twists together with the gray wire coming from the direction switch.
Discharge the capacitor safely and verify that it is discharged (using a volt meter perhaps) before touching the leads with your hands. Note that the two 5 µF capacitors are in parallel with each other and this combination is in series between the black wire and the motor. The red capacitor wire twists together with the red wire that comes down from higher in the ceiling fan. Remember that the gray wires from the capacitor are connected internally to the other end of the capacitors that are on the green, brown, and red wires (see capacitor internals diagram above). There is a dome light in the bathroom that is controlled from a wall switch but I was not able to see if there where anymore wires leading to the circular hole that may act as a switch wire. Even in a good picture it may be very difficult to read labels engraved or stamped on plastic parts. The approach I took was to measure the capacitance between each possible pair of wires and then draw a diagram.
Also, one of the gray wires from the capacitor goes to the gray wire from the direction switch, and from there to the motor.
It was the perfect answer (method 1, step 3) and detailed EXACTLY how to connect the switch wires to the power and light wires. So, for example, it starts by connecting L and 1 on the top deck and, separately, L and 1 on the middle deck. Then verify your design by looking at your diagram and thinking about which wires the switch will connect in each position. What I am describing here is just the logical process I followed for determining what these wires are. So now I have 5 µF in series between black and gray when the switch is in position L-1. After discharging the capacitor, it may be wise to check with a volt meter to make sure no charge remains between any pair of leads.
On the next pull it connects 1 and 2, then 2 and 3, then 3 and L, and finally back to L and 1.
The red wire from the fan was connected directly to the red wire on the capacitor, so I left it that way. I am getting roughly 120-123 volts on each black but nothing through the neutral when the lights are switched to on. I found that the black wire is apparently hot (as usual), and the white is neutral (as usual). If you cannot find the internal configuration of your capacitor, another approach would be to consider obtaining a new capacitor whose internals you do know.
I needed black to connect with this in switch position 1-2, so I added another black on contact 2 on the middle deck.
On the top of the direction switch, the yellow is on the right side of the switch and the pink is on the left.
At the same time, I wanted black and brown connected on the top deck so that I would have the two capacitors in parallel.
YOU MUST TURN OFF THE CIRCUIT THE FAN IS ATTACHED TO AND VERIFY THAT THE FAN IS NOT RECEIVING POWER.
In the middle of the direction switch, the white wire comes into the left side and a gray wire is on the right side.
By flipping the order of the yellow and pink wires (by moving the direction switch), the rotation direction of the ceiling fan is reversed.
Since white (neutral) is on the left, the gray wire on the right seems to be the wire through which power is supplied to the motor winding. Now when the switch is in position 2-3, the black and gray wires connect on the top deck and there is no connection on the bottom deck. Note that I had to put the gray wire in contact 3 on top because even though the middle deck has black on 2 as well, it also has black on L, which would make position 3-L another high, rather than off. In my fan, it originally connected directly to the capacitor and not the speed switch, so I left this connection as it was. This is just an example of the logical approach required to develop a suitable switch wiring once you know the pattern of your switch and the internals of your capacitor.
The above information about wire colors is not intended to apply directly to any particular fan.



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04.04.2015 admin



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