Home>Discussions>ELECTRICAL & LIGHTING>Controlling Ceiling Fan from Wall Switch
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BobM
Controlling Ceiling Fan from Wall Switch

I just replaced a ceiling light, which could be operated from a wall switch, with a ceiling fan/light.

When I disconnected the ceiling light, I unhooked white from white and black from black. A red source wire was capped with a wire nut.

I wired the ceiling fan/light -- black/blue(for the light) to black, white to white, and left the red source wire capped.

The only way I can turn the fan and light off and on is with chain switches, not the wall switch.

I did the same thing with another ceiling fan/light with no problem -- I kept wall switch control.

Thanks for the help.

Djben
Re: Controlling Ceiling Fan from Wall Switch

I would say double check your wiring. It sounds like you connected to a constant hot and not the switch leg. Do you have access to a voltage tester? If not, keep the white wires connected as is and connect the others to the red.

JLMCDANIEL
Re: Controlling Ceiling Fan from Wall Switch

Before you start swaping wires around, what all wires are in the box and what all wires do you have on the fan?
Jack

JLMCDANIEL
Re: Controlling Ceiling Fan from Wall Switch

By the way, check your switch to see how it is wired.
Jack

BobM
Re: Controlling Ceiling Fan from Wall Switch
JLMCDANIEL wrote:

Before you start swaping wires around, what all wires are in the box and what all wires do you have on the fan?
Jack

Thanks for your reply. Sorry for the delay in getting back to you.

In the box there is white, black and red.

On the fan there is white, blue, and black. (Fan black is connected to box black to provide power to the fan, and fan blue is connected to box black to provide power to the fan light.)

Bob

P.S. I just checked the wall switch. Black and red are attached to the switch.

Re: Controlling Ceiling Fan from Wall Switch

I suggest you first look to see at the wall switch. See if there is a red wire connected to the switch. Use a electrical tester and see when you turn the switch on the red wire becomes energized. Then take the tester to the ceiling red wire and see if it is energized when you turn the switch on. If it does then the red wire in the ceiling box is the wire that you need to hook the light part of your fan to. That typically is the blue wire. Then connect the black wire on the fan to the black in the ceiling fan black. The white wire will still be connected the the white wire in the ceiling box. Now when you enter the room and turn the switch on. The light part of the fan only will light. The fan will not be operated from the switch on the wall. But it can be controlled by the chain switch on the fan. This allows you to turn the fan on while sleeping with the light off. I hope that helps.

kentvw
Re: Controlling Ceiling Fan from Wall Switch

What Raven suggested.............

That red capped wire in the ceiling box and not being used just don't sound right.

JLMCDANIEL
Re: Controlling Ceiling Fan from Wall Switch
BobM wrote:

Thanks for your reply. Sorry for the delay in getting back to you.

In the box there is white, black and red.

On the fan there is white, blue, and black. (Fan black is connected to box black to provide power to the fan, and fan blue is connected to box black to provide power to the fan light.)

Bob

P.S. I just checked the wall switch. Black and red are attached to the switch.

It sounds like you are missing a couple of wires, are you sure there isn't another set of wires in the box? I'm going to quess that what you have is more like this

This will allow the fan to work on the chain, and the switch to operate the light.
Jack

BobM
Re: Controlling Ceiling Fan from Wall Switch
JLMCDANIEL wrote:

It sounds like you are missing a couple of wires, are you sure there isn't another set of wires in the box? I'm going to quess that what you have is more like this

This will allow the fan to work on the chain, and the switch to operate the light.
Jack

Thanks for the diagram; how did you do it?

There's only the one set of wires in the box - red, black, white.

Do you think the switch was wired by the developer for an overhead fan/light, i.e., the red from the wall switch connects to the blue from the fan light, so the light can be controlled from the wall switch, and the black from the wall switch -- probably always "hot," connects to the black from the fan, so the fan gets controlled by it's pull chain?

Another forum member suggested this hookup.

Thanks,
Bob

BobM
Re: Controlling Ceiling Fan from Wall Switch
Ravens53 wrote:

I suggest you first look to see at the wall switch. See if there is a red wire connected to the switch. Use a electrical tester and see when you turn the switch on the red wire becomes energized. Then take the tester to the ceiling red wire and see if it is energized when you turn the switch on. If it does then the red wire in the ceiling box is the wire that you need to hook the light part of your fan to. That typically is the blue wire. Then connect the black wire on the fan to the black in the ceiling fan black. The white wire will still be connected the the white wire in the ceiling box. Now when you enter the room and turn the switch on. The light part of the fan only will light. The fan will not be operated from the switch on the wall. But it can be controlled by the chain switch on the fan. This allows you to turn the fan on while sleeping with the light off. I hope that helps.

I think you may be right. The developer must have prewired the wall switch this way to support a ceiling fan/light. I had the developer install a ceiling light, before we moved in, which explains the cap on the red wire in the box.

Thanks,
Bob

JLMCDANIEL
Re: Controlling Ceiling Fan from Wall Switch

You have to have power coming to this somewhere. Here's another possible diagram, with the back always hot and the red switched.

I do these type of drawings with MS Paint and save as JPG file and upload to my Photobocket account.
Jack

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