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Ceiling Fan Wiring Diagrams and Connections


By Dave Rongey - Summary:

How to Connect the Wiring when Replacing a Ceiling Fan – If the ceiling junction box only has a black and a white wire then it will attach to the black and blue of the ceiling fan and the pull chains will be the switch controls.


Variations for Ceiling Fan Wiring

Electrical Question: I am replacing two outdoor ceiling fans.
The old ones have a white, black, red, and green wire.
The power box has the same thing.
The new fans only have white, black, and green in them.
Both fans are controlled by a rheostat switch.
What do I do with the red wire in the box?

This electrical wiring question came from: Steve, a Homeowner from Pendleton, Indiana
Additional Comments: I hope that you can help me.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Steve.

How to Connect the Wiring when Replacing a Ceiling Fan

Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools, a non-aluminum ladder and Voltage Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience, ability to work with tools and access to the ceiling fan.
Precaution: Identify the ceiling fan circuit, turn it OFF and  Tag it with a Note before working with the wiring.

The typical wiring designations are as follows:

The Ceiling Fan

  • Black – the Fan Motor
  • Blue – the Light
  • White – the shared Neutral.
  • Green – the ground.

The Ceiling Electrical Junction Box

  • Black – for the Fan Motor.
  • Red – for the Light.
  • White – the Neutral.
  • Green – the Ground.

Ceiling Fan Wiring Variations
If the ceiling fan does not have a light fixture then the red in the junction box may be capped off.
If the ceiling junction box only has a black and a white wire then it will attach to the black and blue of the ceiling fan and the pull chains will be the switch controls. If a wall switch is used it cannot be a dimmer switch, and the wall switch will be the master on and off switch.

Note of Caution about Ceiling Fan Electrical Boxes:

  • The ceiling mounted electrical junction box must be approved for the weight of the ceiling fan.
  • Ceiling fans should NEVER be mounted to regular plastic or fiberglass light fixture boxes.
  • UL approved Ceiling Fan Boxes are required by code, this is for your safety and protection.

The Following will assist you with your electrical question:

How to Install Ceiling Fans and Wiring
Step-by-step pictures – Easy wiring diagrams and installation guide – Light and fan switch variations.
Ceiling Fan Wiring
Ceiling Fan Wiring diagram #1
Ceiling Fan Wiring diagram #2
Ceiling Fan Installation #1
Ceiling Fan Installation #2

Light Switch Wiring
Wiring Diagrams
3 Way Switch Diagram

Electrical Wire for the Home

wiring ceiling fans
ceiling-fan-installation
How to Install Ceiling Fans
Take the mystery out of ceiling fan wiring. Ceiling Fans are a great way to lower your energy bill and brighten up one of your favorite rooms.


« The Red Wire and the Blue Wire How to Replace Light Switches »


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Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all projects.

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