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Wiring a Ceiling Fan Remote Control


By Dave Rongey - Summary:

How to Wire a Ceiling Fan Remote Control Module: Common Mistakes with Ceiling Fan Pull Chain Switches and Remote Controls, Remote Control Module Unit Applications.


Guide to Wiring a Ceiling Fan Remote Control Unit

Electrical Question: I have a remote ceiling fan wall control just like the one you used in your posting about: Removing a standard wall switch and installing the remote control wall switch.

  • If the ceiling fan and receiver have power, why can’t the remote control wall switch work without a load connected to the fan and receiver?
  • My fan use to be a light so the fan is wired with four other lights. I was hoping to use a standard switch to turn the fan and four lights on and off and use the remote control wall switch to control the ceiling fan speed and lights.
  • Is there a way to do this or do I need to run separate wiring between the fan and remote control wall switch?

This electrical wiring question came from: Phil, from Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas.

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

How to Wire a Ceiling Fan Remote Control Module

Application: Ceiling Fan Remote Control.
Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate – Best if wired by a Licensed Electrical Contractor.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools and Voltage Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience and ability to work with tools.
Precaution: Identify the light circuit, turn it OFF and Tag it with a Note before working with the wiring.
Materials: Make sure the remote control unit is fully compatible with the ceiling fan you have and the size of the lamps that will be installed in the fixture.

Remote Control Module Unit Applications

  • Remote Control Unit
    For this application, the ceiling fan remote control does not require a load to be present.
  • Light Fixtures and a Remote Control
    In reality, the ceiling fan remote unit may be used to control any electrical lighting fixture using the Light Control Function, as long as the light fixture and lamps being controlled have the capability of dimming the lights and the electrical load specs are within the amperage or watt rating and tolerance of the remote control unit.
  • Controlling Multiple Light Fixtures
    As this question describes, if there will be other light fixtures that will be switched independently from the ceiling fan then an additional wire or cable will need to be installed to control the independent light fixtures.

Common Mistakes with Ceiling Fan Pull Chain Switches and Remote Controls

  • Key Element with Ceiling Fan Remote Controls

    • Make certain that the pull chain switches on the fan are in the right setting.
    • Pull chain switches are commonly overlooked which can cause the remote control unit to appear not to be working, when in fact they are sending power as far as the pull chain switches will allow.
    • Make sure the pull chain switches are in the full ON position which will allow the remote control the ability to operate with the full range control features.

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