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Wiring Ceiling Fan Speed and Dimmer Switches


By Dave Rongey - Summary:

How to Wire a Speed Control for the Ceiling Fan Speed and Dimmer Switch for the Ceiling Fan Light – If you locate this switch then both ceiling fans can be wired from one switch.


How to Wire Ceiling Fans for Speed and Light Control

Electrical Question: I am remodeling an addition that has two new ceiling fans in it.

  • I am preparing to do the rough in wiring and want to connect both fans to a single switch that controls the fan and light functions with dimmer and speed controls.
  • The fans would be at the end of the run.
  • There are plenty of diagrams for wiring a single fan to a switch of this nature, and plenty for wiring a single fan to a on and off switch with a separate speed control, but none for two fans on a single fan/light control switch.

Thanks for your help.

This electrical wiring question came from: Eric, a Homeowner from PA, Pennsylvania.

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

Wiring a Speed Control for the Ceiling Fan Speed and Dimmer Switch for the Ceiling Fan Light

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.
Important: The selected switches must compatible and intended for the purpose of the desired functions.

  • Eric, the concern here is that you will need a speed control switch that will be rated for both ceiling fan motors.
  • A dimmer switch for the lights will be available in several watt sizes.
  •  If you locate this switch then both ceiling fans  can be wired from one switch.
    • With a situation such as this it would be best to have a separate 3-wire cable from each ceiling fan to the switch box just in case the desired method of control will be changed,
    • this way you will have options, where if you wire them parallel you would not.
    • It’s always good to have a back up plan and cover your backside, if you know what I mean.

More about Wiring Dimmer Switches for a Ceiling Fan

Electrical Question: I am installing ceiling fans (with light kits) in my newly constructed house. The electric hook up at the ceiling is pretty straight forward (black, white, red and green wiring in box) and the fan has black, white, blue (for light) and green. I assume I hook black to black, blue to red, white to white and grounds together. If wrong, please let me know.

The switch is a bit more complicated (to me anyway!). I am trying to hook up a single pole fan control and light dimmer (Lutron)…in the wall switch, there are two blacks tied together and capped, three whites tied together and capped, a single black wire, a single red and the ground. I am struggling to make a good connection. My little “electric tester” shows the two black bundle and three white bundle complete the circuit. How should I wire this to the switch so I can control the fan and fan light?
Thanks in advance!
Background: Kevin, a Handyman from Gainesville, VA

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical question Kevin.

The Following will assist you to wire your Ceiling Fan and Dimmer Switches

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.

How to Wiring a Light Switch
electrical-switches
Wiring a Light Switch – Diagram 1

Wiring a Dimmer Switch
wiring-a-dimmer-switch

  • 3 Way Dimmer Switch Wiring Diagram
  • Fully explained 3 way dimmer switch wiring diagram will take the mystery out of wiring a 3-way dimmer switch.



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3 Responses to “Wiring Ceiling Fan Speed and Dimmer Switches”
  1. Joel says:

    I replaced my old working ceiling fan with a new one. The control is a dimmer with a rocker switch and was not changed out. The ceiling box has only 2 white wires coming out and I duplicated the installation putting the blue and black to the same white as the old one and the white to the other.

    There is no power to the light or fan but power to the wires that they are connected to. Should I reverse the wires or is it a switch compatibility issue?

    • Dave Rongey says:

      Hi Joel,
      Be aware that lighting dimmer switches should not be used with ceiling fan motors, so the first thing I would do is replace the dimmer switch with a standard light switch and see if the fan will work properly.
      If the fan does not work then reversing the wire connections of the ceiling fan to the original circuit wires sounds like it would solve the problem, however it would be best to positively identify the neutral and the power using a tester and taking a reading to a ground source. I have found that a non-contact voltage tester works great for this as well.
      Enjoy your new ceiling fan!
      Dave


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