Content of the material
- Tools Required
- 4. Switching the Light and Fan from Separate Switches (Two Switches)
- STEP 6: Follow the installation instructions for the light kit
- Wire the fan, fan light and switch
- Connect ceiling fan wiring at the fan: Know your ceiling fan wire colors
- How to Install a Ceiling Fan with a Red Wire: FAQs
- What does the red wire do when a ceiling fan is installed?
- Where does the red wire go on a ceiling fan with a remote?
- What do I do with the red wire when installing a ceiling light?
- 1. Powered Ceiling Fan and/or Light Without Any Switches (NoSwitches)
- Stay Current with Direct Energy
- Project details
- Supplies Needed
- How to connect the wires
- Strip the end of the wires
- Connect the white wires
- Connect the two green wires
- Connect the black and blue wires if you only have one switch
- Connect the yellow ground wire to the green wires
- Twist the phase wires together with the black wire from the ceiling
- Replace the plastic caps at the end of the wiring.
- Finalizing the installation
- Bend the connected wires inward from the ceiling bracket
- Screw the fan cover to the bracket
- Re-establish power from the fuse box and test the fan
- Disassemble the fan and check the connections if necessary
- Follow the manufacturer’s directions to install the adjustable hanger bar and ceiling box
- How to Install a Ceiling Fan
- 1. Remove the Existing Light Fixture
- 2. Remove Box and Cut New Hole
- 3. Attach New Electrical Box
- 4. Glue on the Ceiling Medallion
- 5. Mount the Ceiling Plate
- 6. Assemble the Fan Components
- 7. Make the Wire Connections
- 8. Attach the Blades and Lights
- FAQs About Hanging a Ceiling Fan
- Q. How long does it take to install a ceiling fan without existing wiring?
- Q. How do I know if my junction box will hold a ceiling fan?
- Q. Can you hang a ceiling fan where a light was?
- 4-in-1 screwdriver
- Level 2-ft.
- Needle-nose pliers
- Non-contact voltage tester
- Nut driver
- Tape measure
- Wire stripper/cutter
- Wrench set
4. Switching the Light and Fan from Separate Switches (Two Switches)
This is the most versatile way to electrically wire a ceiling fan with a light kit. It allows for separate control over both the fan and the light in the room. There are also lots of really convenient switches that put this dual control into one neat little package. Some even give you the ability to dim the lights – definitely a nice touch! There are endless choices when it comes to combination dimmers/switches you can use with your fan or fan/light.
Of course you can always simply wire up two single pole switches and you’re all set. And here is what the electrical wiring would look like for this situation:
It looks more complicated, but don’t sweat it. The basic idea is that your power supply line is feeding both switches. Each switch then feeds either the fan (black wire) or light kit (blue wire). All that’s left at this point is to tie together all the ground wires and neutral wires (respectively). Keep in mind again that we assumed 12/2 with ground for the lines going to and from the switches, so be sure to clearly label them as “hot” wires by wrapping black electrical tape around the white ends.
While code makes certain stipulations, there are typically different ways to accomplish a wiring connection. Case in point, the above method was shown using standard 12/2 wire. If you opted for 12/3 wire, you could accomplish the same dual switch connections with a little bit less work:
What you are doing here is using the single hot (black) wire to power both the switches. You can do this by jumping a longer length of wire to both switches. Jumping means that you strip the insulation away from a small area of wire. Make it just large enough to loop around the hot terminal. You then loop that exposed wire around the hot terminal of the first switch. Finally, strip the end and connect that to the second switch. The hot returns are then the red wire and the white wire which you tape black (on both ends) to designate it as a hot wire.
You can also jump the ground wire. This method of jumping wires is nice in that it eliminates the need for wire nuts. It also makes for a simpler wiring scheme (and gives you more room to work in the box!)
Here’s a similar way to do it using 12/3 wire with wire nuts in lieu of a jumper wire:
STEP 6: Follow the installation instructions for the light kit
If your fan has a lighting kit, there will be a blue wire for the light. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for wiring the lighting kit: white to white, and blue to black. Secure the wires with connectors or electrical tape and tuck the wires into the switch housing. Attach the lighting kit to the fan using the screws supplied. Install any shades and bulbs.
Wire the fan, fan light and switch
Connect ceiling fan wiring at the fan: Know your ceiling fan wire colors
This is what you need to know about ceiling fan wire colors: Connect the bare ground wire from the box to the green ground wire on the bracket with a wire connector. Connect the white neutral wire from the motor to the neutral wire from the box. Connect the blue and black wire from the motor to the black hot wire from the box and neatly fold them into the box.
How to Install a Ceiling Fan with a Red Wire: FAQs
What does the red wire do when a ceiling fan is installed?
The red wire is the ungrounded (hot wire) conductor of one switch, while the black wire is the ungrounded (hot wire) conductor of the other switch. One switch would energize the red wire in the original installation, causing the fan to turn on. The other is responsible for the black wire to turn on the light.
Where does the red wire go on a ceiling fan with a remote?
The black wire from the fan must be properly connected to the red wire coming from the ceiling. Tape the black and white wire on the output side of the remote receiver module.
What do I do with the red wire when installing a ceiling light?
Connect the red wire on the ceiling to the black wire on the light kit and the black wire on the top to the black wire on the fan. Put the cables back into the box. And connect the power supply. Finally, test the fan.
1. Powered Ceiling Fan and/or Light Without Any Switches (NoSwitches)
We recommend this method when you simply cannot run a switch into the room. It does require that you have the ability to bring power directly to the fan from a nearby location. It’s certainly an acceptable wiring method and the fans all come with pull string switches to control the fans and light kits. Wiring this type of electrical connection looks like this:
As you can see, this simple connection feeds power to both the fan and (optional) light kit. The ground and neutral wires simply get tied together as you’d expect. The power for the fan motor will typically be black, while most modern-day fans also have a separate blue wire that supplies power to the lights. It’s important to connect this wire even if you don’t plan on using a light kit as it gives the homeowner the opportunity to add one later on without having to remove and rewire the fan from above.
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1 out of 5 Easy Somewhat easy. It takes a bit of work to install a fan-approved electrical box, but the ceiling-fan assembly and installation are very straightforward.
$50 to over $350, depending on size and features of the ceiling fan
Before installing a ceiling fan, you must shut off the circuit breakers supplying power to any fixtures or outlets you’ll be working with. You should also fully unpack your fan kit and read the included installation guide. Verify that all the parts are included, and gather the other tools you’ll need, which may include:
- Electric drill
- Crescent wrench
- Wire cutters
- Drywall saw
- Safety goggles
How to connect the wires
Strip the end of the wires
- To connect the wires, the copper must be exposed. Remove the plastic caps from the end of the cables.
- Use a ladder to reach the wires in the ceiling and, using a wire cutter, carefully cut the plastic insulation approximately 2 inches (5 cm) from the end of the cables.
- Once cut, remove them to expose the copper wire.
- Repeat the same process on the fan wires.
- If the copper can be seen at the end of the wires, you can skip this step.
Connect the white wires
- The white wires are the neutral wires. Connect the white wire coming out of the ceiling to the white wire coming out of the top end of the fan.
- Twist the ends of the cables.
- Connecting the neutral wires will complete the fan circuit.
- You should wear heavy gloves, so you don’t get hurt by the copper.
Connect the two green wires
- Generally, there will be one green wire connected to the bracket and one green wire connected to the fan itself. Join the copper terminals to the cables to ensure their safety. Leave the green or yellow wire coming out of the roof separate for now.
- The two green wires are the grounding conductors and protect the fan from damage from power surges.
Connect the black and blue wires if you only have one switch
- Connect the black wire to the blue wire on the fan.
- This will allow you to control both the lights and the fan from a single switch.
- Join the copper terminals of the black and blue wires in the same way as in the previous case.
Connect the yellow ground wire to the green wires
Take the two green wires you have attached and connect them to the yellow or green wire coming out of the ceiling. This will ground the internal components of the fan.
Twist the phase wires together with the black wire from the ceiling
It would be best if you always connected the phase wires last. If you only have one light switch, click the blue and black wires you had twisted together to the black wire coming out of the ceiling. But if you have two switches, connect the blue and black wires from the fan to the blue and black lines coming from the ceiling. In case the fan does not have lamps, you will only have to connect the black wires.
Replace the plastic caps at the end of the wiring
If your wires have plastic caps, put them back in place. Snap the caps onto the end of the wires and screw them on until they are tight. If the cables do not have lids, cover them with insulating tape to not touch each other.
Finalizing the installation
- You may have questions about how to complete your installation correctly, so start with the following;
Bend the connected wires inward from the ceiling bracket
- Take the wires and bend them into the bracket so that you can screw the cover onto the ceiling. When doing so, check whether any other cables have been unplugged.
Screw the fan cover to the bracket
- Fit the fan cover over the bracket and wires and align the holes in the side of the fan. Turn the screws clockwise and tighten them with a screwdriver.
- Tighten all screws, or the fan will not be stable.
Re-establish power from the fuse box and test the fan
- Go back to the fuse box and turn on the appropriate key. Then turn on the wall switches to verify that the fan is operating correctly.
- If you notice the fan wobbling, turn it off and make sure the screws securing the bracket are tight.
Disassemble the fan and check the connections if necessary
- If the fan does not turn on, there may be an electrical problem, or you may not have made the connection correctly.
- Disconnect the power and remove the fan cover to verify that all wires are correctly connected.
Follow the manufacturer’s directions to install the adjustable hanger bar and ceiling box
You install most hanger bars by pushing them through the hole in the ceiling left by the old electrical box. When you have the hanger bar completely through the hole, rotate it until it’s perpendicular to the ceiling joists. The bar expands until it engages the ceiling joists. The ends of the hanger bar are equipped with sharp steel pins that dig into the wood joists when the hanger bar is expanded. You then attach the special ceiling box to the hanger bar, locking it in place to provide a secure base for the fan.
How to Install a Ceiling Fan
1. Remove the Existing Light Fixture
- Make sure electricity to circuit is turned off and carefully remove the glass shade or globe from the old light fixture.
- Unscrew the retaining nut or screws that hold the fixture to the ceiling.
- Lower the fixture and disconnect the wires by twisting off the plastic connectors from the ends of the wires.
2. Remove Box and Cut New Hole
- Remove the old electrical box from the ceiling. If it’s nailed to a joist, pry it free with a flat bar. If it’s suspended from a bar, you may have to take off a metal plate to unscrew the box; then pry the bar from the joists.
- Hold a 1/2-inch-thick pancake box against the ceiling, centered on a joist, and trace around it with a pencil.
- Cut along the line with a drywall saw.
Tip: Hold a vacuum cleaner wand next to the saw to catch the dust.
3. Attach New Electrical Box
- Feed the electrical cable coming from the ceiling through the knockout hole in the pancake box. (Be sure there’s a cable connector attached to the knockout hole.)
- Set the box into the hole cut through the ceiling and press it tight against the underside of the joist.
- Attach the box to the joist with the two 1 1/2-inch No. 10 hex-head screws provided. Drive in the screws with a drill/driver equipped with a 5/16-inch nut-driver tip.
- Wrap the cable’s bare copper wire around the grounding screw inside the box. Allow the wire end to hang down.
4. Glue on the Ceiling Medallion
- Apply a small bead of urethane-based adhesive to the back of the ceiling medallion.
- Pass the wires through the medallion (above).
- Center the medallion on the pancake box and press. Fasten it with four 6d finishing nails driven into the joist.
- Set the nailheads and fill with caulk or spackle.
5. Mount the Ceiling Plate
- Hold the fan’s metal ceiling plate up to the pancake box and pull the wires through its center hole.
- Attach the ceiling plate to the box with two 1 1/2-inch-long 10-32 machine screws.
Tip: If you’re going to paint the medallion, do it before installing the ceiling plate.
6. Assemble the Fan Components
- With the fan on the floor, feed the wires coming from the motor through the center of the canopy. Set the canopy on top of the motor.
- Next, pass the wires through the hollow down-rod pipe.
- Thread the down-rod pipe into the top of the motor. Use a wrench to tighten the square-head locking screw on the side of the pipe.
Tip: The pipe’s threads have a factory-applied coating. Don’t remove this coating; it keeps the pipe from unscrewing.
7. Make the Wire Connections
- Hook one side of the canopy onto the ceiling plate.
- Using twist-on wire connectors, join the two green wires to the bare copper wire coming from the cable. (If your room is wired differently from the one shown here, consult a licensed electrician.)
- Join the two white wires.
- Then connect the two black wires.
- Swing the fan up into position against the medallion and secure it with the two canopy screws.
8. Attach the Blades and Lights
- Attach each fan blade to a blade iron (the bracket that holds the blade to the fan). Then, fasten the blade irons to the motor with the screws provided.
- Plug the fan’s light-fixture housing into the wire hanging from the underside of the fan’s motor.
- Install the shades and lightbulbs.
- Screw the plastic holder for the remote control to the wall beside the wall switch.
FAQs About Hanging a Ceiling Fan
While the above steps for how to install a ceiling fan can apply to most home situations, there are often unique circumstances that bring up additional questions and concerns. Below are answers to some of the most popular questions about how to install a ceiling fan.
Q. How long does it take to install a ceiling fan without existing wiring?
If the house has functioning wiring and the ceiling fan is an addition to a current modern electrical plan, a professional electrician can usually install a new ceiling fan and wiring in a few hours.
Q. How do I know if my junction box will hold a ceiling fan?
One easy way to tell that a ceiling box can’t hold a ceiling fan is by checking its material. If it’s thin plastic, then it probably won’t be strong enough for a fan. If there isn’t a label indicating that it is rated for a ceiling fan, then it’s best to replace the box with a new box rated for ceiling fans.
Q. Can you hang a ceiling fan where a light was?
Yes, a ceiling fan can replace an existing ceiling light fixture.