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Install A Ceiling Fan Light Control Switch

"Thanks to today's electronic controls you can use your existing switch wiring to power and fully control a ceiling fan/light."

Install An Electronic Ceiling Fan/Light Control

Website: http://www.truevalue.com

Level of difficulty: Beginner

Thanks to today's electronic controls you can use your existing switch wiring to power and fully control a ceiling fan/light. This type of control, consisting of a receiver installed in the fan and a transmitter installed in the wall switch, allows on/off and dimming for the light, and on/off and speed control for the fan. In the past, you had to make do with unsightly and inconvenient pull-chains to turn the light on and off (no dimming) and to set the fan speed, or rely on expensive professional installation. Now, though, whether you have an existing fan that is controlled with a simple on/off switch or you are installing a new fan, here's an easy way to wire it for optimal control.

If your wall switch is not in a convenient location, there's even a battery-operated, hand-held, remote-control version of the wall-mounted control described here.

Although you may be able to use existing ceiling outlet wiring for a new ceiling fan, you cannot mount a ceiling fan to the existing ceiling light outlet box. The special mounting box and hardware required for fan installation are available at True Value stores.
Tools & Materials
  • Two-wire fan/light control
  • Lineman's or long-nose pliers
  • Rocker-style switch cover plate
  • Neon electrical circuit tester
  • Stepladder
  • Standard screwdriver
1. Preset Fan and Light
While the power is still on, turn the fan/light wall switch to the on position and use the pull-chains to turn the light on and the fan on high speed.
2. Shut off Power
At the main circuit panel, locate the circuit for your fan/light and either remove the fuse or switch the circuit breaker to the off position.
Although the fan/light will be off if you have correctly disconnected the power, switch and ceiling outlet boxes may contain wiring for more than one circuit. Always double-check that power is off to all wires in these outlets. Use a simple neon tester to verify that hot wires (black or red) are dead by touching one probe to the hot wire and the other probe to the white (neutral) wire(s).
3. Disconnect Existing Fan Wiring
If you are installing a new fan, complete the installation up to the point when you are to wire the fan and switch. If you are modifying an already wired fan/light, reverse the installation as needed to remove the fan canopy and disconnect the wiring. Remove the switch cover plate and disconnect the existing single-pole switch.
If wires are plugged into holes in the back of the switch instead of being wrapped under terminal screws, press a very small screwdriver or similar pointed tool into the small slot adjacent to each hole to release the clamping pressure that holds the wire in place.
4. Install the Receiver
The receiver, which receives the signals from the transmitter to control the fan/light operations, is installed in the fan canopy. Using twist-on wire connectors supplied with the controls, follow the manufacturer's simple wiring diagram to wire the unit. Connect one pair of receiver wires (one black and one white) to the two wires coming from the switch, and connect the other three receiver wires (red, black, and white) to three corresponding wires coming from the fan/light. Complete canopy and fan installation.
5. Install the Transmitter/Switch
Again following the simple wiring instructions included with the control, connect the two wires that you removed from the old switch to the new transmitter/control. Mount the control to the outlet box and install a rocker-style cover plate. Restore power.
As you will no longer need the fan's pull-chains and, in fact, using them may damage the new controls, cut off the chains with lineman's pliers so only about an inch remains outside the canopy.

Note: This article was submitted by a second party and the contents are subject to our disclaimer.

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