3-speed, 4-wire ceiling fan switch wiring

Old 08-11-13, 12:02 PM
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Question 3-speed, 4-wire ceiling fan switch wiring

Our 3 speed fan pull chain broke with the short end of the chain in the housing of the switch.
We bought a DUAL capacitor 3 speed fan switch, replaced it wire for wire as it was before. When we tested it, the fan had one speed with each click. Slow, slow, and slow. I figured I screwed something up so I played with the wiring. Anything I found on line did not have the same color wires that were in our fan. When I changed the configuration of the wires I then got a different speed. Medium on all three clicks. I was then able to rewire it this time I got fast, fast, and fast. Nothing was variable. I was stumped. One of the on line forums's post recommended just go buy a new fan. $100+ vs $3.00. The $100+ option for a new fan was now looking good.
We went to home depot. I saw the display with the switches, and noticed there was another type of 3 speed fan switch. This one said it was a SINGLE capacitor.
The store didn't have a fan that suited our needs, so being stubborn, or determined, I bought the new switch. I quickly connected it to the fan- black to L, purple to 1, brown to 2 and grey to 3. I tested the switch, and high- med- and low!! Done.
Old 08-11-13, 01:16 PM
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Welcome to the forums but the post is eleven years old. We welcome help with any of the current questions on the board.
Old 06-19-15, 09:43 AM
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I have a dual capacitor fan of unknown manufacturer. (Note that in my case a single black box houses both capacitors.) I was not able to find a general wiring diagram for these things so I'm posting my findings here. Of course, any work on an electric fan should be done with the power OFF.
In my case, the chain on the switch did not break - the entire switch popped open and the chain just pulled out. When I unscrewed and lowered the light kit and then loosened the fan switch from the housing, the switch came apart before I could see which wire went to which terminal! In my case I have 2 black wires and 2 red wires, so a 4-color description didn't apply.
The replacement switch I bought cycles through 4 states:
(A) full speed - all ports connected (labeled "L", "1", "2", and "3");
(B) medium speed - all EXCEPT port 1 are connected (L, 2, 3);
(C) slow speed - all EXCEPT port 2 are connected (L, 1, 3); and
(D) off - all EXCEPT port 3 are connected (L, 1, 2).
The following connections to the new switch worked perfectly for my fan:
port "L" is for the live load wire (black wire) connected to other wires with a wire nut;
port "1" connects to the slow speed capacitor (other black wire);
port "2" connects to the medium speed capacitor (red wire); and
port "3" connects to a center post on the fan direction switch (other red wire).
Good luck!
Old 06-19-15, 09:52 AM
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Thanks for the information.

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