Adding a remote for a ceiling fan that didn't come with one


Old 06-30-04, 06:31 PM
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Question Hooking up a 2 wire ceiling fan to a 3 wire box? (want to use with a remote)


I'm new to this website (and home ownership!), so please bear with me.

I inherited a Hampton Bay lighted ceiling fan when I bought my "new" old house (c. 1931). I've had to update the wiring for the entire house, and had to take down the fan temporarily to do that.

I am pretty sure there had been a remote control that worked the fan, but it seems to have been lost in the construction chaos. I've bought a new remote, but the box in the ceiling has 3 wires and the fan only has 2 (not counting the ground wires on either).

Can the remote work (with the light dimmer and fan controls working independently) if I just ignore the extra wire? How do I hook it up? ...eeks!!

Any help on this would be much appreciated - thanks!

Last edited by tlr214; 06-30-04 at 06:51 PM.
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Old 06-30-04, 07:16 PM
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You probably have a Black wire, a White wire, and a Red wire coming out of the same jacket or bundle, correct?
If so, then you probably also have 2 switches by the door, correct?
If so, then what you have is a simple 2 switch-controlled fan and light kit setup. Since the fan only has 2 wires, the fan and light are not controlled separately by the switches - they were controlled via a remote (not unusual for Hampton Bay.)

You just need to connect either the Black or the Red wire to the Black from the fan, the White goes to the White.

You'll also have to have a Hampton Bay remote to control the fan and light separately. Since you have a 2 wire fan, you can't connect an aftermarket fan controller to it - at least, not without some serious rigging (not recommended.)

But, yes, you can ignore the extra wire in the ceiling without any problems - just make sure you cap it off.

Good luck!
Old 06-30-04, 07:26 PM
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I assume you bought both the transmitter and the receiver, and not just the transmitter, right?

Remote receivers have two wires on the input side, one hot and one neutral, and three wires on the output side, a hot for the fan motor, a hot for the fan light, and a neutral.

You said that there are three wires from the ceiling. Can I assume the wires are one black, one red, and one white? What kind of switches do you have on the wall near the entrance to the room? Do you have two single-pole switches in a double-gang box?

I need a little more information.
Old 06-30-04, 10:30 PM
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Hi Brandon and John,

Thank you both for replying so quickly!!

Yes, the wires from the ceiling are black, white, and red, and the two switches by the door are each a single pole in itís own box (does that mean itís not a ďdouble-gangĒ box?).

To be honest, Iím not sure whether one of the switches is hooked up to anything at all, or if it's just a dummy switch.

Anyway, thank you so much for your help - Iím beginning to think I might make it through this renovation in one piece!


PS ...I almost forgot: I did buy a Hampton Bay transmitter and receiver - do I need to hook up the receiver as well, or can I get by with just the fan as is?
Old 07-01-04, 06:41 AM
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I would install the receiver. The existing receiver, if indeed it is even there (have you looked), may not be compatible with the transmitter. Or if it is compatible, the codes may not match.

Connect the black and white wires from the input side of the receiver to the black and white wires in the ceiling. Cap off the red wire in the ceiling. Connect the output side of the receiver as indicated by the instructions (usually you just match wire colors).

Turn both wall switches on. Make sure the light pull chain is "on" and the fan pull chain is on "high" (you may need to experiment, since the positions are not marked).

Give it a go. From now on, you will control the fan exclusively with the remote transmitter. Leave the wall switches on at all times.
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