Replacing Overhead Light (controlled by dimmer switch) with a Ceiling Fan

Old 06-21-14, 06:44 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 1
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Replacing Overhead Light (controlled by dimmer switch) with a Ceiling Fan

This is my first post and I'm a novice when it comes to electrical work so I appreciate any and all feedback.. Here's my situation: I am replacing an overhead light with a dimmer switch with ceiling fan/light. First I replaced the switch with a single pole, single on off switch. I assumed this was correct because there are only three wires (hot, neutral, and ground).

Then on to the fan. From the ceiling, there are two sets of wires. One set has three (hot, neutral, and ground- W1) and the second set has two (hot and neutral- W2). After a few combinations and fails when I turned power back on, I was able to find success with W2 hot wired to the motor and W1 hot wired to the light.

Here's the dilemma. The switch doesn't do anything. The fan motor is just on. And the light doesn't work. I'm thinking it's the switch that needs to be replaced but I'm not sure how to hook it up w/o a second hot wire.

Hopefully this makes sense... Thanks in advance for any helpful hints.
Old 06-22-14, 04:42 AM
Geochurchi's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 5,099
Received 161 Upvotes on 147 Posts
What was up there before,did it work ,what did you disconnect up there?
Old 06-22-14, 08:42 AM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 36,607
Upvotes: 0
Received 11 Upvotes on 10 Posts
Welcome to the forums. You most likely have a switch loop. Do you have an analog multimeter? You need to measure voltage from each individual wire to ground to determine which one is hot. Incidentally, more than one wire in a sheath is called a "cable". Once you determine the hot wire, post pictures of both your ceiling box wiring, and the switch box wiring, with switches pulled, but left connected.
Old 06-22-14, 12:51 PM
Temporarily Suspended
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: NY
Posts: 10,265
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Disregard my post.
Old 06-22-14, 12:58 PM
Gunguy45's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 19,281
Received 8 Upvotes on 8 Posts
Something not mentioned yet....did you use a fan rated box? Not that it would affect the wiring.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Your question will be posted in: