How to Wire a Ceiling Fan Speed Control Switch

What You'll Need
Voltage Meter
Wire Stripper
Wire Connectors or Wire Nuts

A ceiling fan with speed control is a very cost effective way to stay cool during the long summer days. When the temperature rises, many people will resort to air conditioners. However, a ceiling fan does a great job of moving the air and cooling off the inside temperatures. Many ceiling fans come with a built-in speed control switch that typically has three speeds. However, there are times when the ceiling fan speed control switch stops working. Here are the steps to take to replace it and install a new one.

Step 1: Turn Power off at Breaker

Before doing any work on the ceiling fan speed control switch you should turn the power off at the breaker. It is not enough to simply turn off the switch. There is still power going through the wires. Flip the breaker to 'off' and place a piece of tape over it so others will know you are working on the electricity.

Step 2: Locate Speed Control Switch

Many ceiling fans are a combination of both a light and a fan. This will mean that there are two pull chains that are on the side of the ceiling fan body. Determine which one is for the ceiling fan. Generally, the one that is closer to the fan blades is the speed control switch.

Step 3: Remove Light Kit

For those with a combination light and ceiling fan, you will need to remove the portion that houses the light. Remove the glass bowl and then unscrew the light bulb. There will be a few screws holding the light housing to the ceiling fan. Locate the screws and take them out. Once the screws are removed, lower the light assembly out of the way.

Step 4: Test Fan for Voltage

To make sure that there is not power running to the light you will want to test the wires that you see going to the speed control switch. Use the voltage meter. You should not have a reading, but if you do you will need to find the right breaker.

Step 5: Remove Ceiling Fan Speed Control Switch

The speed control switch is housed under a screw cap. Locate this cap (it will be on the side where the pull chain is located) and remove it. Grab each of the three wires that are connected to the switch and remove them. They are only held in place with a pressure clip. Remove the old switch.

Step 6: Install New Switch

Hold up the new speed control switch and notice if there are wires already installed, or if there are terminals. If terminals, then connect the wires as they were on the old one. If wires, then use wire connectors and attach the like colored wires together. Place the new switch in the body over the pull chain and threads. Screw the top back on.

Step 7: Re-Install Light

Push all of the wires back into the body assembly and cover the body with the light cover. Screw it back into place with the original screws. Place the light bulb back into the socket and carefully replace the glass shade. Turn the power back on and make sure the switch is working properly.