How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Kevin Your Own Question
Kevin
Kevin, Licensed Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 2954
Experience:  30 years as a Licensed Electrical Contractor in Illinois, 6 year college Electrical Instructor, Former Electrical Inspector, Diploma in Digital Electronics, Former Illinois Licensed Home Inspector
71008832
Type Your Electrical Question Here...
Kevin is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Have a ceiling fan and two light switches. How do I wire it

Customer Question

Have a ceiling fan and two light switches. How do I wire it so both light switches turn it on and off?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  Kevin replied 1 year ago.
Hello.....my name is ***** ***** I will be happy to assist you with your electrical question. My goal is to exceed your expectations on Just Answer!
1) How many wires and their colors in the ceiling box?
2) Does the fan have a light kit or fan only?
3) Was there a previously installed light that was working at the ceiling box?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ceiling box has 2 white, 2 black, 2 bare copper groundsIs has a light kit. Previously on the old fan/light the light switches operated the fan and we used the toggle chain to turn the lights on and offYes, there was a previous fan and light combo working in the box
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
From the fan and light there are I black, 1 white, 1 blue and the ground
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I don't want to wire it so one switch operates the fan and one the light. I want both to turn the fan on and off and will use the toggle chain to turn on the lights
Expert:  Kevin replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for the replies.
1) Since the box contains 2 black wires, they were not spliced together with a wire nut on the previously installed fan, is that correct?
2) Any chance that you have a 2 wire lead AC voltage tester or an AC voltmeter available?
3) Are the switches 3-way or single pole type?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'm not sure if the two black wires were previously spliced together on the old installation. Unfortunately I'm helping a friend and he took it down without looking at any of the wiring
I have both a voltmeter and tester at home. Realized I needed them as soon as I got to my friends!
Would like the wall switches to just control fan and will turn on the lights from the chain toggle switch attached to the fixture
Switches are single pole type
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Not sure if this helps at all but there is a red wire in both the wall switch boxes
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It's attached to the switch but separate to the 3 wire cable
Expert:  Kevin replied 1 year ago.
OK, very good.
1) How many screws on each wall switch? 2 or 3?
2) Disregard the green ground screw on the switch, just need the quantity of the brass screws and possibly a black screw on the switch?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
3
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Not counting the ground screw
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Switch 1 has red wire on top left, white wire top right and black wire bottom right
Switch 2 has red wire top left, black wire top right and black wire bottom right
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ground wires attached to both switches
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Switch 2 has two white wires spliced together in switch box. Two ground wires going to switch ground screw
Expert:  Kevin replied 1 year ago.
1) OK, since 3 screws, there should be 2 brass, 1 black and a 1 green ground screw. Since 3 screws (disregarding the green ground screw for now), both switches are 3-way's and NOT single pole switches.
2) Therefore, at the ceiling box, 1 black wire will always be "live" and the other black wire is the switched loop wire coming off from one of the 3-ways.
3) Since you don't have your meter handy, try this. Splice the fan white neutral to the ceiling box 2 white neutrals. Splice the fan green ground to the ceiling box green and/or any bare copper grounds. Then splice only 1 of the ceiling black house wires to the light kit blue wire. Try the pull chain on the fan to see if it controls the light kit.
4) Don't splice the 2 ceiling blacks together, otherwise you will create a short. For now only splice 1 ceiling black to the fan light kit blue. Let me know if the light works by using the pull chain?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry, thought for sure they were single poles
Expert:  Kevin replied 1 year ago.
No, single pole switches only have 2 brass screws. 3-way's have 2 brass and 1 black screw. The black wire is landing on the black screw and that is the switched loop for one of the blacks going to the ceiling.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok, previously did that before contacting you. Light came on but breaker went off as soon as wall switch was activated. Switched black wire for other black and put it with white wires and same thing happened
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Good to know. Thanks. I don't do much electrical work - leave it to the pros like yourself
Expert:  Kevin replied 1 year ago.
1) The 2 whites are both neutrals. Leave them spliced together and don't connect any blacks to them, that's why the breaker tripped.
2) For now only splice 1 black to the blue. Need to confirm if the light kit works with only the pull chain?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Oh, sorry. Had both blacks connected
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Will need to do this in the am. It's late here
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What's next if that works?
Expert:  Kevin replied 1 year ago.
No, one of those blacks is "always hot" and the other black is a switched hot. We need to locate the "always hot black" and connect that one to the light kit blue.
OK, once you locate the "always hot black" and the light kit works with the pull chain, then you are good there.
Then connect the 2nd black to the fan motor black and the 3-way switches should control the fan motor ON/OFF.
I will be logged on here tomorrow, so if you run into any problems, just reply back to me at this same question and I will ge back to you.
In the meantime, have a great evening and we'll catch up with you tomorrow.......Thanks.......Kevin!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks a lot Kevin! I will let you know how it goes.Good night - Mark
Expert:  Kevin replied 1 year ago.
Very good Mark.
Take care for now and we'll talk tomorrow......Thanks....Kevin!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks!
Expert:  Kevin replied 1 year ago.
No problem, glad to assist:)

Related Electrical Questions