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ProGrade, Certified Electrical Contractor
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 542
Experience:  28+ years exp. - installation, troubleshooting, & repair of commercial, & residential electrical systems.
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Ok I am replacing a 4 position light switch in a ceiling

Customer Question

Ok I am replacing a 4 position light switch in a ceiling fan. I removed the bottom plate and disconnected the wires. The switch has 3 wires: black, red, and blue. The paperwork says the switch positions are: pos 1 all off, Pos 2 black connects to red, pos 3 black connects to blue, pos 4 black connects to red and blue. Got it. Pos 2 turns on 2 light, pos 3 turns on the other 2 lights and turns off the first 2, pos 4 turns on all lights, and pos 1 turns off all lights. I have wired the black wires on 2 opposite lights to the blue wire from the switch, 2opposite lights to the red wire. T black wire on the switch is obviously the hot wire for the switch to the lights. The problem is I have 3 available wires coming out of the fan housing. There is a white wire that should be the neutral that will connect to the white wires in the light. There is a blue wire from the fan which should be the hot wire for the lights connecting to the black wire on the switch. The problem is
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  ProGrade replied 1 year ago.

Welcome to

What you purchased is a fan speed switch. What you need is a single-pole pull switch for the light kit. It will have two wires. One side of the switch will connect to the blue from the fan. The other side of the switch will connect to all lights on the light kit. Correct, the white is the neutral and connects directly to all whites on the light kit.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Not true. What I purchased was very specifically labeled a "ceiling fan light switch". The operation of this light as I described it (2 0n, next2 on first 2 off, all 4 on, all off) is exactly the way this light functioned with the old switch. I just checked the wires from the fan. With the wall switch on, the blue wire is hot. The black wire from the fan is dead. So what is going on?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I just want to know what that black wire from the fan is for. The fan functions fine with everything going to the light disconnected. Since the blue wire is hot, then I should be able to hook this up to the hot wire for the switch and put everything back together. The 2 pole/2 wire switch you described would only allow all lights on or all light off. Not what I wanted and not the way the old dysfunctional switch worked.
Expert:  ProGrade replied 1 year ago.

Understand now, check all connections and the fan switch. The dead black wire could have pulled out of either. Not likely though if all three speeds on fan work properly. If so, simply cap the dead black wire off to isolate it and all should be good. Normally, ceiling fans come from the factory with a white, black & blue coming down from the canopy. If you have a single wall switch, the black wasn't used.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok, that explains it. The dead black wire is the unused wire. Everything else is ok. Thanks.
Expert:  ProGrade replied 1 year ago.

You are welcome. Thanks again for using

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