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Kevin, Licensed Electrical Contractor
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 3727
Experience:  30 years Licensed Electrical Contractor in Illinois, Adjunct College Electrical Instructor, Former Electrical Inspector, Diploma: Digital Electronics, FCC Technician License
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Trying to replace 3speed switch on hunter ceiling fan.

Customer Question

Trying to replace 3speed switch on hunter ceiling fan. Bought new switch. I somehow forgot where the wires go. 2 black wires from the switch,1 green wire, 2 gray wires that all are somehow attached ro a capacitor. Probably mixed up the connections somehow.
JA: I'll do all I can to help. How long have you been dealing with this?
Customer: 3 days. When I picked up the new switch it had no wires. I tried taking the wires from the old switch off one at a time. I think I mixed up the wires some how
JA: Do you plan on doing the work yourself?
Customer: Yes
JA: Anything else we should know to help you best?
Customer: Only wire showing from fan is one black wire. A gray wire is present with a wire nut on it from the fan. I connected the 2 gray wires from the switch together?
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Electrician about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  Kevin replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome to Just Answer. My name is ***** ***** I will be happy to assist you with your electrical question.

1) Unfortunately, 2 items need to be considered whenever replacing a fan switch as follows:

A) The replacement switch must be identical as to the original switch otherwise the fan pull chain speeds may not work at all or may only work partially. Reason being is that if you purchased a generic switch, it may not work as there are a variety of switching patterns available. There is no standard switch on fans, as they come in many different switching patterns.

B) Fan manufacturers typically do not provide wiring diagrams and/or wire color codes with the fan instructions. I've even seen identical fan models manufactured by the same company that had different wire colors and different switches. If you didn't take a picture or label the wires prior to disconnecting the original switch, it will be a method of trial and error to get the replacement switch to work.

Another possibility is to contact the manufacturer tech support and ask for assistance on the wiring diagram. About the only consistent wire on a pull chain switch will be 1 black wire which is a constant hot wire. The green wire is a ground wire. The remaining wires control the various motor speeds and need to be terminated in the correct order. Your guess is as good as mine:)

2) I recommend to either contact Hunter tech support or eceilingfans shown in the links below: Provide them with the fan model number and the switch model number that you purchased:

If you have any additional questions, just let me know and I’ll be glad to answer them for you.

Otherwise, don’t forget to rate me before you log Off.


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Not much help for the money
Would prefer a free call
Expert:  Kevin replied 1 year ago.

1) Should have taken a picture and/or labeled the wires prior to disconnecting the switch is my answer to your comment.

2) Not sure what you expect from me or any other expert here as I told you that the ceiling fan manufacturers typically don't provide internal wiring diagrams and the wire colors can be all over the board. In other words, there is no National Electrical Code and/or NEMA wiring standard for internal ceiling fan pull chain switches. The manufacturer can wire and color code the switches using various switch types and/or a variety of wire colors. Sorry, but that's the way it is.

I will opt out of the question and place it back to the open board. Perhaps another expert here can assist you better. Good luck:)