Content of the material
- Mr. Electric Special Offers
- STEP 3: Mount the ceiling fan brace bar
- Prepare the hanging ball
- STEP 7: Ensure everything is secure, then test the fan
- How to connect the wires
- Strip the end of the wires
- Connect the white wires
- Connect the two green wires
- Connect the black and blue wires if you only have one switch
- Connect the yellow ground wire to the green wires
- Twist the phase wires together with the black wire from the ceiling
- Replace the plastic caps at the end of the wiring.
- Finalizing the installation
- Bend the connected wires inward from the ceiling bracket
- Screw the fan cover to the bracket
- Re-establish power from the fuse box and test the fan
- Disassemble the fan and check the connections if necessary
- Stay Current with Direct Energy
- Helpful Tips
- Stripping Wires
- Don’t Use the Included Wire Nuts
- 4. Switching the Light and Fan from Separate Switches (Two Switches)
- Connect the switch
- New electronic controls save you from running additional ceiling fan wiring.
- Buying a Ceiling Fan
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STEP 3: Mount the ceiling fan brace bar
Insert the ceiling fan brace bar into the ceiling hole. Position the ceiling brace box so it is centered above the hole and perpendicular to the ceiling joists. Next, twist the outer bar until it locks into the foot. Continue turning until the foot is fastened. Next, turn the inner bar to secure the other foot.
If you are renovating the room and are lucky enough to have open framing, there is the option to use lumber and a ceiling fan box instead of a brace bar with an attached box. Measure the distance between the ceiling joists, and then cut a 2-inch-by-8-inch piece of framing lumber to span the distance. Secure the wood block with three 3-inch deck screws to each joist. Then secure the ceiling fan box to the block using the recommended fasteners from the ceiling box manufacturer.
Prepare the hanging ball
Slip the collar cover, then the canopy over the downrod. Slide the ball over the downrod and push the pin through both sets of holes, then lift the ball over the pin and tighten the set screw.
STEP 7: Ensure everything is secure, then test the fan
Do a final check to make certain the fan and its components are secure before turning the power back on at the breaker. Turn on the wall switch, and then slowly test out the fan at its lowest speed to make sure it operates properly.
How to connect the wires
Strip the end of the wires
- To connect the wires, the copper must be exposed. Remove the plastic caps from the end of the cables.
- Use a ladder to reach the wires in the ceiling and, using a wire cutter, carefully cut the plastic insulation approximately 2 inches (5 cm) from the end of the cables.
- Once cut, remove them to expose the copper wire.
- Repeat the same process on the fan wires.
- If the copper can be seen at the end of the wires, you can skip this step.
Connect the white wires
- The white wires are the neutral wires. Connect the white wire coming out of the ceiling to the white wire coming out of the top end of the fan.
- Twist the ends of the cables.
- Connecting the neutral wires will complete the fan circuit.
- You should wear heavy gloves, so you don’t get hurt by the copper.
Connect the two green wires
- Generally, there will be one green wire connected to the bracket and one green wire connected to the fan itself. Join the copper terminals to the cables to ensure their safety. Leave the green or yellow wire coming out of the roof separate for now.
- The two green wires are the grounding conductors and protect the fan from damage from power surges.
Connect the black and blue wires if you only have one switch
- Connect the black wire to the blue wire on the fan.
- This will allow you to control both the lights and the fan from a single switch.
- Join the copper terminals of the black and blue wires in the same way as in the previous case.
Connect the yellow ground wire to the green wires
Take the two green wires you have attached and connect them to the yellow or green wire coming out of the ceiling. This will ground the internal components of the fan.
Twist the phase wires together with the black wire from the ceiling
It would be best if you always connected the phase wires last. If you only have one light switch, click the blue and black wires you had twisted together to the black wire coming out of the ceiling. But if you have two switches, connect the blue and black wires from the fan to the blue and black lines coming from the ceiling. In case the fan does not have lamps, you will only have to connect the black wires.
Replace the plastic caps at the end of the wiring
If your wires have plastic caps, put them back in place. Snap the caps onto the end of the wires and screw them on until they are tight. If the cables do not have lids, cover them with insulating tape to not touch each other.
Finalizing the installation
- You may have questions about how to complete your installation correctly, so start with the following;
Bend the connected wires inward from the ceiling bracket
- Take the wires and bend them into the bracket so that you can screw the cover onto the ceiling. When doing so, check whether any other cables have been unplugged.
Screw the fan cover to the bracket
- Fit the fan cover over the bracket and wires and align the holes in the side of the fan. Turn the screws clockwise and tighten them with a screwdriver.
- Tighten all screws, or the fan will not be stable.
Re-establish power from the fuse box and test the fan
- Go back to the fuse box and turn on the appropriate key. Then turn on the wall switches to verify that the fan is operating correctly.
- If you notice the fan wobbling, turn it off and make sure the screws securing the bracket are tight.
Disassemble the fan and check the connections if necessary
- If the fan does not turn on, there may be an electrical problem, or you may not have made the connection correctly.
- Disconnect the power and remove the fan cover to verify that all wires are correctly connected.
Stay Current with Direct Energy
When you sign up with an energy plan from Direct Energy, you’ll get tips and tools to stay informed about your energy usage and save on your bill.
Be sure to check the power source before beginning the job – even if you’ve already tripped the breaker. We’ve seen several cases where more than one power source was routed to a particular ceiling box. We got quite a surprise when we reached inside! It’s also important to note that while some power supplies come in via the switch (and not from above) the basic methodology described here doesn’t change. What does change is that you can safely deactivate the ceiling fan box simply by turning off the switch. This is handy when replacing ceiling fans with a similar model. However, we still recommend shutting down the breaker, lest someone walk in on you and attempt to turn on the lights!
When stripping wires, we prefer to use a stripping tool as opposed to a razor blade. There are several on the market, from $2 tools that are simple stripping devices to fancier wire strippers that have cutouts for 10/2, 12/2, and 14/2 cable.
Don’t Use the Included Wire Nuts
Never use the included “wire nuts” that come with ceiling fans. They almost never have a metal inner winding and are commonly undersized. That makes them difficult to use, if not unsafe. Instead, be sure to grab a small assortment pack at your local home improvement or hardware store. While typically not necessary, we recommend taping any wire nuts after you make those connections. Wire nuts are normally very reliable, but it never hurts to add an extra layer of protection to keep them from ever unwinding. This is just a good habit to get into and costs next to nothing in terms of time or money to implement.
4. Switching the Light and Fan from Separate Switches (Two Switches)
This is the most versatile way to electrically wire a ceiling fan with a light kit. It allows for separate control over both the fan and the light in the room. There are also lots of really convenient switches that put this dual control into one neat little package. Some even give you the ability to dim the lights – definitely a nice touch! There are endless choices when it comes to combination dimmers/switches you can use with your fan or fan/light.
Of course you can always simply wire up two single pole switches and you’re all set. And here is what the electrical wiring would look like for this situation:
It looks more complicated, but don’t sweat it. The basic idea is that your power supply line is feeding both switches. Each switch then feeds either the fan (black wire) or light kit (blue wire). All that’s left at this point is to tie together all the ground wires and neutral wires (respectively). Keep in mind again that we assumed 12/2 with ground for the lines going to and from the switches, so be sure to clearly label them as “hot” wires by wrapping black electrical tape around the white ends.
While code makes certain stipulations, there are typically different ways to accomplish a wiring connection. Case in point, the above method was shown using standard 12/2 wire. If you opted for 12/3 wire, you could accomplish the same dual switch connections with a little bit less work:
What you are doing here is using the single hot (black) wire to power both the switches. You can do this by jumping a longer length of wire to both switches. Jumping means that you strip the insulation away from a small area of wire. Make it just large enough to loop around the hot terminal. You then loop that exposed wire around the hot terminal of the first switch. Finally, strip the end and connect that to the second switch. The hot returns are then the red wire and the white wire which you tape black (on both ends) to designate it as a hot wire.
You can also jump the ground wire. This method of jumping wires is nice in that it eliminates the need for wire nuts. It also makes for a simpler wiring scheme (and gives you more room to work in the box!)
Here’s a similar way to do it using 12/3 wire with wire nuts in lieu of a jumper wire:
Connect the switch
Check and reset (if necessary) the code toggles on the wall-mounted electronic switch to match the ones on the receiver. Remove the existing wall switch and connect the two black wires on the new switch to the ones that were connected to the old switch with wire connectors. Screw the switch into the box and install the cover plate.
New electronic controls save you from running additional ceiling fan wiring
Since most fan installations are retrofits into existing electrical boxes, there’s usually a single electrical cable connecting the fixture to a single wall switch. You can leave the switch and use it to turn the fan on and off, then use the pull chains on the fan to control fan speed and lights. A second option is to install electronic controls. Higher-quality fans give you the option of adding a radio receiver kit. The receiver accepts signals from a special wall switch (included in the kit) to control the fan and light separately without additional wiring. The receiver also accepts signals from a handheld remote, so you can operate multiple fans and fine-tune fan speed and light intensity from your La-Z-Boy. Electronic switches are matched to fans by flipping code toggles in the controls and the fan, just like with your garage door opener. Installing an electronic switch (Photo 12) is a snap. The receiver drops right into the fan housing and plugs into the bottom of the motor.
If the old light is fed by two three-way switches instead of a single switch, the control options are a little more complicated. You have three choices:
- Leave the existing switches in place and turn one of them on. Then use a remote control to control the fan and lights.
- Use the existing switches and control the fan and lights independently with pull chains.
- Disable one of the three-way switches and rewire the other one to receive a wall-mounted electronic control. Sorting out all the wires is complex. You’ll need an electrician’s help for this.
Buying a Ceiling Fan
If you haven’t walked under a large fan display yet, hold onto your hat. You’ll be overwhelmed by the selection of colors, styles and accessories, especially if you visit a ceiling fan store. If you intend to use your fan regularly, invest in a high quality model. You’ll get a quieter, more efficient, more durable unit. If you spend beyond that amount, you’re usually paying for light packages, radio-actuated remote and wall controls, style, and design (fancier motor castings, inlays, blade adornments or glasswork). If you spend less, you’re likely to get a less efficient, less durable, noisier unit with fewer color, blade and electronic choices.
Choose the blade diameter that best suits the room visually and make sure the unit will fit under the ceiling without jeopardizing beehive hairdos. Bigger rooms call for wider fan blade diameters. The bigger fan will not only look better but also move more air.
Most ceiling fans are designed for heated, enclosed spaces. If you’re putting a fan in a screen room, a gazebo or other damp area, the building code requires you to use a “damp-rated” fan. These fans have corrosion-resistant stainless steel or plastic parts that can stand up to high humidity and condensation. If you live in a coastal area with corrosive sea air, or if you’re putting a fan in a particularly wet environment like a greenhouse or an enclosed pool area, you should choose a “wet-rated” fan.