How can I disable or remove a ceiling fan wall switch?



Obtain a FAN RATED BOX from home supply or electrical supply store. It will likely be best to buy the old work (not new construction) style if you do not have access to the ceiling from above. There are two types of old work boxes; one fan rated box is designed to straddle an existing joist; this style can be easier to install, but requires that you find the joist rather than avoid it. The other type has an adjustable bar that expands to span between two joists, it can be a little more involved to install but allows more mounting location choices. Either type works equally well.


After determining where you want to install the fan, assess your ability to get power to it. See the tips section below for some ideas for a power source. Adjust this location as needed. Next, cut a hole by hand with a sheetrock saw; just large enough to feel around with your fingers to check for potential obstructions for the box. This small opening will make patching easier...

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First off, what room is this in? If this is a bathroom what I am saying DOES NOT apply.

OK, so you have a fan with two separate switches, and you want to convert this into a "dual" fan control? This is easy, just remove the two switches and wire the fan control according to the instructions. Then you can take the feed wire from the left over switch, and a pigtailed neutral, and a ground of course, and install a receptacle there.

Sorry, I don't draw diagrams for people, but this is not a difficult install, and besides, to draw a diagram we would need to know exactly what wires are in the switch box.

Here is an example of the control I mean:...

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Watch video of this step.

If you have access from above, you can make and install your own support brace using a length of 2x4 lumber nailed to the ceiling joists on both sides of the box location (Image 2). Position the brace directly above the ceiling box. From below, use wood screws to attach the ceiling box securely to the brace.

If you do not have access to work above the ceiling, you can install an expanding metal brace from below to support the ceiling box and fan. First, remove the existing box, then insert the brace up through the hole and secure it in position by ratcheting the mechanism into place. As the ratchet is turned from below, arms on the brace extend until they contact the ceiling joists on both sides of the hole (Image 3 demonstration). The spikes on the arms anchor securely into the wood. Some braces are available with a ceiling box attached, or you can attach the existing ceiling box to the brace.

This method also may be used to mount a...

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I bought a house built in 1990 and it was in "as is" condition. One of the ceiling fans had a remote control but it was ugly and the light kit not working, even when we replaced the bulbs, so we decided to replace it. We remove the old ceiling fan and it had 2 cables with 3 wires each (1 black, 1 white and 1 bare wire). On the wall, there are 2 switches side by side, there 4 cables (12 wires total in the box). All the white wires are bundled together, but they're not connected to the switches. The black wires coming from the ground are bundled together and then, they're connected to the switches in parallel. Then from each switch there's a black wire going to each one of the cables. The bare wires are all bundled together, including the ones coming out of the switches. The remote receiver of the new ceiling fan has 5 wires, 3 of them need to be connected to the fan motor and lights and only 2 of them (hot and neutral) are required to be connected to the wires in the box. The...

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The first and most important step is to turn off the appropriate circuit breaker switch so that no power is going to the ceiling fan; this prevents electric shock. The next step is to remove the screws that hold the light beneath the blades of the ceiling fan and untwist the connectors so that the light kit comes off. Then, untwist the piece holding the speed switch, and pull the switch out of the housing without disconnecting the wires. The next step involves writing down which wire is connected to which slot in the fan, as there is no universal wire coloring or numbering system. Next, using a small, pointed object, insert the object into the wire slot to release the spring clamp, and pull up to remove the wires one by one. With the new switch in hand, start threading the chain through the hole on the side of the housing and twist the switch back into position. Reinstall the light by connecting the wires back together using the information written down previously. Finally,...

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Lisa F. Young /

Removing the center hub allows access to the electrical workings.

If your ceiling fan doesn’t work, you can save time and money by repairing it yourself.

A ceiling fan can stop working properly for a variety of reasons, discussed here and on successive pages of this article. On this page, we show you how to deal with a fan that doesn’t work at all because it isn’t receiving electrical power.

If you fan hums, see

How to Fix a Fan that Hums

. If it wobbles, see

How to Fix a Fan That Wobbles

. If it hums but it doesn’t spin, see

How to Fix a Fan’s Broken Flywheel


Be sure to turn off the fan’s circuit breaker before disassembling the fan!

Note: For information on kitchen and bathroom ventilation fans, please see How to Repair a Bathroom or Kitchen Fan Yourself.

Ceiling Fan Is Dead

When a ceiling fan doesn’t work at all, be sure it is receiving electrical power from its switch...

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If it's properly supported, a ceiling fan can be installed to replace a ceiling light fixture. In such instances, the same wall switch that controlled the light fixture can now turn the ceiling fan on and off. If the switch has a problem and is no longer functional, you can replace it with a new light switch in just a few minutes using basic hand tools.

Turn off the circuit breaker that controls the light switch at the breaker panel.

Loosen the wall plate mounting screws and remove the wall plate.

Flip the light switch to the on position. Turn on a non-contact electrical tester and place the tip of the tester against one of the two screws on the side of the light switch. If the indicator light on the tester turns on, then the electrical power to the switch is still active. Turn off other breakers in the panel until the tester does not illuminate when testing the circuit. If the indicator light does not turn on when testing, test the second screw on the switch....

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How to Wire a Ceiling Fan from a Wall Outlet

Electrical Question: How can I wire a ceiling fan from a wall switch that controls a wall plug? I’m am installing a new ceiling fan in a room that has a wall switch that works a wall plug. I have installed the fan and ran 14-3 to the wall switch. I have added a double gang because I am installing a switch that has ceiling fan control and light control dimmer. I am trying to get power from the wall switch for the fan and still have the wall switch work the wall outlet. but it’s not working.

Please advise. Thanks,

Additional Comments: Great!
This Ceiling Fan Wiring Question came from Barry, a Handyman from Springfield, Virgina.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Barry.

Wiring for a Ceiling Fan from a Wall Switch

Application: Wiring a Ceiling Fan from a Wall Plug.
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced – Best performed by a Licensed Electrical...

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A ceiling fan can run nonstop for years without a hint of a problem. Then, out of the blue, it can quit completely, stop working on some speeds or start making a loud humming sound. You may think the motor is shot, but it’s probably not. Those are all symptoms of a burned-out capacitor. The capacitor and the pull chain switch are the only two components that control the fan speeds. Switches rarely wear out. But they can break if you pull the chain too hard or it gets caught in the blades. You can hedge your bets and replace both the capacitor and the switch in less than an hour for about $20. Here’s how.

Start by shutting off the power to the fan and the lights (if equipped). You’ll have to gain access to the housing where the speed and direction switches are located. In fans without lights, just remove the bottom cover. Double-check the power with a voltage sniffer before you stick your fingers in the housing. If your fan has lights, remove the...

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To reduce risk of fire, electrical shock, or personal injury, make sure that the wire connectors provided with your fan match the specified gauge house wires.

If the house wires are different colors than referred to, stop immediately and call a professional electrician to determine the wiring.

Be sure that the wiring box is properly grounded or that a ground wire (green or be) is present.

Fan and light controlled by a chain:

1.a. Connect the black and blue wire from the fan to the black wire from ceiling with the wire connector provided. Connect the white wire from the fan to the white wire from the ceiling with the wire connector provided. Connect all ground (green) wires together from the fan to the bare/green wire from the ceiling with the wire connector provided.

Fan controlled by chain, light by wall switch.

1b. If you intend to control the fan light with a separate wall switch, wire as indicated in the instructions for 1.a. except...

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When choosing the best ceiling fan switch, a person should first determine his or her needs, the fan's capabilities, and the market choices that are available for that fan design. Some people want a simple wall switch, while others prefer the convenience of hand-held wireless remotes. Many types of wall switches are capable of controlling a fan and the fan's light. Generally, it is advisable to contact the fan's manufacturer to purchase a switch that is compatible with it. A buyer needs to be aware that not all fan switches are interchangeable, nor are all fans able to support all switch types.

Some of the common types of ceiling fan switches include switches on the fan, variable speed switches, and pull-chain switches. The newer innovations add in digital and remote control switches. Each type of switch has advantages and disadvantages that a person needs to consider before installing one. When replacing existing switches, it is advisable to consult the manufacturer or an...

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How can I fix the pull chain on my ceiling fan that broke off inside the switch? -Brad

Hi Brad,

With most pull chain fan switches, you’ll need to replace the switch, though on some models you may be able to reattach the chain. To replace the switch, you will need to know whether it operates the fan or light. If the switch goes to the fan, you will need to know how many speeds the fan has. Here’s how to go about it:

Start by turning off the circuit breaker to the fan. Next, remove the cover on the fan housing or the globe light so you can access the switch, and unscrew the nut on the outside of the switch that holds it on. Pull the switch out of the housing from the inside, leaving the wires attached. Examine the switch to see if the chain can be reattached. If not, carefully note the colors of the wires and the terminal each attaches to (take a picture with a digital camera or cell phone or draw a diagram of the switch). Detach the wires and take the...
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Your ceiling fan has a broken light pull chain. How do you fix this fast and easy? Ceiling fans with lights have a pull chain to turn the fan or the lights on or off. These pull chains get pulled on daily and can be broken. If you pull too hard on the pull chain the chain can break or come out of its socket. Also, the light switch itself may wear out or fail. If this happens the lights will not turn on. We will show you the easiest way to fix either of these problems below. Since you are working on your ceiling fan, find out the best ceiling fan direction for Summer or Winter.

Below are 2 different scenarios, one is a broken pull chain and one is a bad switch.

Always turn off power before taking apart a ceiling fan or light switch.

Pull chain for a ceiling fan light switch

To replace the fan light switch pull chain:

The switch housing needs to be removed. Unscrew the screws holding the lighting assembly to the fan. You should now...
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Hello Josh,

Well you must have had some knowledge of wiring, when you installed the fans.

A SPST will normally have two (2) Screw connections on the sides of the switch. And should have a ground wire.

A SPDT will normally have three (3) Screw connections on the sides of the switch. (should have a ground also.)

Grounds may go to the box if it is metal or go to the switch metal. (Green Screw)

The number of wires that are connected, depends on the wiring in the house.

Sometimes circuits are connected together, as to save wire and building cost. (You may have more wires, connecting other circuits)
You can turn off the breaker for the fan and see the circuits that it affects.

If you do decide to DIY make a drawing of how it is connected, and the kind of switch it is.

Turn the power off before taking the switch out. Normally you can tell the type of switch without removing it.

Wish I could be more help, but the type of switch...

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Here are some tips to soundproof an apartment. Whether it be the walls, floor, ceiling, door, or windows, it can be done. Most temporary soundproofing methods will not fully stop the noise. If your apartment has very little insulation in the shared walls, you are most likely hearing everything your next door neighbor is doing. A loud TV at night, bass or music coming through the wall when you are trying to sleep, people talking all night. It happens in almost every apartment. But what can you do?

There are 2 things you need to know when it comes to soundproofing. Noise blocking and noise absorbing. These 2 things combined are the best way to stop noise from your apartment neighbor. There really is no easy solution to block or stop noise from coming through a shared wall.

There are things you can try but the best option would be to contact your landlord or apartment owner and see if they are willing to help you. Some apartments will recognize this and...

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You don't have to be a “Casablanca” aficionado to appreciate the elegance a ceiling fan can bring to your home. And you can enjoy a fan all year long as it creates a welcome breeze in the summer and circulates warm air in the winter.

Ceiling fans (technically called “paddle fans”) used to be frustrating to install, to say the least. Most of the time you had to wing it because specialty hanging systems were poorly developed or nonexistent. Nowadays, most manufacturers have designed versatile mounting systems that take the hassle out of installation. When you add in the improved, stronger ceiling boxes, you'll find that just about any ceiling fan can go up quick and easy on any ceiling, sloped or flat.

In this article, we'll illustrate crystal-clear instructions that go beyond the basic set included with the fan. We'll also show you how to avoid common pitfalls like putting on parts in the wrong order and forgetting to slip shrouds on ahead of time. Some mistakes are...

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Removing the popcorn material off of your ceiling is not a difficult task, but it does require much work and preparation. Hiring a contractor is one option but we are going to show you below how to remove a popcorn ceiling yourself.

1. Protect the floor and larger furniture with plastic drop cloths.
Relocate small and medium sized items to be out of the way.
Cover large items such as your couch or large furniture
pieces with a drop cloth to avoid the material falling on them.

2. Using a spray bottle or pump sprayer, wet the ceiling texture to soften the
aged material and minimize dust in the air while you remove the material.
Do not soak the ceiling, just get it nice and damp.
If you soak the ceiling with water it will damage the paper surface of the wallboard underneath.

3. Scrape the ceiling with smooth long strokes.
Apply even pressure on the ceiling when scraping.
Continue along the entire surface of the...

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First complaint is the noise level. Before buying I went to the orange box store and listened to different fans with sone ratings of 1.5 to 6 to get a real world demonstration on noise levels. The 1.5 sone rated fan on display at the HD was quiet enough that I could not hear it unless I put my ear within 12 inches. I figured that with a .3 sone rating I was golden. Either the HD display was not accurate (maybe running very slow) or this fan is not .3 sone. I can plainly hear the fan in the room and from 12 feet away in another room. Suggestion to Panasonic: put a user controllable variable speed control on the fan so that a user can adjust the fan speed down to obtain a noise level that is acceptable

Second. This fan has both motion sensor and humidistat. I thought this would be great as I would not need a wall switch. In practice it is a bit annoying, especially since I can hear the fan. The motion sensor has a cone of sensing that is great enough that if I walk past my...

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