I have a new home with a ceiling fan with light kit installed in the living room.

The Fan and light are controlled by a remote control, but there are 2 wall switches in a double gang box that ultimately control power to the fan/light. I'm guessing the original idea of having 2 switches wired was to allow one to control the fan and one to control the lights, and this setup was not needed when they installed a fan/light combo that used a remote control.

Whats befuddling to me is why it's wired so that both switches control power to the fan/light unit, i.e. if the fan/light is off, either switch will provide power to unit.

Looks like a 2 conductor (black & white) wire enter the bottom of the box, and a 3 conductor (Black, White & Red) wire enters the top of the box. Both switches are pigtailed to the the black line/hot wire and the line & load side neutrals are connected. Switch 1 is then connected to the load side black wire & Switch 2 is connected to the load side red. All grounds are connected.

Is this correct wiring, and if so, is it a common practice?

What would I need to do if I wanted to replace the two switches with a wireless enabled in-wall switch so that only it provides power to the unit - disconnect switch 2 and cap its current load side red wire?

1 Answer 1


I believe you are correct in assuming that one switch controlled the fan and one controlled the lights originally.

My guess is that the wiring at the fan just has both the red and black wires connected to the line side of the wireless receiver, which would let either switch turn the fan/light on.

I would look at the wiring at the fan to confirm this. If I am correct, then yes, you should be able to disconnect the red wire. I would disconnect it from the fan and from the switch in the box and cap both ends.

  • Appreciate the feedback. Unfortunately, it looks like the receiver is located under the canopy, and the ceiling is 20+ feet high in this room, so I don't really have a way to cap the the red wire on the receiver end. How important is it to cap both ends?
    – foxtrot44
    Nov 8, 2016 at 2:37
  • 2
    Well, not too terribly important. My only concern would be that, if it is wired the way I think it is, and you don't disconnect it from the receiver, you will be sending power up to the the receiver from your black wire and it will actually be coming back down to the box in the red wire. So you essentially have a wire carrying current unnecessarily that will be live in the box whenever the switch is on. So long as it is capped well, there is no real problem there. Just something to be aware of. Nov 8, 2016 at 13:35

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