I have a ceiling fan (with light) currently controlled by a dimmer switch that I'd like to replace with a standard switch.

The current wiring is shown in the picture, with two black wires going into the dimmer (and a yellow out to nowhere), two white wires connected to each other inside the box, and a ground wire inside the box not currently connected to anything as far as I can tell.

I'm looking for some advice on what kind of standard switch I need to use to replace it and how to make the connections on the new switch. As far as I know, this is not a 3-way or 4-way setup ... just one switch controls the fan/light unit, but I'm not sure what to do with all the extra wires in the box using a standard 1-way switch.

My ceiling fan dimmer switch wiring

  • product recommendations are off topic but , all you need is a single pole switch , with the breaker off remove the wirenuts from the 2 black wires then put the 2 black wires to your new switch. 1 wire on each screw. it looks like the box is grounded so all you need to do then is stuff it all back in and turn the breaker back on.
    – Ed Beal
    Mar 16 '17 at 18:48

This is very easy: Just connect the black wires to the switch.

Be sure, of course, to turn off power (and verify it's off using a non-contact tester).

You can remove the two black wire nuts, and then just connect those wires directly to the screw terminals on the switch.

New switches will also have a ground screw (green) that should be connected to ground (using bare copper). I can see some ground wires twisted in the back of the box -- it almost looks like there's an extra piece there that used to be connected to a switch, you can maybe use that. If not, get a 6" or so piece of #14 bare copper wire and twist it into the existing grounds, and then connect to the green screw on the new switch.

enter image description here

  • Thanks! I'll definitely remember to turn off the power and test it. Learned the hard way to always double check with a tester while changing some outlets a few years back and unknowingly moving to a different circuit that hadn't been turned off.
    – Nathan
    Mar 16 '17 at 14:14
  • @Nathan To be clear, the gold wire in the drawing is a copper colored ground. It is not the yellow wire in your photo. You do not need to hardwire a ground wire to your switch, due to your circumstances it is able to get ground from the metal box when screwed down tight. This does not work often, but it does for you. Mar 16 '17 at 16:11

A standard single pole switch is all your need.

Your only connections are to un-do the two wire nuts connecting the current dimmer and attach to the two screws on the side of the switch. No need to change anything with the white wires.

  • Since this is a grounded metal box would it be a good idea to put a few turns of insulating (usu black plastic) electrical tape around the switch to cover the contacts, or is this too much trouble and not necessary? Mar 16 '17 at 19:36

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