I have a ceiling fan with a switch that has both a dimmer for the light in the fan and a speed adjuster for the fan itself. Only the light dimmer side works and when I turn it on both the fan and the light turn on. If i turn it off and then on again the fan reverses and the light and fan come on again. The light and the fan are both on high and will not adjust as well. The weird thing is when we moved in it worked fine and then it started doing this. So I thought it may be the switch and bought a new one but it still does the same thing. Any ideas?

  • 1
    So it all worked, and then stopped working, and you didn't change anything?
    – Tester101
    Aug 29, 2012 at 14:05
  • 3
    The most likely problem is a Poltergeist.
    – Matthew
    Aug 29, 2012 at 15:39
  • Is the switch directly wired to the fan for speed and dimmer controlor is it wireless? if wireless, the switch should have an antenna wire that is draped through the box.
    – bib
    Aug 29, 2012 at 17:17
  • Do you have brand/model numbers for the fan and/or switch? There are many different ways different fans are controlled so this will help so we know what we're dealing with.
    – gregmac
    Aug 31, 2012 at 18:58

1 Answer 1


It looks like the wiring is wrong. The fan and light are interconnected somehow and should be separate. As it was working, it's something you have altered or it occurred itself.

Separate all the wires. See which wires go the light. Connect a lampholder with a bulb to the incoming white wire and one of the other two not counting the green/bare wire

Try your dimmer, and see if it dims the test bulb. If so that non white wire is the one that controls the light. If not change to the other non white wire. That should determine the right wire for the light.

The one that did not control the light is the one that does control the fan, that when connected, should work from the speed controller. The fan and light should now both work but independently.

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