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I'm replacing a ceiling fan that is operated by a wall switch.

The new fan is operated by a wireless remote. So I need to remove the wall switch and close the circuit so that the fan always has power. At least I think so.

I removed the wall switch. Inside the box are a single black wire and a single white wire. I believe that all I need to do is connect these two wires. But I'm really afraid to connect wires of a different color. Is this going to be safe?

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  • You could have just left the switch in place and left the switch on. My Hunter fans with remote have a holder for the remote which covers the switch but allows the switch to be used if necessary. I found that the remote receivers would sometimes be unresponsive and needed to be reset by cycling the power. Jul 13, 2020 at 21:05
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    Is there still a switch in the usual location in the room that controls a light? Or did you just eliminate the only one? Jul 14, 2020 at 5:55
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    Can you clarify whether this is a ceiling fan only or if it also includes lighting? If it includes lighting, is it the only wall-switch operated light in the room? The answers to these questions will impact the answer to your question.
    – FreeMan
    Jul 14, 2020 at 16:40
  • How is this room lit? Jul 14, 2020 at 16:56

2 Answers 2

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That is correct. If those are the only wires in the box you have a typical switch loop:

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You'd simply nut the two wires together, reinstall the switch and plate (or a blank plate) and be happy.

However, that switch might come in handy as it is. You could also use one of the small retainers that go under the lower plate screw to lock switch position. That's reversible with less effort and they're available at hardware stores or online.

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You may notice that if you enter a room you’ve never been in before, your hand reaches to certain particular locations for a light switch. That’s no accident; it’s because both the electrical and building codes require that a light switch exist, and that it be there.

That means “at least one light switch”. If there are 2 or 3, they don’t all need to exist. As long as there is 1 light switch which does operate a light in the room.

This requirement is partly for the benefit of guests, and that especially includes first responders, who may need to get room lights on quickly to intubate someone, see a room is clear of victims, or see that a loved one is not holding a gun.

Since your plan is to eliminate a light switch, you must make sure you are not eliminating the only light switch in the room. You cannot do that unless there is also another light switch in a suitable location.

That said, there is nothing wrong with keeping the switch and using the remote as the primary control method. Simply don’t turn off the switch. Further, this gives first responders the ability to get the light to come on by switching the switch off then on, once or twice. Most remote-control modules will treat that as a command to bring the lights up.

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    All valid and useful info. The OP, though, said, "I'm replacing a ceiling fan that is operated by a wall switch." (emphasis added). Ceiling fans without lights aren't the norm, but they do exist. The concern about room lighting won't apply to a ceiling fan without a light kit. Maybe clarity from the OP is needed.
    – FreeMan
    Jul 14, 2020 at 16:39

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