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I'm replacing the fan switch in a Hampton Bay fan + light combo. I couldn't find a wiring diagram for the specific fan (and capacitor, which has 4 wires) to confirm the correct wiring, but after examining how it was connected, I suspect the switch was wired incorrectly when installed. The switch was stuck "on" at low speed for years, so I couldn't check what speeds the fan ran at for each setting with the old switch (I'm hesitant to wire it incorrectly to test with the new switch). From what I can tell, 3-speed fans should be wired something like what's shown in the following diagram:

Hampton Bay 3-speed switch wiring diagram

Whatever the capacitor and fan manufacturer, I expect "hi" speed should connect the line/power and common wires, "med" the line/power and two of the capacitor wires (lower voltage, if not all equal), and "low" the line/power and the lower capacitor (and voltage) wire. This way, high speed bypasses the capacitor, medium uses a higher capacitance and low the lowest capacitance. Is this correct for the general case? Below is what I have in particular; would someone confirm whether the wiring scheme I propose is correct?

Components

  • fan: Hampton Bay EF200D
  • CBB61 series capacitor, 4 wires:
    • black: common
    • blue: 3µF, 350V
    • red: 3.5µF, 200V
    • yellow: 6µF, 200V
  • 3-speed, 4-wire pull-chain switch with terminals L, 1, 2, 3

The capacitor has component # E175257 and manufacturer logo:

manufacturer's logo

Both the old and new switches go through the sequence of terminal connections shown in the wiring diagram above (e.g. high speed connects terminals L & 1).

Old scheme

A simplified wiring scheme, showing how the switch connects to other components (other connections for those components are left out):

old wiring scheme

Capacitor (assumed to be correctly wired):

  • black capacitor wire connects to a reverse switch and switch terminal 2.
  • blue capacitor wire (3µF, 350V) goes into motor housing
  • red capacitor wire (3.5µF, 200V) goes to switch terminal 3
  • yellow capacitor wire (6µF, 200V) goes to switch terminal 1

Switch:

  • L: line from motor housing
  • 1: yellow from capacitor (6µF, 200V)
  • 2: black from capacitor
  • 3: red from capacitor (3.5µF, 200V)

Since this will connect the line & 6µF on high speed setting, and line, black and 3.5µF on medium speed setting, the black and yellow wires appear to be swapped. Should the correct wiring be as following?

new wiring scheme

Switch:

  • L: line from motor housing
  • 1: black from capacitor
  • 2: yellow from capacitor (6µF, 200V)
  • 3: red from capacitor (3.5µF, 200V)

2 Answers 2

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I'm nearing the end of a ceiling fan capacitor rabbit hole, and this post was very helpful to me, but there are some details that I think future readers may benefit from.

  • Higher capacitance on the aux does seem to mean higher fan speed.
  • One of the 3 capacitors (blue 3uF in this case) is always in circuit to the aux winding
  • The highest speed is the one that does not include any other capacitors, so in this case the highest speed is achieved with the 3uF of the blue wire alone
  • The speed switch chooses which of the other capacitors to include in series with the blue one to the aux and which ones are added in parallel to the run winding
  • When the switch uses more than one capacitor, those selections are in parallel but still in series with the blue one that goes to the aux winding
  • There are several different switch styles. They may all look similar, take 4 connections, and have the same wire labeling(L,1,2,3), but they vary in the switch behavior.
    • Style 1: L (off), L-1, L-2, L-3
    • Style 2: L (off), L-1, L-2-3, L-3
    • Style 3: L-1-2 (off), L-1-2-3, L-2-3, L-1-3
  • I bought styles 1 and 3 from Home Depot and Lowes, but I needed Style 2 for my application. The retail packaging doesn't say anything about which one it is. The only way to know is to test it, or if you can open one to find the "zing ear" model to google.
  • The effective capacitance of caps in parallel is their sum, but in series it is the reciprocal of the sum of the reciprocals

So the effective capacitance for this switch and the 3 caps would be :

switch state Run winding aux winding Notes
OFF (L) n/a n/a
High (L-1) 0uF 3uf This one i'm not sure about. They need to be different to rotate, right? but the diagram above would suggest the run winding got 3uF
Med (L-2-3) 9.5uF (6+3.5) 2.28uF (1/(1/9.5 + 1/3))
Low (L-3) 3.5uF 1.615uF (1/(1/3.5 + 1/3))
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While I can't speak to the general case, the new scheme works for the Hampton Bay EF200D and the 4-lead capacitor. After connecting the new switch according to the new scheme, the fan steps through appropriate speeds as the switch cycles and there have been no electrical issues.

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  • Thanks for coming back to update us!
    – FreeMan
    Dec 1, 2021 at 12:40

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