I just bought a new ceiling fan (with light) to replace a 20+ year old ceiling fan (without light). The old fan has an existing speed dial control in the wall.

I’m pretty confident that I can replace the fan (never done this before), but I wasn’t sure if I need to do anything particular to ensure that the speed dial will work with the new ceiling fan. Note that we plan to use the chain for the light.

Thanks for any insights.

  • Model # of the new fan/light? Commented Jan 11, 2022 at 15:27
  • The new one is a Hunter Fan, model # 53379.
    – KenSie
    Commented Jan 11, 2022 at 16:54

1 Answer 1


Take pictures of every wiring connection before you disconnect anything!! Otherwise, you'll be back here with pictures of bare wires asking how to put it back together again.

That said, you'll need an always on source of power to power the light bulbs so you can use the pull chain for them. You can get this two different ways:

  1. Power comes to the switch, then continues on to the fan mount with a /3 cable in the wall (traditionally in the USA the colors are: bare (ground)/white/black/red).
  2. Power goes first to the fan mount, then down the wall to the switch.

For the first, you'd hook up the always hot coming into the switch to the unused wire (probably red, but go with what you've got), and to the switch. The switched wire continues to control the fan, and that unswitched hot gets connected to the light kit and is controlled by the pull-chain.

For the second, you'd add the light kit's hot wire to the wire nut in the ceiling where the hot comes in, and continue it down the wall on the existing wire as well to provide switched power for the fan.

If you don't have one of those two situations (i.e., your hot comes to the switch first, then goes up the wall in a /2 bare/black/white cable), then you'll need to pull a /3 cable up the wall and that's a much bigger project that should probably be the subject of its own question.

  • I was definitely planning to take a photo first! 😉 I plan to just use the pull chain for the lighting, so hopefully that'll make things easier.
    – KenSie
    Commented Jan 11, 2022 at 16:56
  • 1
    Pull chain or not, @KenSie, "easy" depends on the wiring currently in the walls.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Jan 11, 2022 at 17:05
  • Coming from the ceiling, it looks to be white, red, black and the copper grounding wire.
    – KenSie
    Commented Jan 12, 2022 at 20:05
  • That's a positive sign, @KenSie. What's behind the switch?
    – FreeMan
    Commented Jan 13, 2022 at 13:39

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