I previously had a fan with no remote, controlled by a double switch on the wall (one for the light, one for the fan) and just installed a new one. Now only one switch controls both. How do I fix it so that they can be controlled individually by the switches?

We forgot to take a picture of the wires from the old fan when we took it off, but we currently have a red wire not connected to anything that is capped by itself, the rest are matched by color (green, black, white, and a blue “quick-connect” one from the fan housing to the light).

  • 2
    Please post photos of whatever you have right now. Jul 19, 2023 at 3:28
  • The cable leading from the box with two switches has one ground (green), two hots (red and black) and one neutral (white) which is the neutral for both hots. In the switch box one hot will be switched by one switch and the other hot by the other switch. In the fan box connections one switched hot goes to the fan and the other goes to the light. The fan and light hots are not connected together. The one neutral white goes with the one neutral white in the fan/light harness. Jul 19, 2023 at 4:24
  • Can you post photos of the inside of the switch box please? Jul 19, 2023 at 11:55

2 Answers 2


In your switch box you should have:

All white (neutral) wires connected (none will connect to the switch unless maybe if you have a dimmer switch for the lights).

All green (ground) connected with a lead running to each switch.

Black source (where the power comes in) connected to two black leads. One black lead to each switch.

On one switch, connected the black wire leading to the fan.

On the other switch, connect the red wire leading to the fan.

All a switch does is break power or allow power. Black and red both represent "hot" wires, but are color coded for reasons like this. Essentially, one will power the light, the other will power the fan.

  • 2
    There are some variants. For example, an old style switch loop (not allowed in new circuits, but existing ones are grandfathered) could have white=hot, black and red = switched hot. Grounds are more commonly bare than green. Jul 19, 2023 at 3:48
  • 1
    This answer address the wiring in the switch box. The op never stated they did any work on the switch wiring, only wired the new fan.
    – RMDman
    Jul 19, 2023 at 14:36

This is pretty simple. Assuming that you are not using a remote module.

With the power off, at the fan disconnect the blue wire and connect it with the red wire.

Be sure the black and black are connected properly.

Leave everything else alone.

The fan is now controlled by one switch. The light by the other.

If you are using a remote module the fan and light are controlled by the remote. In most cases it cannot be wired to have different switches control power to fan and light separately.

  • 1
    What if I removed the communicator for the remote that wires in between the house and the fan? I don’t really want the remote, just the switches Jul 19, 2023 at 16:32
  • 1
    That is exactly what you need to do to restore control to the switches. On the fan black wire goes to black, blue to red, whites together and grounds connected. then the switches will independently work the fan and the light.
    – RMDman
    Jul 19, 2023 at 16:36
  • It's called "receiver switch" or just a "receiver". Usually the receiver and the remote together allow changing the speed of the fan and changing the brightness of the light. Jul 19, 2023 at 18:41
  • You could replace the simple switches in the switch box with variable witches which allow controlling the speed of the fan and the intensity of the light. Jul 19, 2023 at 18:48

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.