I had to replace my patio ceiling fan. The replacement unit came with a remote control, which I did not notice until installation time.

I installed a wall switch for the previous fan which controlled:

  1. Light on / off (toggle switch)
  2. Light dimmer (slider on one side of the toddle switch)
  3. 3-speed fan control (slider on the other side of the toggle switch)

I had to pull a separate single wire from the switch to the fan for this to work. It worked fine.

How do I bypass / split the remote control function so I can use the wall switch / fader / fan control?

  • 2
    pull a separate single wire Do you have individual wires in conduit? Or do you have (except for this separate single wire) typical NM (a.k.a. Romex) cables? Oct 10, 2023 at 2:28
  • I pulled a separate single wire so both the 3-wire romex and the single wire controlled all three functions of the wall switch - light on/off (toggle), dimmer (slider) and fan speed (slider). That worked, how do I bypass the remote control module and splice the 'other' side to those wires so I can use the wall switch as I previously did.
    – dshorrosh
    Oct 10, 2023 at 2:45
  • What model is your new fan? Oct 10, 2023 at 2:53
  • Harbor Breeze Summersville 52-in Textured Black LED Indoor/Outdoor Ceiling Fan with Light Remote (5-Blade) - Item #3856486 - Model #42192
    – dshorrosh
    Oct 10, 2023 at 3:18
  • 1
    That is actually referred to as "/2" - i.e., the 3rd wire is a bare ground and grounds all connect to each other and to metal boxes but aren't "counted". Oct 10, 2023 at 3:50

1 Answer 1


Code violation!

Based on comments, the existing configuration uses a 3-wire cable + 1 single wire. But this 3-wire cable really only has two functional wires (black switched hot and white neutral) plus a bare ground wire.

You (a) can't have single wires without them being protected by conduit and (b) can't combine single wires with cables because currents must be balanced within each cable or conduit.

So there are really two separate issues here:

  • How do you properly wire two switched hot wires + neutral?
  • How do you wire a fan for switch control instead of wireless remote control?

The first part can be properly done one of two ways:

  • A /3 cable - black switched hot, red switched hot, white neutral, bare ground.
  • Conduit with individual wires for two switched hots and neutral.

Generally speaking fishing a new cable through will be easier than running conduit. In this particular case, you can probably use the existing single wire as a pull string to pull through a new cable and then abandon the old /2 cable. Note that if this is a 20A circuit then you must use 12 AWG cable. If it is a 15A circuit then you can use 14 AWG cable or 20 AWG cable.

According to the manual on Lowes web site, the remote is a separate receiver box, and the real wiring is:

  • blue = light switched hot
  • black = fan switched hot
  • white = neutral (standard)
  • green = ground (standard)

So wire things up as follows:

In the switch box:

  • black hot to two pigtails to the dimmer and fan controls.
  • white neutral to white wire in new cable. If the switches need neutral then connect pigtails to the switches as well.
  • dimmer switched hot to /3 red wire
  • fan control switched hot to /3 black wire

In the ceiling:

  • Don't connect the remote receiver.
  • Connect cable white to fan white.
  • Connect cable bare ground to fan green.
  • Connect cable black to fan black.
  • Connect cable red to fan blue.
  • 1
    Thanks for the explanation, and it was somebody at the store who told me to simply connect a single cable of same gauge (red sheathing in this case) to either of the slider connections to power either the dimmer or speed control. That solution has been in place for 15 years. But to your point, clipping the 4x wires at the point of connection on the remote control receiver results in 'normal' connections for separate controls of light and fan via wall switch - got it, that's the part I was missing. Thanks.
    – dshorrosh
    Oct 10, 2023 at 12:31
  • 1
    @dshorrosh please be careful getting advice from the sales associates at big box stores. Usually, they're well meaning, but are often clueless about how to actually do things with the products they sell. Sometimes you'll find someone who has worked in the trade of the line of products (s)he is selling, but that's rare. If you go to an electrical or plumbing supply house, you'll most likely get good advice from the person at the counter.
    – FreeMan
    Oct 10, 2023 at 15:24

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