I'm replacing the bathroom extractor fan switch with a new one (the pull cord no longer works)

The new switch only has place for 4 wires - Neutral and Live (Supply and Feed) and the earth. I have 7 wires coming from the ceiling. 2 Blue, 2 Red and 2 Yellow (both with a red sleeve) and the earth wire.

Can I put the blue (N) together and the red (L) together? Where should the Yellow (red sleeve) wires go? In neutral or live (feed or supply)

  • 1
    How was it wired before?
    – BMitch
    Oct 23, 2014 at 13:41
  • It was wired so that each wire was connected separately. The blue wires in 2 neutral connectors, the red in two separate L2 connectors - the yellow (with red sleeves) where in separate L1 connectors (presumably this is the switched live)
    – Tom
    Oct 23, 2014 at 14:05
  • grab a multimeter and see what switches when (taking care not to electrocute yourself) Oct 23, 2014 at 14:36
  • my question would be: is it possible to replace a 3 pole Fan Ceiling Pull Cord Switch with a British General 45A Pull Cord Switch?
    – Tom
    Oct 23, 2014 at 14:41
  • No. The 45A switch will only be 2 pole. You need to replace it with a 3 pole switch. You should be able to get one from the likes of B&Q, TLC, Screwfix, etc.
    – John
    Oct 23, 2014 at 21:32

1 Answer 1


The fan switch is a three pole switch - basically three switches that operate at once.

The switch should have two sets of three terminals, labelled L1, L2, and N, plus earth terminal(s). Connect one red wire to each L1 terminal, one yellow wire (with the red sleeve) to each L2 terminal, one blue wire to each N terminal, and the earth wire(s) to the earth terminal.

The yellow wires with the red sleeve is the switched live from the light switch, which turns the fan on. The red wire provides the permanent live to allow the fan to run on for a period when the light is turned off.

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