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Hi have have 3 new ceiling fans that have a pull switch cord for the light and fan. I am wanting to change them to a hard wired switch on the wall and a light switch. They have 3 speeds and have lights attached. Anyone that could help, thanks Stella

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    What brand and model fan? Is there an optional remote control unit available for these fans? – bib Dec 11 '15 at 14:05
  • The fact that the fans have switches on them is irrelevant. Simply unclip the pull cords and follow Tester101's guide below. – isherwood Dec 11 '15 at 14:13
  • @isherwood that's a good point. But then the switches will be wired in series, though, right? So before unclipping the pull cord it seems like one should verify that that switch on the fixture is at its highest setting (and especially not "off") – Matthew Leingang Feb 10 '17 at 15:38
  • Correct on both points. – isherwood Feb 10 '17 at 16:10
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This is possible.


Wired Control

However, if there's not already wires run between the unit and the wall switch location, you're going to have to run the wires yourself. For this answer, I'm going to assume there's no wiring currently installed between the unit and a switch.

Select the switch location

The first step is to decide where you wan the switch. Once you've decided, you'll want to cut a hole in the wall large enough for a double gang electrical box. An "old work" box is a good choice for this project, since it will be difficult to attach the box to the farming due to the walls being covered.

Selecting wire size

You'll select the wire size, based on the size of the circuit breaker protecting the circuit. If it's a 15 ampere breaker, you can use 14 AWG wire. If it's a 20 ampere breaker, you'll use 12 AWG wire.

Selecting cable

To control the light and fan independently, and meet National Electrical Code standards. You're going to have to have four current carrying conductors, and one grounding conductor between the unit and switches. You can use 12/4 with ground, 12/2/2 with ground, or two 12/2 with ground NM-B cables, install conduit and pull individual wires, or use any other type of acceptable cable with the proper number of wires.

Selecting switches

The switch to turn the light on/off, can be any type of single pole snap switch. The switch for the fan can also be a snap switch, if you wan to use the pull chain on the fan to control the fan speed. If you want to control the fan speed from the wall switch, you'll want to install a fan control switch instead. If you only want a single gang switch to control both, you can install a single gang electrical box, and use a special ceiling fan control switch.

enter image description here
3 speed fan control switch
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3 speed fan and light control switch

Wiring

If the ceiling fan is currently wired without a wall switch (as this answer assumes), you'll find that there should be three bundles of wires in the box. There should be one ungrounded (hot) bundle, that is likely made up of black wires (assuming US). One grounded (neutral) bundle, made up of white wires. And finally a bundle of grounding wires, made up of bare or green wires.

For simplicity in the following wiring description, I'm going to assume you chose to use 12/4 with ground NM-B cable.

WARNING: Make sure you turn the breaker off, and verify the power is off before beginning. If you don't have the tools or knowledge to complete the work, don't hesitate to contact a local licensed Electrician.

Connections in the ceiling

  1. Connect the black wire from the wall switch, to the black wire coming into the ceiling box (you can disconnect the black and blue wires to the fan in this step as well).
  2. Connect the white wire from the wall switch, to the bundle of white wires entering the ceiling box.
  3. Connect the bare wire from the wall switch, the the bundle of bare/green wires entering the ceiling box.
  4. Connect the red wire from the wall switch, to the black wire on the ceiling fan.
  5. Connect the blue wire from the wall switch, to the blue wire on the ceiling fan.

Connections at the wall switches

  1. Use pigtails to connect the black wire to the LINE terminal of both switches. Or connect the black wire to the COMMON terminal, if you've installed a single control.
  2. Cap the white wire with a twist-on wire connector, or connect it to the switch(es) if required.
  3. Use pigtails to connect the bare wire to the grounding terminal of each switch. If you've installed a metal box, use a pigtail and grounding screw to connect the bare wire to the box as well.
  4. Connect the red wire to the LOAD terminal of the fan control, or the FAN terminal if you've installed a single control.
  5. Connect the blue wire to the light switch, or the LIGHT terminal if you've installed a single control.

Wireless Control

If you don't want to fiddle with running cable, you can go the wireless route. Yo can chose either ceiling fans with wireless units already installed, or buy aftermarket control modules.

Wiring

To install a fixture with a pre-installed wireless module, follow the manufacturer's installation instructions that were included with the unit. There's a few variations, so I'm not going to go into detail of each one.

To install an aftermarket wireless module, follow the manufacturer's installation instructions that were included with the unit. Again, there are a few variations, and I'm not going to go into detail here.

Selecting switch location

Once the wireless module is installed, pair the remote to the receiver by following the manufacturer's instructions (might require setting dip switches). Then install the remote wherever you want.

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