How to Wire Your Ceiling Fan

Man working on a ceiling fan
  • 1-3 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 100-500
What You'll Need
Ceiling fan
Circuit tester
Mounting brackets

It is quite helpful to know how to wire a ceiling fan in place of another fixture. This project will take a few hours, but it is well worth the time and effort. A ceiling fan is not only useful in the summer. In the winter you can put the fan into reverse or use the lowest speed to help drive the warmth into the room.

Step 1 - Choose a Ceiling Fan

There are several things to consider. Ceiling fans come in many different styles and colors. Choose one that suits the décor of your home. Since you will be replacing a light fixture when you install your new ceiling fan, you need to decide if your room will still get adequate light or if you need to buy a fan that has a built-in light. Also, make sure you will have enough “head room” after you wire your ceiling fan. It would be awful if someone accidentally walked into the fan blades.

Step 2 - Remove the Old Fixture

Removing cover from ceiling light fixture

Go to your circuit breaker and shut off the power to the fixture you are taking out. Turn the wall switch on and off a few times and use a circuit tester on the fixture to ensure the power is off. Next, take out the light bulbs and any glass covers. Then loosen the mounting bolts so you can remove the old fixture.

Step 3 - Disconnect Wires

There should just be two or three wires. Disconnect all of them.

Step 4 - Mount the Fan

At this point, take a few minutes to look over the electrical box and see if it will be able to support the ceiling fan. If so, you may proceed to affix the mounting bracket to the box. Tighten the screws as much as you can. Then attach the hook on the bracket.

Step 5 - Wire Ceiling Fan

It is now time to wire the ceiling fan. Attach white wires to each other, black to black, etc. Use a wire nut to cover the white and black wires. Do not forget to attach the ground to the junction box. Once you are done, get the excess wiring out of your way by shoving it up in the electrical box.

Step 6 - Attach the Fan Motor

man working on ceiling fan

Screw the fan motor into its place on the mounting bracket. Check to see if you wired the ceiling fan properly by turning the power on and testing it. The switch on the wall and the pull cord on the fan both have to be on. Then turn the power off again and add the motor cover.

Step 7 - Mount the Fan Blades

Before you begin, you have to attach each fan blade's mounting bracket. Next, mount the blades to the motor using the brackets. Then turn the power on and test the fan one more time. Check to see if the fan wobbles too much or makes more noise than it is supposed to. Pushing the fan until it is level will fix most problems. If you bought a more expensive fan, there may have been a balancing kit packed with it. Follow the manufacturer's instructions on how to use it.