It is the responsibility of the user of this information to know and understand the NEC (National Electrical Code) as it applies to them, as well as any local regulations or laws that may pertain. While many jurisdictions do adopt the standards of the NEC, some may have requirements in addition to, or exemptions from those standards. The information on this page is intended to aid in electrical wiring projects that become necessary when doing DIY home improvements and repairs. We cannot assume responsibility for personal injury or property damage as a result of using the information provided here.
The diagrams on this page are for wiring a ceiling fan and light kit often used in a living room or bedroom. Wiring arrangements for an electrical source at the switch and at the ceiling fixture are include as well as controls for fan speed, light dimmer and a single-pole switch hardwired to control the light with a pull chain.
Wiring diagrams for a bathroom exhaust fan can be found at the bottom of the page. These include a timer to control the fan, a single-pole switch controlling the fan, and an exhaust fan and light fixture wired on two different switches.
Note: The hot wire to the fan in a fan/light kit will usually be black and the light wire will be blue. The white wire is usually the neutral which is always connected directly to the source neutral, either at the source or through a splice in the switch box. The white wire may also be used to carry current when necessary. In these cases, it should be wrapped with electrical tape to mark it as hot. The ground wires will be green and/or bare copper. The ground should be spliced with a short piece of wire and connected to each device and outlet box that has a grounding terminal. In these drawing the brass colored terminal represent the hot side of the device and the silver colored terminal represent the neutral. Ground wires and terminals are in green.
The wiring in these drawings illustrate 14/3 and 14/2 awg cable in 15 amp circuits. Most household lighting and wall outlet are 15 amp, particularly in newer construction. However, existing circuits may also be 20 amps. When working with 20 amp circuits use 12 awg cable and 20 amp switches and controllers.
This wiring diagram illustrates the connections for dual controls, a speed controller for the fan and a dimmer for the lights. The source is at the controllers and the input of each is spliced to the black source wire with a pigtail. From the controllers 14/3 cable runs to the ceiling outlet box. The black 14/3 wire is splice to the output on the speed controller and to the black, fan wire at the other end. The red 14/3 wire is spliced to the output on the dimmer and to the blue, light wire at the other end. The neutral from the source is spliced in the switch box with the white 14/3 wire and to the neutral wire on the ceiling fixture at the other end.
This diagram is similar to the one above but with the electrical source originating at the fixture, 14/3 cable runs from there to the controllers. The neutral wire from the source is spliced directly to the white wire on the fan/light. The hot source wire is spliced to the white 14/3 wire and then spliced to the input wires on both controllers at the other end. The black 14/3 wire is splice to the black, fan wire and to the output on the speed controller at the other end. The red 14/3 wire is splices to the blue, light wire and to the output on the dimmer at the other end.
This wiring arrangement allows for lowering the lights with a dimmer and controlling the fan with the built-in pull chain. The source is at the ceiling outlet box and 14/2 cable runs from there to the switch box. The neutral from the source is spliced directly to the white wire on the fan kit. The hot source is spliced to the black, fan wire and the black 14/2 wire. At the other end the black 14/2 wire is spliced to one of the black dimmer wires, it doesn't matter which one. The other black wire from the dimmer is spliced to the white 14/2 wire and to the to the blue, light wire at the other end.
Use this wiring when the source is at the fixture and you want to control the feed to both components with the same switch. This is very close to the wiring for the dimmer above but with the hot source spliced only to the black wire on the 14/2 cable. At the switch the black wire is connected to the bottom terminals and the white wire is connected to the top terminal. At the ceiling fixture the white 14/2 wire is now hot and spliced to the black and blue wires.
Use this wiring scheme when the power source originates at the switch and you want to hardwire the fan and light for pull chain control. The hot source is connected directly to the bottom terminal on the switch and 14/2 cable runs from the switch to the ceiling fixture. The black 14/2 wire is connected to the top terminal on the switch and spliced to the black and blue wires at the fixture. The neutral source wire is spliced to the white 14/2 wire in the switch box and spliced with the white wire on the ceiling fixture.
To wire an exhaust fan to a single-pole switch use this diagram. These fans usually come with a small electrical connection box welded to the side. There will be a cover on the connection box that fastens with a small screw. Open it and pop the plug out of the wire hole and thread a wire clamp into it. Run the cable through the clamp and tighten it down. Splice the cable wires to the fan wires using a pigtail splice and a wire nut.
Here the exhaust fan is controlled by a timer switch. There should be two hot wires and a ground coming out of the timer casing. These are mark either with different colors or labels to indicate the input and output. Splice these wires to the cable wires using a pigtail and wire nut.
In this arrangement a light fixture and exhaust fan are wired to the same source. The light is controlled with a single-pole switch and the fan controlled with a timer as in the previous drawing.