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.
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. We cannot assume responsibility for personal injury or property damage as a result of using the information provided here.
The information on this page is intended to aid in electrical wiring projects that become necessary when doing DIY home improvements and repairs. Some of the diagrams here are for older circuits that may not adhere to the latest code updates. When running a new circuit be sure to use the latest approved wiring arrangements.
In the diagrams on this website the brass colored terminals on the devices represent the hot side of the circuit and the silver colored terminals represent the neutral side. Green is used to denote ground wires and terminals. Not all outlet boxes or older devices will have a grounding terminal. When running new wiring the ground wires should be spliced with a short piece of wire to connect to each device that has a grounding terminal, and to any grounding terminals in the outlet boxes. Also be aware that the white wire may be use to carry current in some household circuits, in these cases it should be marked with black electrical tape to indicate it is hot.
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 3-wire cable runs to the ceiling outlet box. The black wire is splice to the output on the speed controller and to the black, fan wire at the other end. The red 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 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, 3-wire 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 on the 3-wire cable and then spliced to the input wires on both controllers at the other end. The black wire connects the fan to the speed controller. The red wire connects the light to the dimmer.
This is the updated wiring for this arrangement with a 2-wire cable added between the fan/light and switches. The white wire is no longer used for hot and the source neutral is run through to the switch box. All other wiring is the same as above.
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 3-wire cable runs from there to the switch box. The neutral from the source is spliced directly to the white wire on the fan kit and run through to the switch box. The hot source is spliced to the black, fan wire and the black wire running to the dimmer. At the other end the black is spliced to one of the hot dimmer wires, it doesn't matter which one. The other black wire from the dimmer is spliced to the red wire and 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. Three-wire cable runs from the fan to the switch box and the source neutral is spliced to the white wire and to the fan neutral. The source hot is spliced to the red wire and connected to the bottom terminals on the switch. The black wire is connected to the top terminal running power back to the fan where it is spliced to both the black and blue fan wires.
Use this wiring when the power source originates at the switch and you want to control both the fan and light. The hot source is connected directly to the bottom terminal on the switch and 2-wire cable runs from there to the ceiling fan. The black cable wire is connected to the top terminal on the switch and spliced to the black and blue wires at the fan. The neutral source is spliced to the through to the fan.
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, 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. Connect the ground to the grounding terminal in the connection box.
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. 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.