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How to Fix Speed Control Ceiling Fans

Altering the rate of the electric motor like a ceiling fan needs properly wired electronics. Even though these electronics are rather durable, the controller operating them is fairly basic. With each pull of a string, a small switch rotates in increments to select the rate selection of the buff, a mechanical activity that can fail in many of ways. Luckily, a fan’s speed-control switch is a cheap, readily accessible part that’s not hard to replace, as long as you start with a transparent picture of how the old one is linked.

Turn off power to the fan in the circuit breaker.

Eliminate the light lights and lights, when the fan is equipped with a light kit. Separate the short, upper part of beaded chain connected to the speed-control switch in the lower, longer department connected to the fan pull. The two sections are combined by a somewhat larger connector bead on top of the chain near the switch.

Eliminate the small screws holding the switch housing cover or mild kit base to the switch housing. Pull gently on the cover to remove it in the housing, exposing the wiring to your light and speed controls.

Check all of the wiring, using a noncontact voltage tester to be sure the power is off. If the fan is equipped with a light kit, then unplug it, then if possible. Establish it safely aside. Alternatively, use a bit of string or wire to hang the light kit base from among the ceiling fan arms so you don’t need to hold it while working on the switch.

Loosen the retaining nut holding the fan’s speed-control switch into the switch housing. Use a pair of pliers, if needed. Thread the nut away from the switch the remainder of the way by hand. Push the protruding end of the switch to the housing. Pull the switch gently from the housing much enough to work on it readily.

Draw a diagram of the switch indicating which color wire is connected to each of the switch terminals, clearly identifying the terminal letters or numbers. Alternatively, take a close-up picture of the switch to use as a benchmark.

Analyze the wiring to determine the best way to disconnect the switch. On switches that utilize wire nuts, remove the nuts and untwist the wires. Alternatively, for switches with push-in terminals, add a small, pointed object like the end of a paper clip to the terminal-release holes to free the wire ends. Disconnect the switch and take it with you to acquire the right replacement.

Install the new switch according to your wiring diagram or reference picture. Strip about 1/2-inch of insulation from the ends of the wires on the new switch. Slide the bare wires together with the speed-control wires. Connect them with wire nuts. Alternatively, add the ends of the fan’s speed-control wires to the push-in terminals on the new switch.

Pull the end of the beaded chain connected to the switch through the hole at the switch housing. Hold the switch in place. Slide the retaining nut across the string and screw it onto the switch. Tighten the nut securely by hand. Tighten the retaining nut with pliers, if needed. Be careful to not strip the threads on the switch. Plug in the light kit in the event that you unplugged it earlier, then tuck the light and speed-control wiring attentively to the switch housing.

Install the switch housing cover or mild kit base on the switch housing. Align the holes in the cover together with those of the housing and thread at the screws. Tighten the screws securely.

Install the light bulbs and shades, if the fan has a light kit. Attach the fan pull and more section of string to the shorter section connected to the control switch.

Turn on the power and check for proper operation of the buff.

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