How to Wire a 3-Speed Ceiling-Fan Switch

Wiring a three-speed ceiling-fan switch is just as easy as wiring a regular single pole switch.
But you'll find it's much more convenient to be able to change the speed of your fan from the wall switch rather than the speed chain. And you'll never again have to try to figure out exactly how many times you pulled the chain when adjusting the speed or trying to turn the fan off.

Step 1

Turn off the power to the ceiling fan and switch by turning off the breaker in the main electrical panel.

Step 2

Remove the switch-cover plate from the ceiling fan wall switch, setting both the cover and screws aside. This exposes the wiring and the electrical switch box.

Step 3

Disconnect the original ceiling-fan switch. Remove the screws from the top and the bottom of the switch. Pull the switch from the electrical box, exposing the black wires attached to the switch. Loosen the screws on the right side of the switch, at both the top and the bottom. Remove the wires from beneath the screws.

Step 4

Install the three-speed ceiling-fan switch. The fan speed switch is a rheostat that controls the amount of electricity supplied to the ceiling fan, changing the speed in conjunction with the amount of electricity provided to the ceiling. Connect the black power-supply wire from the electrical switch box to the wire labeled as power supply on the ceiling fan speed switch by twisting an orange wire nut onto both wires. The power-supply wire in the electrical box connects back to the main breaker panel. Connect the remaining black wire from the ceiling fan switch box to the remaining wire on the three-speed ceiling-fan switch by twisting an orange wire nut onto that wire as well.

Step 5

Push all the wires back into the switch box. Attach the three-speed ceiling fan switch to the electrical box at the top and the bottom using the screws that were furnished with the switch.

Step 6

Cover the switch with the switch=cover plate you removed earlier.

Step 7

Turn on the power to the ceiling fan and switch by turning on the breaker in the main electrical panel.

Things You Will Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Orange wire nuts


  • If your ceiling fan and light are operated by the same switch you will not be able to install a three-speed control without first separating the ceiling fan and the light onto separate switches.


  • Always make sure that the electricity is off to the area that you are working in to avoid electrical shock.

About the Author

Cecilia Harsch has been writing professionally since 2009. She writes mainly home improvement, health and travel articles for various online publications. She has several years of experience in the home-improvement industry, focusing on gardening, and a background in group exercise instruction. Harsch received her Certified Nurses Assistant license in 2004. She attended Tarrant County College and studied English composition.