How to Install a Ceiling Fan With Black, White, Red & Green Wires

Ceiling fans are used in a room to circulate the air–and most them are the main lighting source.
Ceiling fans install with multiple wires.Ceiling fans install with multiple wires.
Pull chains operate both the ceiling fan light and the fan blade motor. Sometimes there are separate light and ceiling fan switches installed in the wall. If you have separate switches, the wires coming from your ceiling fan electrical box include a black, white, red and green wire. To install a ceiling fan with these wires, you need to know which wire from the ceiling fan connects to which wire from the electrical box.

Step 1

Turn the ceiling fan circuit breaker to the “Off” position inside the main service panel.

Step 2

Test to confirm the breaker is off by touching one prong of a two-prong electrical tester to the black wire inside the ceiling fan electrical box and the other prong to any metal. Repeat this test with the red wire inside the ceiling fan box. The tester shouldn't register any electrical current if the correct breaker is turned off.

Step 3

Assemble your fan by following the directions provided by the manufacturer. Hang the ceiling fan mounting bracket to the ceiling fan electrical box using the screws provided with the fan's mounting hardware. Hang the assembled fan from the mounting bracket.

Step 4

Connect the black wire from the ceiling fan to the black wire from the house wiring in the ceiling fan electrical box by twisting an orange wire connector onto both wires. Twist an additional wire connector on the white wire from the house wiring in the electrical box and the white wire from the ceiling fan, connecting them together.

Step 5

Twist an orange wire connector onto the green ground wire from the ceiling fan hanging bracket, connecting it to the ground wire from the electrical box. Twist a final wire connector on the red wire from the ceiling fan box and the remaining light kit wire from the ceiling fan, connecting them together.

Step 6

Push all the wiring into the ceiling fan electrical box and cover the box and the hanging bracket with the ceiling fan canopy. The canopy attaches to the hanging bracket with two or four screws. Turn the ceiling fan circuit breaker to the “On” position inside the main service panel.

Things You Will Need

  • Two-prong electrical tester
  • Phillips or slotted screwdriver
  • Orange wire connectors

Warning

  • Test to verify that you have disconnected the electricity in the area you are working 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.