How to Hook-Up a Wire Connection on a Ceiling Fan

Hooking up a ceiling fan can be somewhat tricky if you have never installed a fan before.
Ceiling fans have extra wires that can confuse the average homeowner and someone that is unfamiliar with electrical wiring. The confusion is caused by the wire colors for a ceiling fan, and the fact the fan has four wires while your ceiling fan electrical box has three wires. Knowing where to hook up the fourth wire when connecting a ceiling fan takes the confusion out of the installation.

Step 1

Turn the electrical power off to your ceiling fan electrical box if you have not already. The breaker should be turned off in your service panel for the ceiling fan circuit. Place a note on the panel door letting your family know you are working on the circuit and not to turn on the breaker.

Step 2

Look inside the ceiling fan electrical box and locate the black power wire, white neutral wire and bare copper ground wire. Test the black wire to confirm you have the electricity turned off.

Step 3

Touch one lead from a two-lead electrical tester to the end of the black wire. Touch the other lead to the metal on the ceiling fan electrical box. The tester will not light up if you have the right breaker turned off.

Step 4

Assemble your ceiling fan following the directions provided by the manufacturer. Locate the black motor wire from the ceiling fan, the white neutral wire, the green ground wire and the light kit wire. Depending on the manufacturer, the color of the light wire could be blue, black with a white stripe, or red.

Step 5

Match the green wire connected to the ceiling fan to the bare copper wire from the ceiling fan electrical box. Twist an orange wire connector onto the wires clockwise to connect them together. Match the white neutral wire from the ceiling fan with the white neutral wire inside the ceiling fan electrical box and connect them together with another orange connector.

Step 6

Connect the last two wires from the ceiling fan, the black motor wire and the remaining light kit wire to the black hot wire from the ceiling fan electrical box with another connector. Attach the ceiling fan to the electrical box following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Step 7

Turn the breaker on in your home’s main electrical service panel to supply electrical power to the ceiling fan.

Things You Will Need

  • Two-lead electrical tester
  • Orange wire connectors

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.