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Home > Switches & Outlets > Fan/Light Combo > Power Source at Switch

Fan Always Hot, Light Switched - Power Source at Switch

By Donald Kerr
Fan Always Hot, Light Switched - Power Source at Switch

Fan always Hot /Light switched- Power source at Switch

At the ceiling box - the ungrounded conductor {aka hot} from the fan connects to the black wire. The ungrounded conductor {aka hot} for the light connects to the red wire. The white wire is the grounded leg {aka neutral} connection for both the fan and light. This will provide an constant (unswitched) ungrounded conductor for the fan and a switched - ungrounded conductor for the light.

Bare wires are together and grounded to box and if the fixture has a green wire or a grounding screw, it gets grounded also. Bares and green wires are equipment grounding conductors.

Be sure to read all documentation that comes with your fan / light combo fixture.

If you need onward power from the fixture

If only switched power required onward then at existing fixture

  • onward cable - black/white/bare
  • connect black from onward cable to red wire coming from switch
  • connect white from onward cable to white coming from switch
  • connect bare from onward cable to bare coming from switch and to electrical box if metallic.
  • At the onward cables destination , the black is the switched ungrounded conductor {aka hot}, the white is the grounded leg {aka neutral}, and the bare is the equipment grounding conductor.

If only unswitch power required onward then at existing fixture

  • onward cable - black/white/bare
  • connect black from onward cable to black wire coming from switch
  • connect white from onward cable to white coming from switch
  • connect bare from onward cable to bare coming from switch and to electrical box if metallic.
  • At the onward cables destination, the black is the ungrounded conductor {aka hot}, the white is the grounded leg conductor {aka neutral}, and the bare is the equipment grounding conductor.

If switched and unswitched power required onward then at existing fixture

  • onward cable - black/red//white/bare
  • connect black from onward cable to black wire coming from switch
  • connect red from onward cable to red wire coming from switch
  • connect white from onward cable to white coming from switch
  • connect bare from onward cable to bare coming from switch and to electrical box if metallic.
  • At the onward cables destination , the black is the unswitched ungrounded conductor {aka hot}, red is the switched ungrounded conductor {aka hot}, the white is the grounded leg {aka neutral}, and the bare is equipment grounding conductor.

If you need onward power from the switch

If only switched power required onward then at existing switch

  • onward cable - black/white/bare
  • connect black from onward cable to red wire coming from switch
  • connect white from onward cable to white coming from the circuit power supply cable.
  • connect bare from onward cable to other bares and to electrical box if metallic.
  • At the onward cables destination, the black is the switched ungrounded conductor {akahot}, the white is the grounded leg {aka neutral}, and the bare is the equipment grounding conductor.

If only unswitch power required onward then at existing switch

  • onward cable - black/white/bare
  • connect black from onward cable to black from the circuit power supply cable.
  • connect white from onward cable to white from the circuit power supply cable.
  • connect bare from onward cable to other bares and to electrical box if metallic.
  • At the onward cables destination , the black is the ungrounded conductor {aka hot}, the white is the grounded leg {aka neutral}, and the bare is the equipment
    grounding conductor.

If switched and unswitched power required onward then at existing switch

  • onward cable - black/red/white/bare
  • connect black from onward cable to black from circuit power supply cable.
  • connect red from onward cable to red wire coming from switch
  • connect white from onward cable to white circuit power supply cable.
  • connect bare from onward cable to other bares and to electrical box if metallic.
  • At the onward cables destination, the black wire is the unswitched ungrounded conductor {aka hot}, red wire is the switched ungrounded conductor {aka hot}, the white wire is the grounded leg {aka neutral}, and the bare wire is the equipment grounding conductor.

If wiring multiple fixtures be sure to check the following guidelines concerning how to do it and what not to do: Wiring Multiple Fixtures.

If you are new at understanding the "politically correct" electrical terminology and need clarification of the terms used, we strongly urge you to read the Clarification of Definitions and Terminology guide. This will explain the terminology used in this article.

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