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Home > Switches & Outlets > Fan/Light Combo > Power Source and Fixture Feed at Same Switch, 3-Way Switches Required

Fan/Light Switched Together - Power Source and Fixture Feed at Same Switch, 3-Way Switches Required

By Donald Kerr
Fan/Light Switched Together - Power Source and Fixture Feed at Same Switch, 3-Way Switches Required

At the ceiling box - the ungrounded fixture conductors {aka hot} for the fan and lights connect to the black wire coming from switch. The white wire from the switch is the grounded leg conductor {aka neutral} for both the fan and light.

Wrap a piece of black electrical tape around both ends of the white wire going between the 2 switch boxes, as this wire is also being used as an ungrounded conductor {aka hot}.

Bare wires are together and grounded to box (if metallic) 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 then

If only switched power required onward then at existing fixture

  • onward cable - black/white/bare
  • connect black from onward cable to the black wire coming from switch.
  • connect white from onward cable to white wire 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
This is not possible with this configuration as there is no unswitched ungrounded conductors {aka hot} existing at the fixture location.

If you need onward power from the switch then

Note: that onward power from the switch is only possible at the switch box that has the circuit power supply cable. The other switch box does not have an grounded leg {aka neutral } available.

If only switched power required onward then at existing switch box

  • onward cable - black/white/bare
  • connect black from onward cable to black going to fixture.
  • connect white from onward cable to white wire of the circuit power supply cable.
  • connect bare from onward cable to bare coming from circuit power supply cable 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 unswitched power required onward then at existing switch box

  • onward cable - black/white/bare
  • connect black from onward cable to black wire coming from circuit power supply cable
  • connect white from onward cable to white coming from circuit power supply cable
  • connect bare from onward cable to bare coming from circuit power source cable 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 box

  • onward cable - black/red/white/bare
  • connect black from onward cable to black wire coming from circuit power supply cable
  • connect red from onward cable to the black wire going to fixture.
  • connect white from onward cable to white coming from circuit power supply cable
  • connect bare from onward cable to bare coming from circuit power supply cable 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 the equipment grounding conductor.


Power source & fixture feed at same switch - 2 3-way switches required

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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