What Does the Red Wire Connect to in a Ceiling Fan Installation?

The red wire is used on a ceiling fan installation when the wiring includes two wall switches, in which case one switch operates the light and the other switch operates the fan. If the home is not pre-wired for dual switches, cap off the red wires.

To install a ceiling fan:

  1. Turn off the power.
  2. Turn off the power at the main electrical box, and turn the wall switch to the off position as well.
  3. Remove the existing fixture.
  4. Use a voltage tester to ensure the power is off and remove the existing light fixture.
  5. Replace the ceiling box.
  6. Determine if the existing ceiling box is metal, braced to the joists and capable of holding the weight of a ceiling fan. If not, replace it.
  7. Install the fan bracket.
  8. Determine if the bracket can be installed in either the “old work” or “new work” version and install accordingly. Old work is for replacement fans in rooms that are already finished, and new work is for unfinished rooms with exposed ceiling joists.
  9. Install the ceiling box.
  10. Remove a knockout from the ceiling box and push the plastic bushing through the hole, then push the wires through the bushing. Place the U-bolt on the bracket bar, slide the box over the ends and secure the box to the brackets.
  11. Check the wires.
  12. Replace any damaged wires, or cut away frayed ends and expose the copper ends.
  13. Assemble the fan.
  14. Assemble the fan on the ground first before installing it.
  15. Install the ceiling fan.
  16. Install the ceiling fan based on supplied instructions.
  17. Turn on the power.
  18. Turn the power back on and test to ensure the fan is working properly.