How to Replace a Hampton Bay Fan Switch

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Hampton Bay ceiling fans can be a great asset in your home. They circulate air around a room, enabling you to reduce the cost of heating and cooling your home while making it more comfortable. It can, therefore, be a nuisance when they stop working. If the problem is the fan switch, it can be fixed without too much trouble.

How to Replace a Hampton Bay Fan Switch
(Philip Sustachek/Demand Media)

Things You'll Need

  • Fan switch
  • Screwdriver
  • Soldering iron
Step 1

Open the fan’s switch housing by removing the screws, which you’ll find either on the bottom cap or the side. Remove the pull chain by unscrewing the decorative nut underneath the switch housing.

Philip Sustachek/Demand Media
Step 2

Write down where each wire attaches to the pull chain.

Philip Sustachek/Demand Media
Step 3

Remove the wires from the pull chain after you’ve marked them. Most fan switch wires are inserted directly into the chain, so you can and should remove them without cutting them; just pry them out with a small flat head screwdriver inserted into the slot next to the wire. If they’re attached using wire nuts, remove the nuts.

Philip Sustachek/Demand Media
Step 4

Determine the correct replacement pull chain. The best way to do this is to contact Home Depot or Hampton Bay, who can probably send you the right switch or at least give you a part number you can use to select a suitable generic brand at your local hardware store. If one of them can’t help you, you need to consider two things in determining the correct switch: how many speeds the fan has and how many wires are used to connect the pull chain. Some possible configurations are listed in the “Tips” section below.

Philip Sustachek/Demand Media
Step 5

Reconnect the new pull chain wires the same way the old pull chain connected, consulting the notes you took when removing the old chain. If there were no wire nuts, you may need to solder the connection to make sure it stays.

Philip Sustachek/Demand Media
Step 6

Remount the fan switch housing by replacing the screws.

Philip Sustachek/Demand Media

Tips & Warnings

  • Fans are all different, so if you don’t remember where to connect the wires, you’ll need to use trial and error to find which wires attach where when you reconnect the switch. The chain will be marked with A-B-C-D or L-1-2-3 or something similar, and the wires will usually be colored (differently). If they’re not, however, you’ll need to mark both the pull chain and wires. Here’s an example of how to mark the chain-wire connections:
  • Purple connects to L, Brown connects to 1, Gray connects to 2, Black connects to 3.
  • Here are some examples of possible fan switch configurations:
  • If the fan has three speeds and the switch has four wires, connect the power from L to 1, 2, and 3 respectively, one for each speed.
  • If the fan has three speeds and the switch has three wires, connect the wire from L to 1 and 2 respectively, and connect the third position to both.
  • If the fan has two speeds and the switch has three wires, connect the power from L to 1 and 2 respectively.
  • The above three configurations are single pole switches. If the fan has three speeds and the switch has more than four wires, you will need to get a double-pole switch to install.

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