When installing a new ceiling fan or light fixture, a few options are available on how to provide power to it. Many older homes use one two-wire circuit to feed either the fan individually or the fan and a few other items, such as a receptacle or other light fixture. Another option is to run a 14-3 wire from the power panel and use one side of it to feed the fan and use the other side to feed other items in the home. A 14-3 wire allows two circuits to share one common wire. This reduces the amount of wire needed in the home.
Things You'll Need
- Wire cutters
- Wire strippers
- Plastic twist caps
- Voltage meter
Shut off power to the 14-3 circuit at the main power panel. Use a voltage meter to verify that the power for that circuit is off. A 14-3 circuit carries 220 volts as opposed to a 14-2 circuit, which only carries 120 volts.
Open the electrical box that houses the 14-3 cable. Run the 14-2 cable into the same electrical box as the 14-3 cable. Strip 1/2 inch of insulation off of the ends of the black and white wires in the 14-2 cable.
Look at the 14-3 cable. The 14-3 cable has one black wire, one white wire, one red wire, and a ground wire. The black and red wires are the two hot wires of the 14-3 wire. The white wire is shared between these two hot wires. The fan can be powered by using the red and white wire or the black and white wire.
Identify what other fixtures are powered by this circuit and identify which half of the 14-3 wire each fixture uses. The fan should be connected to the side that has the fewest active fixtures. The idea here is to try and keep the two sides of the 14-3 wire as equally loaded as possible. This helps keep the wire from overloading.
Connect the black wire of the 14-2 cable to the red or black wire of the 14-3 cable. Connect the white wire of the 14-2 cable to the white wire of the 14-3 cable. Connect the ground wires of both cables together. Use plastic twist caps to hold the wires together.
Close the electrical box and turn the power back on. Test the fan.
- Photo Credit fan image by Lucy Clark from Fotolia.com
How to Wire Two Ceiling Fans on the Same Circuit
Ceiling fans are an attractive and cost-effective addition to any heating and cooling plan. The diameter of a fan’s blades determine how...
How to Use Romex When Wiring a Light
ROMEX® is a type of wire that is used primarily for home wiring. It’s a term for nonmetallic sheathed cable. Three wires...
How to Connect 14/3 Electrical Wire to a Switch
A 14/3 electrical wire means that it is 14-gauge in size and it has three primary wires plus a ground wire. The...