How to Add a Wall Switch to a Ceiling Fixture
Time Required: 2-4 hours
Adding a wall switch to a ceiling fan can be done in a matter of hours. The biggest challenge is planning the cable route and running it from the fixture to the new wall switch position. If the wall is heavily insulated, push conduit through the insulation and then feed wires or cable through the conduit. This project guide will walk you through the process of installing the switch, including wiring both the switch and the fan. See the video above for more specific instructions.
- Turn off power at the circuit breaker panel box. Use a voltage tester to ensure power is off at the outlet.
- Plan a cable path that crosses as few studs or joists as possible. You may have to cut an access hole to run cable through framing with a fish tape.
If your project requires cutting drywall, use a pencil to mark the location of the hole (check for studs with a stud finder) and score the paper surface with a utility knife. Cut along the inside of the knife cut with a drywall saw. The resulting hole will be free of ragged edges. You can also cut drywall with a spiral cutting tool or a saber saw.
Add nailing plates wherever you bore holes in the framing. Cut a hole for a remodel switch box and pull cable through. Strip the wires as needed.
- Ground the fixture by connecting it to a grounding wire.
- This wire should lead to a neutral bar in the service panel. From the service panel, heavy-gauge copper grounding wire should run to one or a combination of the following: Cold water pipe, grounding rods driven at least 10 feet in the ground or a metal plate sink in a footing.