How To Bypass the Pull Chain on a Ceiling Fan (SOLVED)

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One of the most common questions people ask me is, “How do I bypass the pull chain on a ceiling fan?”

Here’s how to bypass the pull chain on a ceiling fan:

You bypass a ceiling fan pull chain by installing a wall switch. You can also use a remote control or smart device to control the ceiling fan. You can bypass the pull chain yourself or hire a licensed electrician. Bypassing the pull chain involves dissembling the fan and connecting wires.

This article will show you how to bypass the pull chain in several ways.

Why Would You Want To Bypass the Ceiling Fan Pull Chain?

Ceiling fan—How to bypass the pull chain on a ceiling fan
Image by author via Canva—How to bypass the pull chain on a ceiling fan

You may want to bypass the pull chain on your ceiling fan for a number of reasons.

Your reasons might include:

  1. You want another way (in addition to the pull chain) to control your ceiling fan.
  2. The old pull chain switch is worn out and won’t turn the fan on or off.
  3. The pull chain broke or snapped off
  4. The pull chain somehow got stuck inside the fan housing.
  5. The pull chain is incredibly difficult to reach (e.g., the ceiling fan is in a room with a very tall ceiling).

How To Bypass the Pull Chain on a Ceiling Fan (Step-by-Step)

When it comes to bypassing your pull chain, you have a few options.

Options I suggest:

  • Installing a wall switch
  • Convert your ceiling fan to remote control
  • Convert your ceiling fan to smart control

Let’s go through each option to see which one is best for you.

How Do You Wire a Wall Switch to Control a Ceiling Fan?

The short version: You disconnect the wiring from the pull switch and attach it to the wall switch.

You may want to hire a qualified electrician to bypass your pull chain.

If you’re not sure how to rewire your ceiling fan, please do not attempt to do the job yourself.

Improper wiring can burn out your fan, start a fire, electrocute you, or worse.

You may need these materials:

  • A ladder
  • Screwdriver
  • Saftey gloves
  • Masking tape
  • Black permanent marker
  • Can of compressed air for cleaning
  • Microfiber cloth for cleaning

How to rewire the wall switch:

  1. Turn off power to the fan at the source (usually a breaker or junction box).
  2. Remove the outter plate or covering of the switch to access the wiring (you can usually do this with a screwdriver)
  3. Using a label maker, label each wire attached to the pull chain switch with masking tape and marker.
  4. Label each wire attached to the pull chain switch with masking tape and marker.
  5. Disconnect the wires attached to the pull chain.
  6. Connect the ceiling fan wires to the wires for the wall switch.
  7. If convention is followed, connect both of the black wires together using a wire nut or smart connector.
  8. If convention is followed, connect both of the red wires together using the wire nut or smart connector.
  9. If convention is followed, attach the ground wire from the ceiling fan to the grounding screw or clip attached to the switch box.
  10. Remove the labels and masking tape.
  11. Replace the wall switch cover.

How to rewire the ceiling fan:

  1. Make sure the power to the fan is off.
  2. Remove the fan housing to access the wiring (you may need a ladder and screwdriver).
  3. Label each wire attached to the pull chain switch with masking tape and marker.
  4. Disconnect the wires attached to the pull chain.
  5. Connect the ceiling fan wires to the wires for the wall switch.
  6. If convention is followed, connect both of the black wires together using a wire nut or smart connector.
  7. If convention is followed, connect both of the red wires together using the wire nut or smart connector.
  8. Attach the ground wire from the ceiling fan to the grounding screw or clip attached to the switch box.
  9. Remove the labels and masking tape.
  10. Replace the fan housing and fan blades.
  11. Turn on your fan to test the switch.

A wire nut is a plastic wire connector used to join electrical wires.

Here is a good video that shows you how to bypass the pull chain on a ceiling fan light:

YouTube video by KYK Creations—How to bypass the pull chain on a ceiling fan

While you rewire your wall switch and fan, you might as well clean both devices. Use the can of compressed air to blow dust and the microfiber cloth to clean the fan blades.

How To Bypass Your Ceiling Fan Pull Chain With Remote Control

Another way to bypass the pull chain is to convert your ceiling fan to a remote control fan.

Many ceiling fans come with a remote control today, but if your fan doesn’t (maybe it’s an older fan), you can purchase a remote control kit.

You will need to install a receiver on the ceiling fan and connect a handheld remote to it.

These kits usually come with a remote, receiver, and installation instructions. The remote control kit will allow you to bypass the pull chain without having to install a wall switch.

However, I still suggest that you hire a professional electrician to ensure you get the writing right.

Here is a simple guide to installing the remote control kit (Note: always refer to your remote control kit instructions first):

  1. Turn off power to the fan at the source.
  2. Remove the fan canopy to access the wiring.
  3. Connect the color-coded wires (usually neutral, hot, and fan wires).
  4. Replace the canopy.
  5. Connect the remote control to the receiver (follow the manufacteror instructions for syncing the devices).
  6. Turn on the power.
  7. Test the remote control and fan.

I found this very informative video that walks you through the entire process visually:

YouTube video by Tom Peterman—how to bypass the pull chain on a ceiling fan

How To Bypass a Ceiling Fan Pull Chain With Smart Control

Another method is to convert your ceiling fan to a smart fan.

This option uses a smart hub and smart control (i.e., wifi) to bypass the pull chain and/or turn your ceiling fan on/off.

Converting your ceiling fan to smart control allows you to use your smartphone (or another smart device) as a remote control. You can even control your fan with your voice using smart speakers.

If you want, you can also create schedules for when you like the lights on and when you want the ceiling fan to operate.

Installing a smart connection is pretty similar to installing a remote control receiver.

Therefore, I won’t repeat those instructions here.

The short version is that you attach the smart receiver to your fan by connecting wires inside of your fan housing or canopy.

Here’s a nice video if you want to know how to connect your smart device to an existing remote-controlled fan.

Can You Bypass the Pull Chain on Any Ceiling Fan?

Yes, you can bypass the pull chain on any ceiling fan.

As long as the power is off to the ceiling fan, you can safely remove the old pull switch and install a new single-pole wall switch.

You can also convert almost any model of ceiling fans to remote control or smart control.

The other option is to purchase a new fan with built-in remote or smart control features.

How To Turn a Ceiling Fan On or Off Without a Pull Chain?

You can turn on a ceiling fan without a pull chain by installing a single-pole wall switch, remote control, or smart control device.

Once you make those connections, you can completely control your fan without the pull chain.

For example, you can:

  • Turn the fan On
  • Turn the fan Off
  • Change the speed settings
  • Turn a fan light On or Off
  • Set a timer

If you are looking for a more creative option, you can also learn how to control your ceiling fan without electricity.

Can You Remove the Pull Chain on a Ceiling Fan?

Once you bypass the pull chain, you can remove it from your ceiling fan.

To save time and effort, you can remove the pull chain at the same time that you install a wall switch or remote control receiver.

Removing the pull chain is a pretty straightforward task.

You disconnect the wires from the pull chain switch and remove the pull chain.

Final Thoughts: How To Bypass the Pull Chain on a Ceiling Fan

Bypassing the pull chain will require a bit of money, time, and skill. However, the resulting convenience and control are well worth it.

In case you’re curious, here are some of my favorite remote control and smart fan control options:

CategoryBest remote/smart option
Universal Remote ControlYUKIHALU 3-in-1 Universal Remote Control Kit
Universal Thermostatic ControlCENMING Remote Control
Smart Fan KitBOND smart fan converter
Smart FanSMAAIR 52 Inch Smart Ceiling Fan
How to bypass the pull chain on a ceiling fan

Related posts:

Resources

TheSpruce.com
Mr.HandyMan.com