Ceiling light/fan remote problem?

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I have a ceiling light/fan controlled by remote only - no light switch or pull cables. Now the remote receiver is broken and the company doesn't make the replacement part anymore. So in buying a new ceiling fan, do I have to buy one powered by a remote? Or will a light switch need to be installed if I want one controlled by a light switch? Is there a chance my current fan receiver is bypassing the light switch that should control it?


  13 answers
  • I've never heard of a ceiling fan that is only powered by remote. Most are wired into the electrical system. I would have an electrician take a look. Yes, you will need a switch installed to control it that way.

    • Oops - wrong word choice. I do understand that ceiling fans are powered by electricity, not a remote. Often when there's a remote control there is also a wall switch. That does not seem to be the case here.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Oct 04, 2021

    It is possible the wiring on the existing fan is the issue. Have you tried to purchase a new universal remote? We had to do that on my mother's ceiling fan, I think it came from Home Depot. I'm sure whomever installed the fan took some liberties with your wiring to by pass the switch. Have that checked first and you might be able to just have that repaired and return the replacement fan.

  • It really depends on the fan you purchased. Some are remote only, however you can bypass the remote and hardwire it. You said that the receiver is broken, so I'm sure you've looked into a fix, but if it's not physical damage, you might check this video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZ_Sey9muHU

  • You might be able to get a replacement receiver for the fan and new remote, though it may be a different brand. But otherwise yes, if you want the fan controlled by a switch, you’ll need one installed.

  • Seth Seth on Oct 04, 2021

    You can install a universal receiver with its own remote, but you would have to be comfortable doing the wiring.

    https://www.lowes.com/pd/Minka-Aire-Hand-Held-Remote-Control-System/1002999518


  • I would find an electircian that can install a a light switch on the wall. That way if the remote dies, you can still control it by the wall. We have done this for a few of our bedrooms and they installed the new light fixture, went into the attic and installed the new switch on the wall and it was $200.

  • Mogie Mogie on Oct 04, 2021

    Have you gone to amazon to see if they have what you are looking for? Bet you could get a generic one if nothing else.

  • Try contacting an electrician for this. And you would need to switch installed to control it that way.

  • Flipturn Flipturn on Oct 04, 2021

    Although there is a possibility that originally the ceiling location where the fan is installed may have been operated by a wall switch, and due to subsequent renovations, the wall switch was either capped off, or covered, it is more likely that the electrical connection for the fan was wired so that it was controlled with pull chains.


    If you would like to be able to operate your new fan by a wall switch (see examples below) and if there isn't a wall switch presently where you would like one, then yes, it will not be inexpensive to have one wired up by an electrician. The process which involves crawling up into the attic and fishing the new cable through the insulation and roof trusses is a hot, dusty job, but it can be done.

  • Dee Dee on Oct 05, 2021

    First check into a universal remote, you can always return it to the store if you keep your receipt. If that does not work, check with an electrician and get it wired with a switch.

  • Deb K Deb K on Oct 06, 2021

    Hello, you will know better once you take the old one apart, chances are you will need to wire the new one to a wall switch, and there should be one in the room. If in doubt, get an installer to remove the old and install the new

  • Sharon Sharon on Oct 07, 2021

    Why not just buy a universal remote for the one you have? The do also have a lot listed by manufacturer on google also..... https://www.google.com/search?client=opera&q=universal+fan+light+remote+control&sourceid=opera&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8

  • Chas' Crazy Creations Chas' Crazy Creations on Oct 09, 2021

    You can get a universal remote kit that can help you - https://amzn.to/3DqOvJc