How To Install A Ceiling Fan Where No Fixture Exists (8-Step Guide)

Are you looking to get additional air circulation by installing a ceiling fan in your home? 

In this guide, you will learn:

  • How to install a ceiling fan where no fixture exists
  • Why you need to make sure not to overload a circuit
  • What box to use to hang the ceiling fan
  • And more!
how to install a ceiling fan where no fixture exists

As a homeowner, I understand wanting to add a ceiling fan to a room for air circulation. I have added three to mine.  Ceiling fan installations can be an energy saver as long as you change rotation for the different times of year. 

As an electrician, I must stress the importance of taking an amperage reading to find out if the circuit is at capacity.  An overloaded circuit is a ticking time bomb for a potential house fire. 

If for any reason, you do not think you are up for completing this project, call in a professional electrician to finish the job!

How To Install A Ceiling Fan Without Existing Wiring?

Getting the proper box to hang your ceiling fan is an important step! You cannot use a regular round ceiling box! It must be a fan box rated to hold the weight of a ceiling fan. There are a couple different styles:

  • Side Mount - Mounts to the side of a joist 
  • Saddle Mount - Mounts over top the joist like a saddle
  • Brace Mount - Mounts in-between two joists with the brace spanning between them
  • Grid Support - Chain mounts to joists then drops down to the box to support the box in suspended ceilings 

What Are The Supplies & Tools Needed For A Ceiling Fan Installation?

  • Non-Contact Voltage Tester - Used to verify power is off 
  • Screwdriver - Used to install fan
  • Wire Strippers - Used to strip the insulation off the individual wires
  • Utility Knife - Used to remove the outer jacket  
  • Fish tape - Used to pull the wire  
  • Wire Nuts - Used to tie multiple wires together
  • Ceiling Fan Box - Used to mount the fan 
  • Single Gang Old Work Box - Used to install the switch 
  • Light Switch - Used to Control the fan 
  • 14/2 Wire - Used to power the fan

8 Steps To Ceiling Fan Installations Without Existing Wiring

  1. Get Familiar With The Ceiling Fan
  2. Determine Ceiling Fan Location
  3. Determine Switch Location
  4. Run The Wiring
  5. Install The Boxes
  6. Turn Off Power
  7. Install Box and Switch
  8. Turn Power On And Test

Step 1 - Get Familiar With The Ceiling Fan

Read through the manufacturer's installation instructions to become familiar with the fan before you begin the project. 

This will tell you the weight of the fixture, what color the hot wires are, and how it should be wired.

Step 2 - Determine Ceiling Fan Location

Determine the location the fan will be installed to ensure there is proper support. 

Ceiling fans can run between 15 to 50 pounds, therefore not having the correct box to provide proper support can lead to a safety issue.

Read Also >> What Size Wire Gauge For A 200-Amp Panel?

Step 3 - Determine Switch Location

Determine the location the switch will be place.

It is possible to use an existing switch or install a new one.  Power will come into the switch box and then go to the ceiling fan. 

When using an old work box, it is not necessary to be right by a stud.  There are tabs on the box that flip up and hold the box securely when tightened down properly. 

Step 4 - Run The Wiring

Run the wiring before you install any of the boxes.  

This makes it much easier to use the fish tape to pull the wire through the walls and ceiling.  A 14/2 cable should be installed between the switch and the fan.

how to install ceiling fan without existing wiring

Step 5 - Install The Fan Box and Fan

Install the fan box and fan before you install the switch box.

Feed the wire through a knockout of the box and then slide the box into place. 

Next, secure the box to the joist according to the manufacturer's instructions.

The ceiling fan can now be wired and installed accordingly.  The hot wire from the fan will go to the black wire from the switch.  The neutral wire will be tied with a wire nut to the white wire from the switch.  All grounds will be tied together with a wire nut. Pay attention because most fan brackets will also have a ground jumper that needs to be tied in with the other grounds.

Read Also >> How To Choose The Wire Size For 15-Amp to 50-Amp Breakers?

Step 6 - Turn Off Power 

Turn off the power to the circuit you are using to power the fan. 

Verify power is off using a non-contact voltage tester. Depending on the style you have it should not beep or flash. 

Step 7 - Install Switch Box and Switch

Install switch box and switch once all the wires are into the box.

There should be two set of wires coming into the switch box. One bringing power in and one taking power to the fan.  Slide these through a knockout as you push the box into the wall. Using a screwdriver, tighten down the screws so the tabs on the box flip up and securely hold the box.

When wiring the switch, the black wire from the power wire will land on one of the brass screws of the switch and the black wire from the fan will land on the other. The neutrals will be tied together with a wire nut. The grounds will be tied together along with a pigtail that will land on the green screw on the switch.   

Press the switch into the box while verifying all the wires are tucked nicely to the back of the box.  Tighten the mounting screws down and install the switch plate.  

Step 8 - Turn Power On and Test

Turn the power back on at the breaker once everything is closed up. 

Test the switch to make sure everything is working properly, and you're done! 

Read Also >> How To Wire A Bath Fan And Light On A Single Switch?

Frequently Asked Questions On Adding A Ceiling Fan To A Room

How Much Does It Cost To Install A Ceiling Fan Without Existing Wire? 

Having a professional electrician come and install a ceiling fan can cost anywhere from $350 to $2000.  There could be an extra cost of up to $2000 if a new circuit has to be installed.

Can You Install A Ceiling Fan Without Existing Wire? 

Yes, you will need to install the additional wiring and purchase the proper fan box for your application. 

How Do You Install A Ceiling Fan Without Existing Wiring And No Attic Access?

Instead of having to cut in an electrical box you can install a mounting block. Then you run the wire from the mounting block to your switch block. 

How Do You Install A Ceiling Fan Without An Existing Fan? 

You will need to install new wiring, and a fan box appropriate for your application.

Read Also >> How To Install A Generator Without A Transfer Switch?

Final Thoughts On Adding A Ceiling Fan

When adding a ceiling fan in your home where there isn't an existing one, be sure to pick a location that you will be able to install the proper fan box, needed to support the weight of the fan. 

Also, verify that the circuit you will be adding it to is not overloaded.  You don't want to create a fire hazard or deal with breakers tripping routinely. 

Always test to make sure the power is off before beginning any electrical project.

Electrical safety must be a top priority! If you run into any issues STOP and call a local electrician to come and finish! 

I hope you enjoyed this Home Inspector Secrets guide!

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