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Heating & Cooling

Ceiling fan has only ONE speed

Changed the wall ceiling fan switch, fan still has only one speed.  Tried it differently by adjusting the pull chain, still only has one speed (should have three).  HELP

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Posted 2012-03-02T20:54:56+0000  by markll1 markll1

Good afternoon markll1,


Welcome to the community!


We get this question frequently here on the community, and hopefully should be an easy fix.


As long as your ceiling fan does not come with a remote control and just has switches on the fan and wall, the culprit maybe your ceiling fan speed switch. With a simple replacement, you should be able to get all 3 speeds again.


Depending on how it is wired up, you'll first need to disconnect power and remove the housing holding the fan speed switch.


This is where knowing how and where the wires that go to your existing fan speed switch is important. Take a picture or draw a diagram showing where the wires go into the switch so you can successfully wire up the new one. Depending on what your ceiling fan is, a good many have single-capacitor fan speed switches, shown below...

 Single-Capacitor3-Speed Switch by Westinghouse


After reinstalling your speed switch, make sure that all 3 speeds are functioning properly. More often than not, this is the reason why fan speeds suddenly quit working.


Although there maybe other culprits such as replacing the capacitor or loose wiring, replacing the fan speed switch is the first thing to troubleshoot your ceiling fan speed problems.


If it is a Hampton Bay fan or one you bought from us, you can also contact them for any further information such as information and replacement parts.


I hope this helped you out, and let us know if you have any further questions.


Posted 2012-03-03T20:23:18+0000  by Joseph_HD_ATL

I replaced the 3 Speed (Off, High, Medium, Low Speed), 4 wire switch in my Hampton Bay Ceiling fan with a replacement from Home Depot. The wiring labeling from the original switch to the new switch was not the same.  From clockwise where the pull chain starts, the old switch was L, 3, 2, 1. The replacement (GE) switch was 3, L, 2, 1. 

I connected the wires to the same Wire Labels on the new switch but when I put electricity to it, the sequence for the fan speed is now Off, High, Low, Medium.  Is this normal? 

Posted 2012-03-04T00:14:09+0000  by rheffern

Thanks for the suggestion but it didn't work.  I replaced the  3 speed fan pull chain,(as well as the wall switch), and I still only get ONE speed.  (Hamption Bay fan) The light kit works but still only one speed. Any other suggestions???

Posted 2012-03-07T22:30:40+0000  by markll1

Hi rheffern,


Thanks for your question, and welcome to the community!


From what it sounds like, your replacement switch was not exactly the same as your old one. It may also be a case of having one wire being inserted in the wrong location, but as stated before, it sounds like it was a different switch. As long as you have had no safety issues, you can still use this switch, but if you would like to use another replacement switch that has the L,3,2,1 settings to ensure you get the same settings back, you can do that.


Hope this helps you out, and let us know if you have any additional questions,


Posted 2012-03-17T14:41:37+0000  by Joseph_HD_ATL

Hi there again markll1,


Sorry to not getting back sooner to you.


As I stated in the original answer to your question, if the fan speed replacement still didn't do the trick for you, you can still refer to the items and steps that I wrote in the post.


You can replace the capacitor out, if you have access to it, and see if that solves your fan speed dilemma.


Also, you can contact Hampton Bay to see if it maybe under warranty or for other trouble-shooting tips.


You'll need to find the model number (a 12 digit UPC code, all numbers no letters) of your Hampton Bay fan, it will be located on your ceiling fan, even if you no longer have the box or SKU number for it.


To find the true model number information, there should be a sticker placed on top of the ceiling fans housing. You don't have to take the fan down to see it, unless it is a flush-mount install. The sticker should give you all the information you'll need (model no. manufact. no.) and you can contact them at 1-877-527-0313 and select option 2.


I'm sorry the replacement of your speed switch didn't solve your problem with your ceiling fan. But inspect the model and make of your fan at the top of the motor housing and hopefully you'll be getting the right solution for your fan.






Posted 2012-03-17T14:52:00+0000  by Joseph_HD_ATL

The correct replacement switch for your Hampton Bay fan is not available from Home Depot. The old switch connects all of the wires wires together on hight speed and then disconects the next contact as you pull the chain. The replacement switches that are available connect only one contact at a time that changes as you pull the chain. I attempted to order a switch from Home Depot and here is my email and their reply from :


Keith Stephens,


My fan is a Hampton Bay Huntington II QI

There are 7 Model numbers on the manual;








The manual lists the UPS as 718167007724 (Pol. Br.)

 The manual lists 543-500 as the part number for the three speed switch.


Home Depots reply:

The manufacturer for this fan is gone out of business and there are no replacements parts available. You may be able to purchase replacements parts at


I went to the suggested web site. I could not find the switch but did not call because the minimum cost would be $35.00.

Posted 2012-04-10T12:52:31+0000  by barryelkin

Hello. I have a similar issue.


I replaced the fan switch a couple of years ago when it stopped working on High and Low. The pull chain gives Medium, Medium, Off, Off. It didn't work, or it worked for a very short period of time.


So, today, two years later, I replaced the switch again, thinking the original replacement switch went or was bad. I bought the switch some time ago and just got to it today. The point is, this new replacement switch looks like and is wired JUST like the older replacement switch.


But, I am thinking maybe I messed up the other replacement. In fact, when I opened the housing, it looked foreign, like I had never opened it before. I guess too much time has passed.


So, is it possible that I reversed wires on the original replacement?


Here is what I have connected right now:


L = Black

1 = Gray

2 = Brown

3 = Purple


Any ideas?




Posted 2012-06-30T18:02:11+0000  by lokerd

I did learn that I had purchased a 5-8 wire switch (black base), instead of the 4 wire switch (red base)  I needed. Fan still seems slow on high, but there is now a difference between high, med and low.

Posted 2012-07-05T22:30:28+0000  by lokerd
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