View Full Version : Bypassing a factory installed remote control

Aug 21, 2008, 02:09 PM
Hi, I hope that you guys can help me.

I have a ceiling fan that turns itself on and off whenever it wants. Actually, I have 2 but the same problem exists with both.

I have installed many ceiling fans, and apart from the occasional wobble, I have never had a problem.

I have recently built a condo building with 8 condos. There are a total of 16 ceiling fans, 14 are fine, just 2 that are not good. The 2 that do not work properly are the same, and different from the other 14 fans.

My plan was to take the fan apart, bypass the factory installed remote control, control fan and light from wall switches. After opening the fan, I found a number of pink, gray and yellow wires.

I am not familiar with motors, can I wire the motor from my wall switch as it were a light, or is there more involved than that?

I hope what I have said makes sense.

Aug 21, 2008, 03:18 PM
Can't help with bypassing unless tyou have pull chains,
Wonder if you have 2 units with same code, or neighbor has a same code. I would try switching codes.

Aug 21, 2008, 03:21 PM
I deliberately set the codes so that they were different, and it even happened when the user of one of the ceiling fans was on vacation.

Also, there are no chains... The fan, and/or light come on at 2am when everyone is asleep! It's really strange!

Aug 21, 2008, 09:37 PM
I just bypassed a Hampton Bay Brookdale unit (60"). I cannot stand that they make all the better fans with remote control only. I want the switches on the wall. To control the fan speed you'll need to put a motor speed control on the wall when done.

It is quite an elaborate bit of wiring for someone not electrically inclined but here goes.

You need to open the motor unit to the receiver in the top. You know that there is a black and white wire that feed the unit power from the ceiling. These wires go to this perplexing looking plug of a rainbow assortment of wires. I found a Hunter unit and the Hampton bay had the same scheme and plug which just tells me the same chinese factory builds them all.

I would have completely yanked out the receiver but it has a large 5uF capacitor glued in that is needed for noise reduction. For those that can follow this, the cap is in series with the motor on either the black or white wire, don't matter.

Using the colors for the Hampton bay unit 9 pin plug:
Black and white are the hot and neutral and enter the plug on opposite side centers. This is the power into the unit.
The red and gray wires are on opposite diagonal corners. This is the fan power.
The side centers perpendicular to the power wires are pink and yellow. These control motor direction.
Additionally, there is a blue wire and neutral along side the plug for the light.

On this unit the white wire goes into the receiver and through the cap and out on the red wire. This why the gray gets hooked to the ceiling and the red jumped.
I pulled the wires from the plug on the side not connected to the receiver. Most of them came out with the pins and I cut them off. I only pulled the white wire and red wire from the receiver side of the plug.

The white wires from both sides of the plug get connected together.
The red wires from both sides of the plug get connected together.
(This is the neutral line, in this case, in series with the cap going to the motor)
The black wire from the ceiling gets connected to the gray wire going into the motor.
The black wire connected to the blue gets disconnected and it needs a new piece to extend it to the ceiling for light power.

The white wire with the blue wire for the light in addition to the black wire connected to gray from the ceiling are where the pink and yellow will go.

Connecting the pink to the whites coming out of the receiver, not going to the plug, and the yellow in with the black and gray make the motor run one way. Swapping them, yellow to whites and pink to black and gray will make motor run the other way. We only run the fan in the down direction but a switch can be added for reversal.

I can provide more info if required. I do have 20 years testing missiles followed by a BSEE.

Aug 22, 2008, 01:34 PM
Please note that this will not work for all remote fans, not even all Hampton Bay remote fans. Many fans have drastically different wiring. If the wiring in your fan looks similar to what is described above, feel free to try! But I'm very cautious about suggestiong anyone bypass an internal receiver as it can get complicated. You may end up with a voided warranty and a fan that cannot be used at all.

I would have completely yanked out the receiver but it has a large 5uF capacitor glued in that is needed for noise reduction. For those that can follow this, the cap is in series with the motor on either the black or white wire, don't matter.

This is not correct. Ceiling fans use PSC motors, the capacitor is in series with one of the two windings to create a phase shift. Which winding determines which direction the motor turns. Simply placing the capacitor in series with both coils of the motor will do nothing, if your motor works I suspect you wired it in the way I describe.

Aug 22, 2008, 02:50 PM
I consider myself pretty knowledgeable regarding electrics and wiring, but I think this is beyond me, and I think I'll just throw the fans away. The amount of time that I will spend rewiring and maybe trying to get the damn things to work properly is going to be pointless, it will be cheaper to just throw them away, and buy a couple of cheap fans and install wall controls.

Thanks very much for your help

Aug 22, 2008, 02:54 PM
One other thing... I bought a fan wall control made by Lutron. It looks very much like a regular light dimmer, and has no preset speeds etc. the fan humms when the controller is installed. I've never seen a fan control like this.

Do you think this item has been packaged wrong?

Aug 22, 2008, 10:15 PM
That control can only be used on 18 pole motors, most cheap ceiling fans are 16 pole. It would be silent on older fans, industrial fans, and really expensive ones. You need a 3 or 4 speed wall control.

Buy Hunter fans, not Hampton Bay or Harbor Breeze.

Aug 25, 2008, 06:15 AM
This is not correct. Ceiling fans use PSC motors, the capacitor is in series with one of the two windings to create a phase shift. Which winding determines which direction the motor turns. Simply placing the capacitor in series with both coils of the motor will do nothing, if your motor works I suspect you wired it in the way I describe.

OK, I'll buy that. I looked up a PSC motor. Make sense from what I saw. The motor coil in series with the cap had a higher DC resistance and this would be commensurate with a coil not being the main drive.

Therefore, in the case of the indicated fan, gray and red are the auxiliary coil and pink and yellow are the main drive.

My first assumption would be the PSC required cap was internal to motor but these things are designed to turn a buck. I assumed the cap external to the motor was to bring the inductive phase shift back out of the imaginary plane and quiet things down but I see now this is by motor design.

This makes the thing easier to hack when eliminating the next receiver.

Aug 25, 2008, 03:26 PM
Both coils should be approximately the same resistance. This is because, in order to reverse the fan direction, the main coil becomes the auxiliary coil and vice versa. This is also one of many reasons the capacitor is external to the motor itself.

Aug 5, 2010, 10:41 PM
I ran into this problem a few days ago with a Hunter remote unit and didn't really find an answer anywhere by googling. After some time and effort I found that I could bypass or eliminate any of my different Hunter cfan controls whether electronic or pull chain type.

All you need is the plug coming from the motor end and the smaller 5uF capacitor. You can disconnect and or remove the rest as necessary. Jumper the Black, Pink and Gray pins together on the plug. Connect the White and Yellow pins together with one end of the cap. Connect the other end of the cap to red. This hardwires hi speed & downflow for use with a Lutron or similar 3 spd wall control. Swap the Pink and Yellow plug jumpers for upflow. You can also add the other cap(s) between Black and Pink/Gray to hardwire for med or low spds for use with a plain on/off switch if you don't need speed control.

Aug 6, 2010, 06:13 AM
badbill, how did you determine?
Resistance checks on the receiver while set to high? Resistance checks of motor windings?
Take Care

Aug 7, 2010, 04:06 AM
Basically, yes but with the analog control. I noticed that the plugs were the same and verified all fans were compatible with either type. Then I just set the pull chain rig for hi/down and then wire traced through the switch to find what components were connected and how. No electronic pfm surprises that way...

Aug 7, 2010, 05:21 AM
Good Deal.

Aug 13, 2010, 06:22 PM
This is true for some fans, but won't apply to all.

Aug 13, 2010, 10:43 PM
I have several types of Hunter fans and this works with all of them. I'm pretty sure it's the same for other brands that will accept a Hunter control unit too.

I wouldn't try it with the new model fans that take the fluorescent energy saver type bulbs though. Especially if Hunter says the new control units are not backward compatible with older fans like mine.

Dec 7, 2011, 04:39 PM
Most Hampton Bay brand fans that operate only with a remote control (like the Brookedale) are wired similarly. You can bypass the remote control (including the removal of the receiver) by cutting all cables coming out from the receiver and removing the receiver (less weight at the moment of reinstalling the fan). You are left with 6 cables in your fan; four thin cables (red, pink, yellow, and gray) that go to the fan motor and two thicker ones (blue and white) that are for the lamp. Blue is to be connected to a power source, white is neutral.

Join the grey and yellow cables to your hot wire and the red and pink to your neutral wire and voilą! Your fan will operate at high speed if connected directly to a on-off switch or use a dimmer to regulate speed and/or light intensity.

Dec 7, 2011, 05:18 PM
This doesn't sound much different than what I've already stated above. By following your directions above you have just hardwired your fan for upflow/winter usage. Most people wanting fans will want downflow/summer mode. For this you must have black/hot together with the PINK wire, not gray.

Also when I reverse engineered my unit's wiring, there was at least one 5 mfd in series with the motor windings at all times. It's been awhile since I messed with these things, but removing all of the caps (if that's what you're saying) may burn out or overheat your motor when it tries to start.

I know my method posted last year works with all Hunter/Hampton Bay or similar units with wired/switched only or electronic remote control boards installed. They are all still working just fine with speeds controlled through 3pos sw + dimmer control (Lutron) as of today. Again, do not try this with the new style fixtures that will take energy saver fluorescent bulbs. They are different!

Follow any other directions at your own risk unless you're familiar with single phase motor start circuits!

Dec 7, 2011, 05:23 PM
Had not seen your answer badbill.

May 11, 2012, 04:04 PM
Just wanted to thank everyone for their input. I followed BadBill's instructions and everything is working great. Much appreciated.

May 12, 2012, 08:33 AM
That's Great it worked, the only thing I didn't figure was reversing, I thought for sure they used a relay that swapped 2 pairs of wires?

Jul 17, 2012, 11:07 AM
@badbill thanks for the information. I'm working on replicating your bypass. I was able to identify the wirings as you've specified including connection of capacitor (cap). I'm ready to cut up the receiver to take out the cap as well as reuse the plug for easy connection of jumpers. A couple of things I'm still not sure sure - my ceiling fan has a light fixture, how would the wiring be to power it and how would that work with "hardwires hi speed & downflow" you've indicated using a Lutron 3 speed fan Toggler?
I know you mentioned "speeds controlled thru 3pos sw + dimmer control (Lutron)" but not sure what I'm missing.

Appreciate you sharing your expetise with us wannabes weekend warriors.


Aug 14, 2012, 11:36 AM
After much preparation and push from my wife, I finally put this bypass together. I reused the quick release connectors so all my wirings are on the plug from the receiver. I had to solder the 5u capacitor to dedicated wires on each end so I just needed to wire cap the connection. These gives me the flexibility for easy rewire should I need to reconfigure. Turned on the switch (no lutron for now, want to make sure it works first before introducing another variable) and the fan starts to move and move it did... one thing I noticed is that the air is flowing upward and the speed is on medium... how could that be? I thought I was wiring it up for high/down flow. Something is a miss. I did check the direction by badbill but still the same. For now I've left it like that and will play with it next weekend. At least for now it's working and last night was a bliss to sleep without the noise from our upright fan.

Aug 14, 2012, 05:43 PM
Usually the way I see reversing on Most fans, is a polarity switch(Swaps 2 wires). Just need to find the correct 2, I believe it is one of 2 coils on the fan motor.
With the wires Isolated, you could look for resistance on the motor wiring.

Oct 15, 2013, 06:57 AM
Originally Posted by jeepguy_1980 on Jul 12, 2007, 01:59 AM,
"Hunter Ceiling Fan Reciever 8 wire":
So I wired the Pink and Gray both to the fan hot from the wall and the Red and Yellow to the fan neutral from the wall. However, I only measured 72 RPMs with this configuration. The rated RPM is 200.

The above instructions (from another post on this website) are pretty much what badbill has already said. And my Hunter fan is now working without the receiver. I believe badbill's convention is correct about the pink/yellow for direction.
I ended up with only 68 RPM, but I could live with that. I didn't use any capacitors.