Ceiling Fan Pull Chain Switch ( 5 to 8 Wire)

I am hoping to enlighten and give information to help others that may struggle to understand why they can't just change out a ceiling fan pull switch with another. I have found through research that all switches are not the same.

They look identical on the outside but are very different inside. I will try to simplify so that you might not have to struggle with fixing your ceiling fan like I did. Others that are experts, I am not trying to insult your intelligence.

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Step 1: Ceiling Fan Pull Chain Switch ( 5 to 8 Wire)

Lets Begin:

The pull chain is only to index the center contact to the next position.

There are many different pull switch varieties out there. I am going to talk about mine only. Mine is a 5 to 8 wire double layer switch. The switch has small ports to plug in wires in up to 8 places.

The way it is configured, it will grab the wire when pushed in and requires a release tool to remove the wires. A paper clip is what most instructions tell you to use. I used a small jewelers screwdriver to remove my wires. My switch is one of the 3 double layer switches that I discovered. There may be other double layer switches but this is all that I know of. Mine makes connection with three of the terminals at once in both layers.

As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. I have taken time to disassemble my old switch to illustrate the inner workings. This should at the very least give you a good idea as to how the switches function. I bought the wrong switch for my fan and this was the beginning of my quest to solve the problem.

The one I bought was to connect 2 terminals at a time with each pull of the chain. In the end after deciding it was a last resort, I disassembled my switch and the new one that I purchased. I merged the two switches and got a good working switch. I used the new bottom half and my old top layers. They fit together perfectly. I would only recommend this as a last resort. If you do take it apart, go slow and be careful. You may wind up with junk in your hand or on the floor.

Please feel free to comment on this instructable. I will improve it if possible. Thanks for looking.

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    9 Discussions


    20 days ago

    I have a vintage Hunter ceiling fan (1990 or earlier) that is only working on high in all three positions. I saw the capacitor was bad. Could this be the problem or do I also need a switch? The switch is a 5 wire double layer with the Black wire on the top and bottom layer in the same position. Will an 8 wire switch work? I can't find a 5 wire/3 speed switch.

    1 reply

    Reply 18 days ago

    Hello. I located an excellent example of what you are dealing with on youtube. You may have already viewed it but I thought this would be better than me going into a lengthy discussion. Here is the link and good luck with your project.


    4 months ago

    I've spent over 20 hours in the past 3 days working on this fan switch. I have a Jin You e70469 switch and the plastic neck of the switch that comes out for the chain was broken.
    1. Jin You is no more;
    2. Zing Ear make the same model: ZE-208DA (but not available anywhere). ZE-208D will NOT work;
    3. I'm sure there's a way to use the 208D and rewire the whole thing, but that is beyond my knowledge. I tried, it's a puzzle;
    4. Buying a fan controller and install it instead of the wall switch was an option;
    5. I ended up gluing the plastic neck back, tie-rapping the Jin You e70469 back together and adding felt pads as a spacer so the switch is secured on top.
    6. Advice: be gentle when pulling the chains.

    Jin You e70469 / ZE-208D4

    Position #1
    Upper = OFF Lower = L-1

    Position #2
    Upper = L-2-3 Lower = L-2

    Position #3
    Upper = L-1-3 Lower = L-3

    Position #4
    Upper = L-1-2 Lower = OFF

    Jin you E07469 or Zing Ear ZE-208D4.jpg20190718_163923.jpg20190718_163931.jpg

    Question 10 months ago

    I also have an 8 wire rotary fan switch that needs replacing. The top broke off. 6 wires are connected; two holes are empty. The switch says "jin you" and appears to be used in "Hunter Fans." (I don't see the brand on my fan, however.) I'm pretty sure it is the same model you were playing with. The problem is finding a replacement switch! I've tried Lowes, Home Depot, and online vendors. None appear to sell an 8-hole (or wire) model. There are four wires from the transformer, nothing to indicate primary or secondary and the case was screwed to the fan body. Since the fan has a ground, I'm pretty sure the case is not part of the fan circuit. The capacitor has two wires, not four or five like some other fan models. I'm giving this level of detail because I doubt that any other switch could be adapted to this fan. Can you tell me where you found your replacement?


    Question 1 year ago

    Where does the sprig go it popped out when I opened it

    1 answer

    Question 1 year ago

    Is there such a thing as a 3 speed 6 wire switch for an old ceiling fan with light

    1 answer

    Answer 1 year ago

    Without seeing the switch you are trying to replace, I would guess that the switch would be the same as the one I have illustrated in this instructable. This switch is for 5 to 8 wires and is for a 3 speed fan. If you do attempt to replace yours, just be sure to take photos of yours for reference before removing it. This will insure that you get the wires back in the right places. I hope this helps.