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Question DetailsAsked on 6/13/2014

Cost of changing switched outlets to ceiling light?

In several rooms in our house the light switch is connected to an outlet. There are currently ceiling fans on the ceiling that turn on with a pull chain. How much would it cost to have an electrician wire the light switch on the wall to the ceiling so we could replace the ceiling fans with a regular ceiling light and leave the outlet hot all the time? I guess I'm looking for how much it would cost for the electrician to do this per room.

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1 Answer


Several possibilities:

1) Are you sure the fans are not connected through the light switch - even though the fan has a pull chain also ? Usually, the feed to any device mounted on the ceiling goes through a switch, which if off would turn off power to the fan so it will not turn on with pull chain either. With switch turned on (usually up or top pushed in for rocker type), then whether fan works or not would depend on pull chain setting - on or off. With this wiring configuration through the swich, wall switch setting also controls any lights mounted on the fan, regardless of pull chain setting. If that is your case, then you can just remove the fan, install a light fixture, and you are good to go, unless you want dimming (for appropriate lighting types) in which case you would need to replace the switch with a dimmer switch of the right wattage and of the right type for the type of bulbs you have (incandescent, CFL, diode, LED, etc).

2) If switch does NOT control the fan at either pull chain setting (fan works with chain regardless of switch setting), then if lights on the fan housing are controlled by the wall switch but fan controlled only by pull chain, you have both a fan power lead and a light feed from the switch already, and you just will not use the fan power lead - it can be capped off in the box.

3) If your wall switch controls nothing at the fan, then cost depends a lot of course on how wired, but if there is a light switch then the feed from there probably goes up to the fan - usually through the switch, but maybe in your case coming off from that switch box "live" (though illegal to do so) to the fan and bypassing the switch - so NORMALLY would require at most removing switch and doing a bit of rewiring in the box so lead goes through the switch to the light/fan location - about 5 minute work per room and typically no parts cost, so minimum service call fee of typically maybe $75-150 should cover your entire house.

4) If live wire does NOT go through switch box but comes from nearby outlet or elsewhere, then cost could run from $25-50 range in simple case (lead comes from outlet box and switch box is right above outlet box, so can just run a lead up from outlet to switch to control the lead and back to lead) - to up to several hundred dollars per switch PLUS possible drywall repair and repainting to repair holes left from running new wires to switch from fan location, or to switch frompower source then to light location. Since you have switches, unless they only control OTHER lights in the room and do not lead to the fan location, I think it is pretty unlikely this latter case applies, so you are probably looking at not more than $150 range (up to $100 more in very high cost union-controlled urban areas), and maybe just the same minimum charge for electrician or maybe nothing if doing yourself, in first couple of cases.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD

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