Dip Switch On a Ceiling Fan: Ultimate Guide

When ceiling fans first became popular, they were straightforward in design and function. These days, though, fans have several advanced features such as speed variations, reverse switches, light controls, and many more that you can control with the help of a hand-held remote.

Remote controls are paired with the fan’s receiver in the fan’s motor hood, allowing the fans to be remotely controlled. If the remote control’s dip switches are not synched with the fan receiver’s dip switches or if another remote control ceiling fan has the same dip switch combination, it can interfere with the functionality of both fans.

Let’s discuss the importance and function of dip switches in detail so you can enjoy your new ceiling fan and control it without getting up from your couch!

What is a dip switch?

DIP is an abbreviation for “dual in-line package.” A dip switch is a group of small slide switches that you can manually move up and down to preconfigure a variety of settings. The dip switches can have any number of slide switches from 1 to 12.

What is the function of a dip switch?

You can pair two electronic devices if the dip switches on both have the same combination. It prevents unintentional interference with other devices. Ceiling fans also use a dip switch to set the fan receiver and the remote control on the same frequency so they can be controlled remotely without any hindrance. If the dip switch settings of the receiver and remote don’t match, the fan will not function.

Suppose there are other receivers and transmitters in your house, such as a garage door opener or an entertainment system with remote control. In that case, all these pairs must have a different dip switch setting to operate effectively without meddling with each other.

Where is the dip switch on a ceiling fan?

The remote controls of almost all ceiling fans have similar designs with a few exceptions. The dip switch on a fan’s remote control is usually at the back of the remote under the battery compartment.

If there is a reverse button on your remote control, the receiver with a dip switch will be inside the switch housing between the light kit and the blades. Otherwise, it will be on the side of the fan motor or the top of the motor. Depending on the fan’s model, a fan’s receiver can also be inside the motor housing.

Let’s see where the receiver dip switch is on these ceiling fan brands:

Hampton Bay ceiling fan

The fan’s remote receiver with the dip switch is tucked inside the housing on the ceiling. 

Harbor Breeze 

This ceiling fan has a receiver located inside the fan motor housing. Once you open and retrieve the receiver, the dip switch will be on the side of the receiver.

Hunter Fan

Its receiver is inside the fan’s mounting bracket right next to the ceiling.

Do all ceiling fans have dip switches?

Most ceiling fans with the remote control have dip switches in the remote and the receiver unit on the ceiling fan. If you have two ceiling fans with remotes in your home, you will need to change the dip switch setting on one of the fans and its corresponding remote control so the remote only operate the ceiling fan with matching dip switch settings.

However, if you have two remote control ceiling fans in a large room, you can match the dip switch settings of both fans with the same remote control, so it operates both fans together. 

How to reset a ceiling fan using a dip switch?

You may need to reset a ceiling fan frequency if the remote isn’t communicating with the fan, or you want to use a single remote control with two fans. In such cases, you must ensure that all the receivers and the remote have the same dip switch settings. 

Here is a step-by-step guide to resetting a ceiling fan:

  1. Flip the remote control and open the battery compartment. Locate four sliding dip switches and see what the setting is. All four sliders will probably be in the “On” position. 
  2. Turn off the fan and shut down the power supply from the circuit breaker.
  3. Now get a ladder and position it under the ceiling fan. 
  4. Locate the receiver from the fan motor housing or the canopy next to the ceiling fan, depending on the ceiling fan model.
  5. Look for a dip switch on this rectangular remote receiver box. Check what the setting of the four sliding mini switches is. The setting of these switches should match the remote’s dip switch setting. You can try a unique combination that doesn’t match the frequency settings of other devices.
  6. Place the receiver back where it belongs and put the screws back. 
  7. Remove the ladder. Turn on the power at the circuit breaker and test your remote to confirm if the reset was successful. 

What if the fan remote doesn’t have a dip switch?

If your original remote control breaks down or is lost, you may want to replace it with a remote control from another fan. However, it turns out that the remote doesn’t have a dip switch, so how do you match the frequency of the remote and fan receiver for it to work?

A person faced this challenge when he tried to pair his Hampton Bay ceiling fan with a Harbor Breeze remote that didn’t have the dip switch. He figured a way out of this challenging situation which you can check out in this Youtube video:


Resetting the frequency of a ceiling fan is easier than you think if you find the corresponding dip switches on the fan’s receiver and the remote. You are good to go by just matching the configuration of the dip switches on the pair. If you face any issues with resetting, there isn’t much documentation by the manufacturers, but you may find some helpful videos on the internet to help you out.

Charles John

Experienced HVAC technician with 8 years of experience in the industry. Capable of handling all sorts of heating and cooling equipment as well as proficient in operational management, construction-related techniques such as preventative maintenance, electrical troubleshooting and AutoCAD

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