How to Wire an Electric Fan Motor

motore image by Renato Francia from

Electric fans are used in a wide range of applications in today's society. Some fans are used for ventilation and personal comfort. Other fans are used to cool machines such as computers and engines. Wiring one of these fans depends on the type of motor and the type of power used to feed the motor. Because of the vast number of motor types and wiring methods, it is very important to refer to the manufacturer's wiring diagram and installation instructions before attempting to wire the motor.

Read and study the manufacturer's wiring diagram and installation instructions. On large motors the wiring diagram may be stamped on the motor itself.

Verify if the motor is DC powered. Most DC powered fan motors have only two terminal connections. One is positive and the other is negative. By connecting the positive terminal to the positive terminal of a DC power source, such as a battery, and then connecting the negative terminal of the motor to the negative terminal of the power source, the motor will run. The power source must be able to supply the power requirements of the motor.

Verify if the motor is AC powered. AC powered motors come in a number of types and power ratings. The most common units have two or three connection terminals. The two connection motor would use a hot black wire and a common white wire. With AC motors it is very important to check the wiring diagram. A motor with three wire connections could mean it is a 220-volt motor, or that it is a 120-volt motor with a low speed and a high speed. The wiring diagram will detain what each terminal is and what should be connected to it.

Things You'll Need

  • Electric motor
  • Manufacturer wiring diagram or installation instructions
  • Wire cutters
  • Wire strippers


About the Author

William Kinsey lives in Concord, N.C. He started writing articles in March 2009, which have appeared on and He currently holds a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix. He also has several years experience as an outside plant engineer and planner with AT&T. He also currently owns and operates Sophisticated Curves, an online fashion mall that caters to the needs of plus size women.

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