Category Archives: Landlording

Repair a large hole in drywall

When I changed the cheap bar-style light fixture in my bathroom to something a little nicer, I found something weird other than a red wire. I also found a 5-inch by 2 1/2-inch hole in the wall behind the old fixture a few inches from the electrical box. It’s a good thing I know how to repair a large hole in drywall.

All it takes to fix a big hole in the wall is a scrap of drywall larger than the hole, a ruler, a utility knife, a pencil, some wood glue or regular white glue, and some Gorilla Glue.

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Wire a ceiling fan with light to one switch

People frequently wire a ceiling fan with a light to two light switches. That way they can control the fan with one switch and the light with the other. But what if have to wire a ceiling fan with light to one switch? You can do it. You just have to know what to do with the fan’s red or blue wire.

First, remove the light fixture in the room. Make sure the box is rated for a ceiling fan. If it isn’t, hardware and home improvement stores sell boxes suitable for ceiling fans. Buy and install one. Safety first. If there’s anything odd about the old fixture’s wiring, use tape to mark what wires go where.

Mount the fan bracket according to the instructions that came with your fan. Then slide the fan into the bracket to get it ready for wiring.

Inside the electrical box, you’ll find either a single white wire or, more likely, a bundle of white wires. Those are the neutral, or common, wires. The ceiling fan may have one or two white wires. Connect those to the white wire(s) in your box.

Use the wire nuts that came with your fan, or use new wire nuts of the appropriate size. Wire nuts rarely go bad, but guess what? It happened to me, and it turned a 30-minute project into a two-hour one. Don’t make your project any harder on yourself than you need to.

Now for the trick. The ceiling fan will have a black wire and another non-white wire. That second wire is usually blue or red. That’s usually the hot wire for the light. Twist those two wires together, then connect them to the black or red wire that came out of your electrical box. Use whichever wire the old light fixture was connected to.

Finish mounting the cover and whatever else the fan’s instructions tell you to do.

That’s how you wire a ceiling fan with light to one switch. Now when you turn on your light switch, the fan will have power. To turn the fan and lights off separately, use the pull chains on the fan.