You could spend days looking at thousands of different ceiling fan designs and still not see all the different varieties there are on the market. But when all is said and done, no matter how different they are, a ceiling fan is basically just a motor and a set of blades. If there’s a problem, that’s where you need to start looking.
The Ceiling Fan Just Doesn’t Work
Check the fuse box or circuit breaker first: It might seem like a no-brainer but you’d be surprised how many people forget this one simple step.
Check that the power is going to the fan circuit: Unscrew the screws to the electrical switch and use a voltage tester to see if power is going to the switch. Hold the tester to the screw terminals. If they’re not charged then turn the circuit off and pull the switch out of the box.
Unscrew the wires from the terminals and straighten the ends with a pair of pliers. Twist the two ends together and cover with a wire nut. Now, turn the circuit on. If the fan works then the switch is bad and you’ll need to replace it. If the fan doesn’t work, then you have a problem with your wiring and you may need to consult an electrician.
The Ceiling Fan Is Humming
Some fans are just better built than others. A cheaply made motor will have a tendency to start humming and sometimes you can control it by changing the speed. Obviously, that’s not the best solution but it might help until you have time to really tackle the problem.
There are anti-hum fan controls available at your local home improvement store that are very easy to install. Check first to make sure your fan is compatible.
These controls are installed at the switch. Turn the switch off and remove the faceplate. Use a voltage tester to make sure there’s no current running through the wires and disconnect them from the switch. Install the anti-hum fan control as directed on the package, making sure to use the wire nuts for protection, and then replace the faceplate and turn the power back on.
The Ceiling Fan Wobbles
Ceiling fans should be installed into an electric box specifically designed for ceiling fans. A regular light fixture ceiling box isn’t designed to support the weight of a fan. Over time, the motion of the fan will start causing structural damage which leads to wobbling and more structural damage. Eventually, it’s all going to come crashing down.
To check the electric box, unscrew the housing from the ceiling and lower it just enough to see the box. Look for a label that says it’s rated for ceiling fan use. If it’s not, you’re going to need to replace that box, and possibly a bracket or brace. This may be a job for a professional.
If it’s the right type of box, it might be that some of the screws are loose. Before you replace the housing, hand-tighten all visible screws and then make sure the screws on the housing are tight when you put it back into place
If your ceiling fan is still wobbling it may be a problem with warped blades. Use a yardstick or tape measure to measure the distance between each blade and the ceiling. Even a small difference in measurement can cause your fan to wobble. You can try gently nudging the blade back into position but if that doesn’t help, contact the manufacturer for replacement blades or check you local home improvement store.
I hope this ceiling fan trouble shooting guide helps. Please feel free to look around the rest of the web site and the blog as we have shared lots more useful information to save you time, stress and money! (I don’t know how you feel but one thing I always love is when can save some of my hard earned cash!)