Troubleshoot a ceiling fan malfunction
A ceiling fan is a treat when the weather warms up. It stirs the air and creates a lovely breeze. The fact that a fan is way cheaper to run than your home air conditioner doesn’t hurt either. But what if your fan suddenly stops working as it should? Do you know how to fix a ceiling fan problem? Here is a short guide with 5 causes and solutions for common malfunctions and some general tips to help you.
1. PULL CHAIN REMOVED
Cause – Somebody pulled too hard on the chain that turns the lights on or the chain that controls the fan.
Solution – First, try repairing the ceiling fan by reattaching the chain or, if that doesn’t work, replacing the switch. Important: The replacement ceiling fan mechanism should be the same size and power as the original.
2. CEILING FAN LIGHT NO LONGER WORK
Cause – There can be several reasons for this. The lightbulb may just have burned out. Alternatively, the pull chain or the lamp socket or a loose wire can be damaged.
Solution – Try replacing the lightbulb first. If this does not solve the problem with the ceiling fan, turn off the circuit breaker and use a non-contact voltage tester to see if the outlet is receiving power. Clean the inside of the socket with a soft, dry cloth. Then try again with a new lightbulb. Don’t forget to turn the circuit breaker back on when you’re done.
3. CELLBLING OF THE CEILING FAN
Cause – The box on which the fan was installed may be faulty. It should be designed for fans, not a standard light fixture. Alternatively, the blades may be warped or unbalanced.
Solution – You may need to add an adjustable fan strut for support. If the problem is with the blades, you can purchase a special balancing kit. Warped blades are usually replaced by the ceiling fan manufacturer.
4. CEILING FAN MAKING TOO MUCH NOISE
Cause – A low hum is normal for a ceiling fan. However, if the noise level increases over time or sounds more like a rattle, it could be due to deterioration in the motor, an imbalance (see “Ceiling Fan Shaking” above), or loose parts in the fan housing.
Solution – Once the engine fails, it is usually too complicated to repair. The replacement of the ceiling fan is required. If the motor is still in good condition, it can be helpful to put a rubber seal around the fan base plate. The solution to a rattling noise is to take the fan assembly apart and remove any screws or other loose parts.
5. CEILING FAN THAT DOES NOT CIRCULATE THE AIR
Cause – Poor airflow can simply be due to your fan running at too slow a speed. However, this can be caused by a backward-running ceiling fan (changing the airflow direction clockwise will help circulate warm air more efficiently).
Solution – If necessary, increase the fan speed. Check the direction of the fan blade movement and change it with the “Reverse” switch if necessary.
TIPS FOR AVOIDING COMMON CEILING FAN PROBLEMS
Always turn off the circuit breaker before working on a ceiling fan.
Never try to remove a fan from the ceiling on your own. The heavy equipment is handled more safely by two people.
Buy models that are operated by a remote control or install a remote control in an older fan that is already installed in your home to prevent broken pull chains and make ceiling fans easier to use.
Professional electricians warn: never use a dimmer to control a ceiling fan as this can damage the motor.