Ceiling fans are a great way to stay cool, but there's nothing more annoying
than a fan that wobbles, makes a lot of noise, or just doesn't turn on anymore.
Fortunately, these problems usually have pretty simple fixes.
A Fan That Won't Turn On
Before you take the fan apart, check to make sure the problem doesn't lie
elsewhere. The usual suspect is a blown fuse. If the fuse is fine, check the
wall switch next.
- Make sure the power to the room is shut off at the circuit breaker.
- Remove the switch cover, and unscrew the switch from the electrical box.
- There are screw terminals on either side of the switch. Use a voltage tester
to make sure there's no voltage passing through them.
- Unscrew the wires from the terminals, and use a pair of needle nose pliers
to straighten out their ends.
- Twist the two wires together and screw a wire nut over them.
- Turn the circuit back on. If the fan comes on, the problem lies in the
switch and it needs to be replaced.
If it doesn't, the problem is
either in the fan itself or in the wiring between the switch and fan. You can
try taking the fan apart (after shutting off the power) and making sure all the
wire connections from the fan to the junction box are good. Reconnect any loose
wires. If this doesn't work, there's a more serious wiring problem and you'll
need to call an electrician.
A Noisy Fan
The first way to avoid this problem is to buy
higher-quality fans. The motors in cheap fans tend to be noisier, and there's
not much you can do to fix them. However, sometimes the problem isn't in the
motor--something may be loose.
- Tighten the blade screws. If the fan blades are loose, they're going to make
- If that doesn't work, take the fan down (after shutting off power) and make
sure that all the connections inside are secure.
- Make sure it's mounted securely. A wobbling fan can be another cause of
A Fan That Wobbles
One (or both) of the following two methods
should fix a wobbling fan:
- Fix bent fan blades: If one or more of the fan blades is bent, it can
throw the fan off balance, causing the wobble. Measure the distance of each fan
blade from the ceiling. When you locate the one that's different, gently bend it
back into place.
- Rebalance the blades: The fastest and easiest way to do this is to
buy a balancing kit from a hardware store. Set the fan on the speed that creates
the most wobble and, attach the weighted clip from the kit onto one of the fan
blades. Turn the fan on, and see if it still wobbles. If it does, put the weight
on the next blade. Once you figure out which blade is causing the wobble, stick
one or more of the provided adhesive weights (as necessary) to the top of the