If your home is mostly cooled using ceiling fans, you know exactly how useful and pleasant they can be during the summer. You also know how stifling and suffocating the warm air can get when they fail! What you may not be aware of is the fact that most ceiling fan repair is actually a breeze, and, for the most part, there is no need to call in a specialist. Take a look at three of the most common ceiling fan problems below and their surprisingly simple fixes!
Problem 1: The fan doesn’t work
Make sure that power is present by checking the switch and the fuse box. You can do this fairly easily by turning off the power to the fan circuit and unscrewing the screws that hold the switch the electrical box. You’ll need a voltage tester (available from a hardware store or home center) to check the screw terminals to make sure that they are not charged and then you can pull the switch from the box itself Wire Crimp Pull Tester.
After you unscrew the wires from the terminals, straighten the ends of the wire with needle-nosed pliers before you twist the two ends together and screw a wire nut over the twisted wires. Turn the circuit back on and see if the fan works. If it does, the switch is bad and you need to replace it. If there is still no activity, you will need a specialist to check the wiring and the fixture.
Problem 2: The fan hums
If you notice that the fan hums whenever it runs, there is a chance that this can be fixed by working with the speed control. A fan with a cheaply made motor might just be predisposed to make noise, but you’ll often get fans where anti-hum features can be easily installed. First, turn off the power at the circuit breaker and test it by turning the fan off and on and off again.
As before, use a voltage tester after you remove the faceplate and switch to make sure that the wires are safe to touch and disconnect the wires from the switch. Per the directions on the anti-hum fan control, twist the wires present together and after adding the wire nuts, replace the control and faceplate before restoring the power.
Problem 3: The fan wobbles
Check to make sure that your fan has been installed into a specially designed ceiling electric box that is made for fans, as a regular one that is meant only for lights will be unable to support the fan’s constant movement and weight. If the fan installed into the wrong kind of electric box, you will need a specialist or an electrician.
You can check by unscrewing and lowering the fan’s housing the ceiling; you’ll be able to see a label that will designate it as being fan-rated. U-bolts or lag screws should connect the box to a bracket or a solid wood block for stability.
Before unscrewing the whole fixture, however, tighten all screws by hand. If you have a droprod involved in supporting your fan, make sure that the ball joint at the top of the drop rod is well-settled with the support bracket.
Similarly, make sure that the blade tips hang an equal distance from the ceiling; if the blades are warped, a wobble could result. If this is the case, you can call the manufacturer for blade replacements or head to your local home center.