Home Repairs: How to Replace a Ceiling Fan

Tools Needed to replace ceiling fan:
1. Screwdrivers, Flat and Phillips
2. Wire Cutters
4. Electrical Tape and wire nuts (3 wire nuts per fan orange size)
5. Pliers or adjustable Wrench
6. Electrical Tester (optional but recommended)
7. Ladder wood or fiberglass NOT ALUMINUM! Never use metal ladder around electricity!

Welcome to the directions for replacing that ceiling fan that is out dated or just quit working. It is best to do this in daylight hours so that it is easier to see while the power is off.

First if the fan is working, turn it on along with the light if so equipped. Some fans and their lights are on separate switches so check this carefully! With the fan running and lights burning go to the electrical panel and turn off breakers until the fan and light both go off.

After making sure there is no power climb your ladder and take a look at the fan, first remove the bulbs and globes from the light if so equipped. Then remove the light fixture if necessary (At this point you need to look at the way the blades are mounted to the fan motor if you can remove the screws there is no need to remove light) there will be screws that hold the blade brackets to the fan, usually 2 screws per blade, remove the blades from the fan leaving only the motor hanging.

After removing the blades look at the ceiling and remove the decorative bezel covering the mounting plate at the ceiling. This is usually held with 2 screws that when loosened allow you to twist the cover and remove it.
Now you should be able to see the mounting and wires involved The bracket will have an opening for the fan down rod to slip in it will have something screwed over it to keep the fan from sliding out on its own. Remove this from bracket and carefully unbend the wires and pull the wire nuts so that you can remove them (Now would be a good time to use your electrical tested if you have one to make sure there is no power) using tape or label maker or just by colors write down the wire colors and the colors on fan that they are attached to. You are now ready to remove the fan. By slightly lifting and moving the fan toward the open side of the bracket you should be able to slip the fan free of the ceiling bracket and lower it to the floor, remove the screws holding the bracket to the ceiling and remove the bracket. Now you should just have wires hanging from your ceiling. Take a break and then on to the next step!

If you are replacing fan with a light only mount light to ceiling box and wire to correct switch. put wire nuts on any extra wires and tape to assure that there will be on contact with anything else. Remove your new fan from the box saving the directions! I like to do this on a table(I carry a blanket to keep from scratching up surfaces) or if in a bedroom I will use the bed. Lay out all parts and then READ THE DIRECTIONS!! These are generic directions but you should recognize the things I am talking about as we go along.

Assemble the fan according to directions, then, mount the new bracket to ceiling box making sure wires are free and not trapped or pinched when you tighten them. Before mounting fan or bracket inspect wires for nicks or cuts and replace if needed. Make sure the decorative cover is on the fan shaft and then slide fan into the open side of bracket making sure wires are clear, fasten closure bracket to close opening. Now referring to diagram to determine correct wiring, connect wires to fan and light. Make sure that wires are connected securely together a loose wire causes heat and this can result in a fire. Check to make sure wires are securely connected together and tuck them up into top of bracket making sure they are not pinched etc. Pull the decorative bezel up and put in screws so that it covers mounting bracket. The electrical is done and you are ready to mount blades.

Mount the blades to fan taking care that they are straight and in place. They will have locating pins to align them making it simple to put them in place. Then put in bulbs and globes and you are ready to test your fan.

Check that all tools are removed from fan and everything looks good. Then turn on power to room and proceed to turn on fan and light. If needed you can get a blade balancing kit from your local Building Supply center for a very reasonable cost. Following the directions on the kit make a quiet fan and increase the life of the unit.

You should have successfully changed out your fan at this point and you can relax and enjoy your labors.

CAUTION!! If you are uncomfortable with electrical wiring call someone. A friend or an electrician is preferable to burning your house down or getting hurt. This is a simple project but if you feel uncomfortable call someone who is used to working with electrical to do the connections for you. This article is to help persons who are comfortable doing their own electric work and is not intended as training for electrical work it is for informational purposes only.

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