How to Install a Ceiling Fan

So, you believe that a ceiling fan is just the touch that some room in your house needs. You would like to have one installed, but the cost of an electrician or handyman puts the price beyond your budget. Why pay to have it done? If you can afford to buy the fixture, the installation is fairly simple and relatively quick.

While it can vary a little from one ceiling fan to the next, most are installed in about the same way. Let’s assume that you already have a light fixture installed where you want the new fixture to be placed. If you do not have a light there already, you may need to do a little more investigating to get electricity to where you need it.

Turn off the power at the circuit box to the fixture that you are going to replace. Get a ladder and preferably someone to hold it steady for you. You will need a screwdriver to remove the screws that hold your old fixture to the ceiling. Remove these screws entirely. This will let the old fixture drop from the ceiling and be suspended by the wiring behind the plate.

You should see between 2 and 4 wire nuts holding the wires together that supply the power to the light. Holding the fixture in one hand, carefully unscrew and remove each wire nut and pull or twist the wires apart. Once all of the wires are disconnected, you should be able to hand the fixture to your person on the floor. Separate the wires coming from the ceiling well apart from each other.

The ceiling fan should come with 3 or 4 wires extending out from the its top. Most ceiling fans come with the blades not attached. It is best to leave it this way while wiring it up and attaching it to the ceiling. The fixture will be much lighter to work with, and you will greatly reduce the chance of an accident.

Line up the wires so that all of the colors match. If your fan has a light fixture made into it, it will have one ground and two hot wires and one common ground. If you are not going to run a separate switch for the fan and lights, the wiring is quite simple. Taking one of the wire nuts, hold three of the matched wires against each other and screw the nut tightly down over the ends. Make sure that metal touches metal on the wires being attached.

Repeat this procedure until all of the wires are connected. You may only have two wires for the uninsulated ground wire. If you are wiring the light and fan controls to separate switches, you will only have two wires in each connection. Make sure that you wire the correct switch wires, these will be ground wires, to each other. Gently ease the wires back inside the junction box on the ceiling.

Most ceiling are already assembled as far as the fan motor and shaft are concerned. Attach the mounting bracket to the junction box. Slip the cover for the box into place and attach it with screws or it might snap into place. You may need to attach the light fixture to the fan body. Just follow the directions that came with the fan.

Attach the fan blades and turn on the power. Pull on the chain and see if the fan starts to rotate. If it spins, turn off the fan and try the light. If it does not come on or is very dim, you have probably either allowed two of the wires to short against each other, or one of your connections came open when you moved the wires to push them into the junction box.

You fix this by turning off the power again and redoing the connections. Before putting every thing back into place, recheck the manufacturer’s directions to make sure there were no unusual things that you may have overlooked regarding the fixture’s wiring. When you have fixed the connections, repeat the previous test. If you still have a problem, you may need some professional help. Rarely is this actually a problem.

When everything is done, test the it one last time. Now, it’s time to put your tools and ladder away and enjoy your new fan.

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