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How to Install a Ceiling Fan

by Staff Writer

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Electrician installing a ceiling fan

Things You Need:

  • Screwdriver or drill
  • Wire cutter
  • Wire connectors
  • Ladder
  • Safety goggles
  • Dust mask

Installing a ceiling fan is an excellent way to add beauty and comfort to your home-lighting design. Whether you are replacing an old ceiling fan with a new one or replacing a light fixture with a lighted ceiling fan, it's a job you can do yourself. Read the following instructions carefully and always refer to the ceiling fan manufacturer's instructions for installation.

Installing a Ceiling Fan:

  1. Safety: Before you begin, put on your safety goggles and dust mask and turn off the power at the main circuit breaker. Any time you work with electricity, you should first turn off the power and test the light switch to make sure the power is off.

  2. Remove the old fixture: Remove the glass or plastic light shade from the old fixture. Take out the screws that hold the old fixture in place. Pull the fixture down to expose the wires. Unscrew the wire connectors to disconnect the wires.

  3. Remove the old electrical box: Unscrew the electrical box and pull it down from the ceiling. You may have to pry it loose from the ceiling joist.

  4. Measure: Make sure your new electrical box will fit in the old fixture's space. If not, you will need to trace the shape of the new electrical box onto the ceiling (centered over the joist) and cut out the new hole with a drywall saw.

  5. Install the fan box: Attach a fan box to the clamp with a locknut. Secure the fan box to the joist using the provided mounting screws. Mount the bracket or base plate to the fan box.

  6. Connect the wires: With plastic twist-on wire connectors, connect the wires together. Be sure to refer to the manufacturer's instruction manual for the proper connectivity. If you will be using existing wiring, be sure the electrical circuit can handle the capacity of the load.

  7. Test the motor: Push the wiring into the electrical box and secure the canopy. Turn the power on at the main circuit breaker to check that the motor is in working condition. Turn the power back off before proceeding to the next step.

  8. Attach the fan blades: Because some fan blades are reversible, you will need to make sure you face the correct side. Connect the fan's blades and iron brackets together. Each iron bracket will be tightened to the motor with provided screws. If the ceiling fan has a light fixture, insert light bulbs and attach the light shade with the included screws.

  9. Turn the power on: Test the fan to make sure there are no wobbles. If there is a wobble, turn off the fan and make sure all the screws are tightened completely.

Ceiling Fan Installation Tip:

  1. Check the height from the floor to the ceiling. The fan should not hang lower than 7 feet from the floor. A distance of 12 inches between the ceiling and blades is best for good airflow.

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