How To Troubleshoot a Ceiling Fan

It would be like you were trapped in the middle of Sahara Desert if your ceiling fan suddenly stopped working. It’s the only thing that cools your room down and it keeps the air circulating inside a non-ventilated area. It’s not yet time to call a repairman, though. Maybe you can troubleshoot your ceiling fan. Who knows, you might discover a handyman in you and that would mean saving up some money for repair.

Here are the things you should do when your fan seems like not working at all:

  • Check all the fan controls. These include the switch and the fan’s remote control. Check the switch if it can be turned smoothly as before. If you feel something has changed, then it must be a switch problem. Problem like this is best trusted on professionals, unless you know how to repair a broken switch. Try the remote control, too. If it’s not working, maybe the batteries are already dying. Replace them and test the remote again. If nothing happens, opening the remote control might be needed.
  • Check the connection. This is most probably the problem if both the light and the fan are not working properly. Make sure to switch off the fan or better yet, the power switch of the house before you check the switch. Simply reconnect the loose wiring and cover it up with electric tape.
  • Check the black wire. This thing connects the fan to the motor. It should be connected well to ensure enough power supply to the fan.
  • Test the blades. Try to turn the blades if they can turn smoothly. If they can’t, maybe they need oiling or maybe some dirt is stacked around the blade.

What if your fan is working but it turns very slowly? Try to check the blades, as instructed above. If nothing happens, then try any of the following possible solutions:

  • Check the capacitor. Some ceiling fans have permanent split capacitor motor. As this motor grows older, they also make the fan run slower. Check if the capacitor is too old already. Consider its need for replacement.
  • Check for wobbles. Is there any weird vibration? If yes, that might have been caused by a slower motor, which results to slower running of blades due to unbalanced blade proportion. Try to balance the blade so wobbling will be prevented.
  • Other troubleshooting. There are still a lot of other ceiling fan problems that need troubleshooting. For instance, if you hear mechanical noise while the fan is running, then it should be a problem with the motor or anything mechanical. Repairing these problems usually require opening of the fan motor, which should be trusted on professionals, unless you can take the risk.

Meanwhile, other problems only need proper control of the fan speed or removing of dirt trapped in the fan. It’s best to look closer on the ceiling fan to see what’s wrong before you do anything or call a professional. If the problem seems like something you can’t handle, then better get some help. It will be more expensive to replace a broken ceiling fan because of faulty repair than pay a professional to fix your old fan.


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