Creating A Safer Work Zone

« Back to Home

Have A Dead Ceiling Fan? Try These Checks Before Calling The Electrician

Posted on

Whenever an electrical appliance isn't working at all, first confirm that the circuit breaker hasn't tripped. In the case of a nonoperational ceiling fan, once you have confirmed that the breaker isn't the root of the problem, switch off power to the breaker before proceeding with the following checks:

Check the Position of the Reverse Switch

In some cases, the problem might be as simple as an incorrectly positioned reverse switch. This switch is usually located on the motor housing, inside the switch housing or on the switch cup. Consult the manual if you can't spot it right away.

Some fans have three positions that allow the blades to rotate clockwise, counterclockwise or the reverse position where the blades don't move. If the switch was in a neutral position, merely flipping the switch in the desired direction should get it moving.

Check Remote Batteries

For remote-controlled ceiling fans, the problem might not even be the fan itself; it might be the remote control. For example, the batteries may be dead or improperly installed. Kids, for instance, like to play with remote controls. If you have kids in the house, check to see if they are properly installed and aren't dead.

Check the Wall Switch

Another possible issue is that the electrical current may not be reaching the fan at all. For example, it might be that the wall switch is broken. This is particularly likely if other electrical appliances in the house are operating just fine.

You can confirm whether this is the case if you have the right screwdrivers and a non-contact tester. First, hold the tester near the screws to confirm that they are safe (i.e. doesn't have electrical current), which is the case if nothing happens. Next, unscrew the screws and pull out the switch. Test the wire connections for power; the tester should chirp and light up if there is power.

Check the Electrical Connections

With time, it's not unusual for the fan's electrical connections to loosen. If they do, then the electrical motor might not be getting adequate power to make it spin. Therefore, checking the status of these connections should be one of your first checks. For this task, you need a ladder, appropriate screwdrivers (depending on your fan's make and model), a pair of pliers, and an assistant (for safety).

Once you have loosened the canopy, check that all the electrical connections, which includes wires and wire nuts, are correctly assembled and adequately tight. If the wires are loose, tighten them by twisting them with the set of pliers.

The nature of the checks that you should perform before calling the electrician depend on the tools you have and your level of electrical know-how. For example, checking the wall switch and the electrical connections of the switch require a bit more skill than checking the remote batteries. Consult an electrician from a company like A Pro Master Electric for anything you can't handle.