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Installing a Ceiling Fan


Hanging a ceiling fan is not mechanically difficult, and most fans come with good installation instructions; however, they are usually fairly heavy, so it's a good idea to have a helper assist you.

Ceiling fans need to be properly anchored to an electric ceiling box that's designed to hold a heavy fixture. It will not only hold the wiring, but also support the full weight of the fan. If you're swapping a simple light fixture with a ceiling fan, the box will likely need to be replaced with one rated for a ceiling fan.


For an easier installation, consider a quick install ceiling fan, which installs in just three easy steps. The parts that require assembly just simply click into place.


Additionally, our How To Install a Light Fixture and How To Install a Dimmer Switch project guides will help lower your electric bills and help save you money by completing the installations yourself.


• Check the joists for any wiring or plumbing pipes that might be in the way before installing your ceiling fan.
• Make sure the electrical box that holds the ceiling fan in place is fan-rated.
• Inventory all parts and instructions before starting your installation.



• Turn off electrical power to the fan at the electrical panel and use an appropriate testing device to ensure 
   no power is present at the fixture before you begin work. DO NOT RELY on a wall switch to protect you 
   from electrical shock.
• If you are adding a new fan where one didn't exist, consult with your local building code department to 
  determine if a permit is required.



• Try searching for modern ceiling fans that use CFL bulbs in the light kits to save money.
• Go green and consider donating your old fan to a local charitable organization instead of throwing it out.




Step 1: Inspect electrical outlets

To complete your project, gather all the necessary tools you'll need, including a ladder, screwdriver, wire cutter and circuit tester. Check your owner's manual for specifics.


Inspect the existing junction box to make sure it’s rated for ceiling fans. There should be an inscription on the box to indicate this. The box is usually metal. If not, replace it with a fan-rated junction box and a fan brace between the ceiling joists to help support the fan’s weight. This process will be shown in Step 2.


Before you begin any electrical work, turn off the power at the electrical panel and use the circuit tester to ensure that no power is present at the fixture. It may also be helpful to post a sign on the panel to make sure no one turns the power back on while you're working.


Step 2: Mount the junction box

To mount your junction box and fan brace, insert the fan brace through the hole in the sheetrock and onto the ceiling. The square tube of the brace should be centered with the hole. Rotate the square tube with your hand until the teeth are firmly locked into the joist. Feel around to gauge your results.


Next, attach the U-bolt bracket to the fan brace. It should be centered in the hole with the bolts facing downward.


Then, thread the cable wire into the junction box. Slip the box up so that the bolts slide through it and tighten the nuts to secure the box into place.


Step 3: Mount the bracket

The next step is mounting the fan bracket that holds the fan in place. You want to begin this process by threading the main wires through the center of the mounting bracket.


If the fan has a slide-on bracket, you can leave the mounting bolts on the junction box and simply slide the fan bracket over the mounting screws. Tighten them securely.


If you fan doesn't have the slide-on fan bracket, place the fan bracket over the mounting bolts that poke through the bracket and fasten it with the nuts provided.


Step 4: Set the downrod

Next, using a flat surface, slip the canopy onto the downrod and run the main wires through. Also, insert the clevis and cotter pins to the downrod, so that it connects to the fan's base.


Then, attach the bulb-shape fitting at the top of the downrod to the mounting bracket on the ceiling. Be careful not to mangle the wires.


Step 5: Wire the ceiling fan

Now, you can connect the fan wires to your household wiring. Some fans come with additional wires, so be sure to follow your owner's manual for specific instructions. Use the wire nuts supplied with your fan kit to secure the wires.


-In many cases, the fan's copper or green insulated wire connects with the ground wire.

-The fan's motor black wire connects with the supply black wire.

-The fan's light kit wires, blue or striped, also connect with the supply black wires.

-And the fan's motor white wire connects with the supply white, or neutral, wire.


Once these wires are securely connected, push them into the junction box. Use wire cutters to cut the wires if they can't fit into the box. This will keep them from vibrating against the canopy when the fan is running. Lastly, clip the canopy onto the mounting bracket and tighten the screws.


Step 6: Attach the blades and bulbs

The final stage in hanging a ceiling fan is dressing it up! This is when you'll add the blades, light bulbs and light kit.


Some fans have quick install blades that can make the installation faster. Simply align the blade arm posts through the blade keyhole slots and slide them outward until they click and lock into place.


For fans without quick-install blades, screw the fan blades onto the blade arms. The side of the blade that you want shown should face downward.


Ceiling fans with accu-arm blade brackets can also speed up the installation. These brackets come with the blade screws attached. Also, there's an alignment post on the bracket that will help in mounting the blade arm without stripping the mounting hole.


For fans without the accu-arm feature, fasten the blade assembly to the motor with two screws. Drive the screws in slowly to avoid stripping and make sure they're tightened securely. Be careful not to bend the blades.


Finally, install the globe and light bulbs that may be included in your kit. Now, you're ready to restore power, turn on the fan and enjoy the breeze!