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 replace a simple light fixture, the box will likely need to be replaced with one rated for a ceiling fan.
Slip in the brace
Check the joists for any wiring or plumbing runs that might be in the way before you install the brace. Test-fit the box on the brace; then take it apart again. Push the brace through the hole and spread it until it touches the joists on both sides with the legs of the brace resting on top of the drywall or plaster.
Tighten the brace
Measure to make sure that the brace is centered in the hole. Position it on the joists at the correct height so the box will be flush with the surface of the ceiling. Use a crescent wrench or channel-type pliers to tighten the brace until it is firm.
Attach the box
Attach the U-bolt assembly to the brace so that the assembly is centered in the hole and the bolts face down. Thread cable through the cable connector and into the box. Slip the box up so the bolts slide through it, and tighten the nuts to secure the box.
Install the mounting plate
Thread the wires through the center of the mounting plate. If the box has mounting bolts that poke through the plate, fit the mounting plate over the bolts and fasten it with the nuts provided. If separate bolts are provided, push each one through the mounting plate as shown. When both bolts are in place, tighten the plate onto the ceiling.
Assemble the downrod and canopy
On a work table, ready the fan for installation, following manufacturer's instructions. Run the fan leads through the downrod (or downrod extender), and tightly screw on the downrod. Remember to tighten the setscrews. Slip on the canopy, then install the bulb-shape fitting at the top of the downrod. It will rest in the canopy when the canopy is attached to the ceiling. Be careful not to mangle the wires. Do not attach the fan blades yet.
Wire the fan
Temporarily hang the fan from the hook on the mounting ring. Connect the copper ground wire to the green wire attached to the fan base. If you have only two wires, connect both the black lead (for the fan motor) and the blue or striped lead (for the light) to the black house wire, and the white lead to the white house wire. If you have three-wire cable, connect the black to black, white to white, and red to the blue or striped light lead. Check the manufacturer’s directions.
Attach the canopy to the mounting plate
Use a helper to support the fan motor while you drive the screws. Push the wires and wire nuts up into the box to keep them from vibrating against the canopy when the fan is running. Clip the canopy onto the mounting plate and tighten the screws.
Attach the blades
If the brackets are not all of uniform shape, return them and get replacements. Screw a bracket to each fan blade. Make sure the side of the blade that you want to show faces down. Attach each bracket to the motor with two screws. Drive the screws slowly to avoid stripping. Don't bend the brackets as you work.
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