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Help! My Ceiling Fan Stopped Working!

Posted On: May 24, 2022
Technician standing on latter to repair ceiling fan

8 Reasons Why & 4 DIY Fixes

Your ceiling fans are essential for air circulation and convenient temperature control for each room. When your ceiling fan stops working, it’s annoying and often leads to adjusting the thermostat or buying a portable fan instead of repairing the issue.

There are several problems that could cause your ceiling fan to malfunction. Here’s our troubleshooting guide to get your fixture back up and running:

What to Check Before Calling an Electrician

Sometimes, it’s easy to overlook the simplest explanations for problems. Try troubleshooting some issues yourself first:

Remove Fan Blockages

If you just installed a new ceiling fan, check if something is blocking the fan blades. New fans can arrive with packing peanuts or plastic stuck in the gears.

Replace Batteries

If your ceiling fan is battery-operated, its batteries may have run out. If it’s remote-controlled, your remote could need the new batteries.

Ensure the Reverse Switch Isn’t in Neutral

Fans have a switch that reverses the direction of the blades, and it won’t function with the switch stuck in the middle.

Location of fan's reverse switch

Depending on the direction of your switch, push it to the left or bottom position during the summer and the right or top position during the winter.

Check That the Wall Switch & Chain Are On

If a guest or family member last controlled the fan by flipping the wall switch when you usually pull the chain — or vice versa — you could be trying to run the fan while the motor isn’t getting power.

This issue is especially common in large rooms with multiple wall switches controlling the same fixture. Ensure the wall switch and the chain are both turned on.

Ceiling Fan Issues That Require Electrical Repair

If your ceiling fan still doesn’t work after checking all of the above, you may have a more serious issue requiring an electrician’s attention.

Signs you should call for professional electrical repair include:

Frequently Tripped Circuit Breakers

This may seem like a DIY fix since you can easily check your fuse box or electrical panel and switch the breaker back on.

However, a breaker that trips frequently is dangerous to leave unchecked or attempt to fix yourself unless you’re a licensed electrician.

Loose Wiring

If the light turns on but the fan blades won’t move, you could have loose or defective wiring.

Electricians can safely handle and repair wiring with specialized equipment like voltmeters to determine if the electrical current reaches the fan’s motor.

A Faulty Fan Motor

The fan motor likely needs replacement if:

  • Your ceiling fan runs but won’t change speeds
  • Your ceiling fan hums but the blades won’t spin

Overheating or Faulty Fan Capacitor

The fan capacitor could be keeping your ceiling fan from running or changing speeds. If the capacitor is overheating, the fan may work, but only for a short while.

Call Genz-Ryan for Ceiling Fan Services

Genz-Ryan Heating, Cooling, Plumbing & Electrical’s licensed and insured electricians can quickly diagnose and repair your electrical problems, whether you have a faulty ceiling fan, light fixture, or switch.

We can also provide a professional ceiling fan installation so you can save yourself the hassle of a DIY replacement.

Call (612) 223-6158 or contact us online to schedule ceiling fan service today!

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