What To Do If Your Ceiling Fan Stops Working

When the weather gets warm, running your ceiling fan is an excellent option to help circulate the air in your home without relying fully on your AC unit. This helps you save money on cooling bills while keeping the air in your home comfortable. Over time, however, you may discover that your ceiling fan isn’t working as it should, or perhaps it isn’t working at all.

If you recently walked into your living room only to discover, “My fan stopped working,” then here are some troubleshooting steps to get it working again.

How to Figure Out Why Your Ceiling Fan Stopped Working

Ceiling fans are a great way to keep bedrooms cool, kitchens ventilated, and living rooms from being stuffy, but they have to work to carry out these tasks. There could be a number of reasons why your ceiling fan stopped working, some of which get fairly complicated, but in some cases, there are easy ways to find the problem. Start by trying these four troubleshooting steps to figure out why your fan stopped working:

Check the Light Switch

If your fan is wired to the wall, then it’s important that the light switch is in the proper position for your fan to work. Make sure the switch is “ON” before pulling the cord to turn the fan on.

Check the Remote (If You Have One)

Try turning your fan on with the remote. If this doesn’t work, then the batteries in your ceiling fan’s remote may be dead and require replacing. With fresh batteries, locate the receiver for the remote, which is typically placed in your fan’s mounting bracket, and then see what settings your fan will respond to.

Check the Power

To run properly, your ceiling fan needs electricity. Check the fuse or breaker box to see if there is power running to your fan. If there isn’t, try resetting it and see if that fixes your problem.

Use a Circuit Tester

If the light-switch check, remote check, and power check all failed to resolve your ceiling fan problems, then you may have an issue in your circuit. Use a circuit tester to make sure the light switch is actually working and receiving power, and that the fan is receiving power.

If not, you may need to have the switch replaced or have an electrician help you rewire your fan.

If none of these troubleshooting tests have resolved your issue, then there are a few other things that could be wrong with your ceiling fan.

Make sure your ceiling fan is clear of anything that would prevent the fans from spinning and keep in mind that if you don’t feel comfortable dealing with electricity and complex ceiling fan issues, contact a licensed electrician to handle the issue for you.

Why Did My Ceiling Fan Stop Working?

“My fan stopped working,” is one of the last things you want to hear in the summer months. To resolve the issue as quickly as possible, here is a list of possible issues to look into:

  • Dead motor
  • Speed control issues
  • Wobbling or shaking
  • Noisiness
  • Lights won’t turn on

Troubleshooting Your Ceiling Fan Motor

If you find that your fan stopped working but it doesn’t seem to be a power issue and there’s nothing visible preventing it from moving, then it could be related to the fan’s motor. Make sure the fan is off and then cut the power to the fan and then investigate. 

Using a screwdriver, remove the cover on the ceiling fan so you can see the wiring inside it. Check for any loose, damaged, or frayed wires. If you see any, these could be the source of your problem, but if not, then use a circuit tester to make sure the motor is getting power. If it is not, you’ll need to get the wiring fixed. If it is, then check the motor shaft to be sure nothing is preventing it from moving. If there is, move it out of the way before replacing the cover and attempting to turn on your fan.

If none of these fixes have resolved your ceiling fan problems, then the ceiling fan motor may be dead and need to be replaced. This is a common issue with many older ceiling fans, in which case it may be more efficient to replace your ceiling fan entirely.

Troubleshooting Speed Control Issues

Most home ceiling fans have options to adjust their speed. If for whatever reason, your fan isn’t turning properly or the speed control settings aren’t working, then it’s clear your fan stopped working. Try these steps to resolve the issue:

  • Locate the ball bearings of your fan and clean them of any dust and debris. Lubricate to ensure they rotate properly and replace.
  • Locate the ceiling fan capacitor, a piece of your fan that helps the windings of the motor. A bad capacitor can keep a fan from working altogether, or it can cause irregularity with your fan speeds. Try replacing the capacitor to return your fan to optimal working conditions.
  • Check if the motor is getting hot by running your fan for 10 minutes and then feeling the motor with your hand. If it is, it needs to be replaced.

Troubleshooting Wobbling

Fans can become wobbling when they are overused or the shaking can be due to improper installation. Fixing a shaking or wobbling ceiling fan isn’t a complicated process. Start by cleaning the fan blades to reduce as much weight as possible from your fan, then look for any loose screws on your fan or blades. Check the remainder of the fan, including the mounting hardware, light kit, and motor for loose screws, tightening them all as needed. Make sure the mounting bracket is secure to the ceiling.

Troubleshooting Noisiness 

Some ceiling fans just need a bit of time to settle in after installation, so if your fan is noisy once it has just been installed, give it a day or two to really get accustomed to its new positions. If it’s still noisy after 48 hours, tighten any screws that appear loose. If the problem persists, consult the electrician who installed the fan or an expert you can trust.

Troubleshooting Light Kits

Most ceiling fans have built-in lights that are perfect for lighting various rooms. If your ceiling fan light kit doesn’t seem to be working properly and the lights won’t turn on (after you’ve checked the light switch, remote, power, and circuit), try these troubleshooting steps:

  • Replace one or all of the bulbs, careful to use a bulb designed for your type of ceiling fan. Make sure the wattage is correct for your ceiling fan, otherwise the bulb will draw too much power and exceed the wattage rating of the ceiling fan light kit.
  • Check inside the socket in your ceiling fan light kit for burn marks, charred spots, or any kind of dirt and debris. If you see any burned areas, this is a sign that your light kit has a wiring issue and may need to be replaced.
  • Check the wiring inside your light kit for any loose, damaged, or frayed wires. If you see signs of wire damage, consult your electrician before proceeding.

Get Your Ceiling Fan Problems Resolved Today

If none of these troubleshooting steps resolve your issue, don’t sit there wondering “Why did my ceiling fan stop working?” for too long. Get the issue handled right away by a trained professional. Contact John C. Flood for your electrical repair and trust our expert technicians to resolve your ceiling fan woes as soon as possible.

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