Summary: Ceiling fans contribute to the temperature control in a house, and add a decorative touch to a room. Installing a ceiling fan can be an intimidating project. This article provides a step-by-step guide to installing a ceiling fan.
Step One – Inventory the Ceiling Fan Parts
It begins with two innocent boxes …. not too intimidating, right? Your perspective may change, however, upon emptying their contents.
Fortunately, ceiling fans come complete with instructions, including an inventory/parts list that will identify each of the components that you’ll be working with.
Figure 1 – Two Innocent Boxes
I’d recommend that you first inventory the individual components provided by the manufacturer, and lay them out in order of installation
Figure 2 – Inventory the Parts Before Beginning the Project
Step 2 - Remove the Old Fixture
This is the gem we’ve been living with since construction (electrician’s houses are notorious for unfinished electrical). Obviously, you must first remove the old fixture.
Ensure you have the power to the light source you will be working on disconnected. As a safety precaution, use a circuit tester to confirm that there is no power to the circuit. Take note of which wires inside the outlet box are connected to the original light fixture.
Figure 3 – The “Plastic Chandelier”
In our case, the outlet was pre-wired and switched separately for a light and a fan combination. We had a neutral (white), a black (hot) wire from the fan switch, and a red (hot) from the light switch, all in a 3-wire cable with ground (bare/copper).
Figure 4 – Removing the Old Fixture
Step 3 - Mount the Fan Blades
Some fan blades are reversible (as shown in Figure 5).
Figure 5 – Reversible Fan Blades
Select the desired color that you wish to be exposed and mount the brackets to the blades as per instructions provided by the manufacturer. Typically, this involves a three-bolt system, each insulated with fabric washers.
Installing a ceiling fan is a great “two-man” project. As seen in Figure 6, a capable assistant can mount the blade hardware, while you proceed with step 4.
Figure 6 – Capable Assistant Mounting Blade Hardware
Step 4: Mount Canopy to Motor Assembly
Depending upon the height and slope of your ceiling (as discussed earlier), you have the choice of either a ceiling hugger or the down rod option. For this project, we are using the ceiling hugger option and thus the canopy mounts directly to the motor assembly without using the down rod (See Figure 7). Review the instructions provided with your fan.
Figure 7 – Mount the Canopy to the Motor Assembly
Step 5: Mounting the Base Plate to the Outlet Box
Before getting to this step (Figure 8) you must ensure that the outlet box is securely mounted t...