Most home electrical jobs shouldn’t be attempted by homeowners without training, but a ceiling fan installation isn’t one of them. You don’t need much technical skill to install a ceiling fan. You just need the proper safety equipment and a willingness to roll up your sleeves and do it yourself. Here’s what you need to know to get the job done.
Gather Your Safety Equipment
Before you commence installing your ceiling fan, you will need some equipment. Tools you’ll need to install the fan include a circuit tester, screwdriver, wire cutter and stripper, and a step ladder. You will also need safety goggles.
Prepare the Circuit
You should never work on a live circuit. Turn off the power to your home and use the circuit tester to make sure the power is completely off before you start manipulating the wiring.
Remove the Fixture You’re Replacing
If you’re replacing an old fixture with a new ceiling fan, you shouldn’t need to call an electrician. However, if you’re installing a new ceiling fan or chandelier ceiling fan where there wasn’t one before, you will need an electrician to extend the wiring to where you want to place the fan.
If you have an old ceiling fan or light fixture in place, you will need to remove it before you can install your new ceiling fan. To remove a light fixture, take off the glass light cover and unscrew the screws that hold the fixture in place. To remove an old ceiling fan, unscrew the screws holding the ceiling canopy in place, remove the downrod from the mounting plate, and remove the mounting plate from the electrical box.
Verify that You Have the Proper Junction Box and Fan Brace
A ceiling fan is too heavy to hang from the ceiling without the proper support. Make sure the junction box in your ceiling is intended for use with a ceiling fan. You should also make sure that there is a fan support bar in the ceiling if you can’t hang the fan directly from a ceiling joist. You can buy an expandable metal fan support bar that you can tuck up into the ceiling through the hole. Once you have your support bar and junction box in place, pull the wiring down through the junction box. You should have a black or blue neutral wire, a red or brown live wire, and a yellow or green earthing wire. If you don’t have the proper wires, consult an electrician.
Install the Mounting Bracket
Thread the wires through the fan mounting bracket and attach the bracket to the junction box. Slide the canopy onto the downrod and pull the wires from the fan motor through it. Connect the downrod to the fan base by inserting the cutter and clevis pins into the downrod to secure it to the fan base. Attach the hanging ball on the ceiling end of the downrod to the mounting bracket.
Connect the Wiring
Connect the wiring that extends from your fan motor through the downrod to the wiring coming out of your ceiling. The wiring is colour coded, so you should attach like colours to like colours. If needed, you can strip the plastic covering off the ends of your wires, then twist the bare copper ends together and cover them with wire connectors.
Anchor the Fan Motor to the Ceiling
Tuck the wiring connections up into the junction box. Secure the canopy in position with the screws provided.
Put the Fan Blades On
Now that the fan motor is anchored to the ceiling, you can attach the blades. Your fan blades may come with blade irons. Attach these to the blades and then attach the blades to the fan motor.
Connect the Fan Lights
Finally, you will need to install the fan light fixture. Some fans come with the light fixture pre-wired, so all you need to do is install the light shades and then put them in bulbs. Other fans will require you to wire up the fan light fixture. If you need to connect wiring for the lights, attach like colours to like colours just like you did for the fan motor. Attach the light fixture to the fan motor and screw-in bulbs.
Now you’re ready to turn the power back on and test your fan to see if it works. If it’s wobbling or making noise, tighten the fan blades and blade irons and make sure that the downrod is resting correctly in the ball joint. Otherwise, enjoy your new fan!