Ceiling fan in a pergola

brussoSeptember 12, 2009

I have a pergola over the deck. New project is to install a ceiling fan. I am looking for an outdoor fan but was also wondering what else needs to be considered. For example, is an outdoor ceiling fan really ok to be outdoors? Is is ok for the fan motor to get wet? OR, does it need to be protected and if so, what is the best way to do that? Is an out door fan different from an Indoor/outdoor fan? The pergola is made of 2 x 8. \

thanks for any help

Bill in Atlanta

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I've had the same questions. For the fans I have looked at, they claim to be satisfactory for a wet area but nothing said about being water tight. My conclusion is that they are suited for outdoors, under a roof, but not exposed to direct rainfall.

So - - - I have not installed a fan yet. If I proceed I believe I will obtain a large piece of plate glass to go on top of the pergola as a roof over the fan.

I'll be interested in any additional / differing information you obtain.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2009 at 8:33AM
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I have thirteen years experience with "outdoor ceiling fans", in this case made by Craftmade. Theyre supposedly designed so a foggy wet environment wouldn't damage them, but of the four I purchased one was replaced after 6 years, now another one is iffy. The main bearing apparently gets some corrosion making it run a little rough, and the switch gets pretty rough to operate. So my overall impression is they don't live up to the marketed impression.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2009 at 8:46AM
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I believe that most outdoor fans are rated for damp locations, not wet locations. There's a difference an a message in the electrical wiring section would give you a definitive answer but I think a good way of thinking about it is that you'd need to protect it from direct contact with water. In the case of a pergola, a solid roof that doesn't leak.

Of course, I could be all wet. Make sure you put it on a GFCI protected circuit.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2009 at 8:56AM
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Ceiling fans are given different ratings. A damp rated fan can be used outdoors if it is sheltered under a porch. A wet rated fan should be used if your outdoor fan is not well sheltered - as with a pergola. You have to read carefully because sometimes information tends to be vague, such as "Acceptable for outdoor use." Umm, what does "outdoor" mean here?

    Bookmark   September 14, 2009 at 2:43AM
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