Replacing ceiling fan

paulacatAugust 27, 2010

I need to replace a basic ceiling fan, no light. The current fan is flush mounted, with a wide base. The new fan will have a canopy much like a light fixture. I've installed many light fixtures but no fans. Is there anything special I should know? Once I remove the old fan, will the installation be obvious? Any advice appreciated.

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kudzu9

It should be straightforward and the instructions in the box should make it clear. The main issue is if the box you are mounting to is sturdily mounted and can support the weight of the new fan, and that the box doesn't wiggle, which could cause the fan blades to wobble.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2010 at 5:30PM
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jennifw

It is pretty easy to do. As you remove the old fan, pay attention to the wires and what is connected to what. I have found that sometimes, things are a little wonky and if I pay attention, the new goes up quickly just like the old.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2010 at 8:43AM
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zer0cell

Here are a couple things to remember:

First: TURN THE BREAKER controlling that light OFF! I know it sounds obvious but don't forget. (I do mean the breaker and not the switch)

Second: As kudzu9 mentioned, you need to make sure the device box mounting is strong enough to support the fan.

Third: Get someone to help you mount the fan. It is possible to do it alone but you may hurt yourself trying to attach the fan, especially if this is your first time and your new fan is large and cumbersome. This is especially true if you have high ceilings like I do and there was an accident.

And finally: If you previously did not have a fan/light combo there with independent switches on the wall, you may have to do some rewiring unless you are satisfied with controlling the light/fan with the use of the pull chains. So basically if you only have a single switch on the wall controlling that fixture, then flipping that switch will turn the fan AND light on or off. If you want the fan on without the light you'll have to flip the switch to the ON position on the wall and then use one of the pull chains on the fan to disable the light and the fan will keep working. (I hope this makes sense)

(remember to read the instructions carefully and if you want a second switch added to the wall I recommend asking an electrician to help or someone knowledgeable in this area. I've done it quite a few times myself and it's not hard but you may not have enough knowledge to do that safely yet.)

    Bookmark   August 28, 2010 at 11:49AM
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paulacat

Thanks for all the great advice. I am replacing an existing fan so I feel confident in the weight handling issue with the mounting box. Also, the wiring is in place so I won't have to rewire anything. And, finally, one day last week, I spent 10 minutes locating the breaker that controls the fan (when I thought I could just replace the pull switch, then discovered a soldering iron was required.) I'll let y'all know how it turns out. (I'll get around to it in the next few days hopefully.)

    Bookmark   August 28, 2010 at 1:24PM
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stash-hdy

If you have a single wall switch you can also install a remote. This enables the turning on and off of the fan and light independently. At times fans come with a remote or you can buy one separately.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2010 at 6:50PM
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totsuka

If it is heavy make sure you put in a new heavy duty mounting box in the attic. It has a brace that supports it better. Also, look at the more energy efficient ones vice just buying something from Home Depot. Emerson makes some very efficient fans and I bought one from called the DC-52 from Monte Carlo. Very quiet, long warranty, less energy.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2010 at 5:55PM
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stash-hdy

Monte Carlo are good fans but a bit pricey. Have both Hunter and Monte Carlo in my home and do not see much of a difference in function and balance. The mounting manner for the Hunter is a bit more cumbersome, it hangs off a hook and then you need to detach and then secure which leave the entire fan hanging free for a period of time. The Monte Carlo hangs by a ball on a bracket secured to the box so once you hang it its always secure. Energy efficiency is basically the same just check the specs for comparison. I have not had much luck with the big box store fans made especially for them, hard to balance and were noisier.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2010 at 8:05AM
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susanelewis

By far the best fan in our house is a Casablanca. But that was before Hunter bought them. I have no idea if that downgraded their quality. My Concord fan is gorgeous but makes too much racket with the light kit.

I agree you need some basic skills to replace a fan. If you have no clue about electricity, best to find someone who does.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2010 at 4:30PM
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totsuka

I nice extra feature about our Monte Carlo was a added safety wire that you connected to the over head stud/mounting bracket. I think Canada requires it so they sell it with all their fans. I'm very happy with that fan.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2010 at 1:26PM
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