How To Install a Ceiling Fan

August 19, 2021
Ceiling Fan Installation in Seattle, WA

Since its invention in 1882, people around the world have used ceiling fans as a convenient way to cool rooms of their home. If you’re installing a ceiling fan in your home and don’t know what steps to take, it can become a frustrating and time-consuming hassle. Here are the steps you can take to get the job done right and save yourself the stress.

Prepare the Space

Before even purchasing the ceiling fan, you should know the approximate size of the room you’re installing it in. Make sure the fan can be securely anchored to an electric ceiling box that’s designed to hold both the wiring and the fan itself. If you plan to be able to control the fan from a light switch, affirm that the switch is wired correctly.

Next, do a quick check for any other wiring or pipes that could get in the way of the fan’s installation or that could affect its function. Additionally, check to see if you have an electrical box that supports a ceiling fan, as installation won’t work without one.

There should be an inscription on the ceiling fan box that indicates whether or not your existing junction box is designed for ceiling fans. If it’s not, you’ll need to replace it with a fan brace and junction box that’s rated so that it can safely hold the weight of the fan.

Finally, turn off the power to the fan at the electrical panel and use an appropriate testing device to ensure that no power is going to the light fixture so that you can begin the installation safely.

Turn Off the Power on Your Outlet

Head to your circuit breaker and switch off the power. All wall switches should also be in the off position. You can place tape across the switches to keeping anyone from messing with them while you’re installing the fan.

Mount the Junction Box

If you have an existing fan or fixture, you’ll need to take it down and make sure all wires are disconnected. You’ll want to get your screwdriver out at this point and get ready to jump into action.

Start by inserting the fan brace through the hole in the drywall, making sure it gets fit firmly on the ceiling. You’ll know you’ve done it well if the square tube of the brace is centered with the hole.

Next, use your hand to rotate the fan brace until it locks into the joist. As you continue to make progress, make sure to feel around with your hand frequently, ensuring everything feels secure before moving on to the next step.

Now, attach the U-bolt bracket to the fan brace, making sure the bolts are facing downward and that it’s centered in the hole. Then, thread the cable wire into the junction box, slipping the box up so that the bolts can slide through it. To secure the box into the right place, tighten the nuts thoroughly.

The Bracket Gets Mounted

Thread the wires carefully through the center of the mounting bracket. To make sure you’re completing this step correctly, it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

The fan may or may not have a slide-on bracket. If it does, you can keep the mounting bolts attached to the junction box and just slide the fan bracket directly over the mounting screws, tightening them thoroughly.

If your new fan does not include a slide-on bracket, just place the bracket over the bolts that poke through the bracket. Use the nuts that come with the fan to fasten it securely.

Set the Downrod

If your ceiling has a steep angle or is sloped in some way, a special downrod will be required. As long as your ceiling is flat, the downrod that comes with the fan should work perfectly.

Start by slipping the canopy onto the downrod on a flat surface, running the main wires completely through. Then, the clevis and cotter pins should be inserted into the downrod, allowing it to connect to the fan’s base.

At the top of the downrod, you should find a bulb-shaped fitting. Attach this securely to the bracket now mounted on the ceiling. If putting in a flush mount fan, you’ll need to find the canopy ring and thread the electrical wiring through the center.

At this point in the process, take a step back and make sure everything looks to be in order.

The Fan Gets Wired

Some mounting brackets come with a hook, which you can place the fan on to keep it out of the way while you work. If it doesn’t have one, you may need to get someone to hold the fan in place while you wire it.

Begin by connecting the fan’s wires to your home’s wiring. If there are additional wires, you’ll need to refer to the manual for specific instructions.

Match the wires by color (e.g. yellow wire with yellow wire, etc.). It’s often the case that the fan’s insulated wire (typically a copper or green color, but check your manual to confirm) will connect with the ground wire. The light kit wires, which should be blue or striped, will connect with the black supply wires.

Make sure all wires are properly connected, then push them directly into the junction box. If the wires can’t fit, you can use wire cutters to carefully cut them.

Lastly, clip the canopy onto the mounting bracket and tighten the screws well.

Attach the Blades and Bulb

Be sure all of the hardware included is out and ready for you to use.

Start by attaching the blade brackets to the fan blades. Don’t tighten any of the screws until they’re all slightly screwed into each blade. Then, attach the blades to the fan.

If the fan comes with quick-install blades, you can just put the blade arm posts through the blade keyhole slots, ensuring that it’s aligned correctly. They should click and lock into place when you slide them outward.

If the fan doesn’t have quick-install blades, the fan blades can be screwed onto the blade arms. Be sure that the portion of the blades that you want to have visible are facing downward when completing this step.

Some fans come with accu-arm blade brackets with the blade screws already attached. If your fan doesn’t feature accu-arm blade brackets, you’ll need to use two screws to fasten the blade assembly to the motor, slowly driving the screws in to avoid any stripping or bending.

Finally, if the fan comes with a light bulb, it’s time to install it. Since there are many variations of ceiling fan light bulbs, it’s best to follow the specific instructions in the manual for this last step.

At Brennan Electric, we’re here to assist with any of your electrical needs in Seattle, WA, and surrounding areas. Whether it’s a ceiling fan or a generator, we offer installations, repairs, and assessments to keep your electrical appliances working at their best. A few of our many electrical services include home electrical inspections, panel change-outs, circuit upgrades, and light fixture installations. Contact us today and get ready to experience top-notch electrical service you can rely on.

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