How to Fix a Ceiling Fan


A recent question that has been asked by the community is how to fix a ceiling fan and here we have outlined some of the common faults and techniques to resolve them. There can many problems with a ceiling fan, if it is not running smoothly. I will discuss many of the issues here and tell you how you can fix them yourself, without calling an expensive repairman. Troubleshooting and repairing your ceiling fan is not difficult if you have the right tools and you know how to use them. Here are various common ceiling fan problems and how to fix them:

Problem: Ceiling Fan will not start

You turn on the switch, from the wall switch or pulling the start chain or pressing the ‘on’ button on your remote and the fan will not start. This is a problem that can be from various causes.


The first thing you have to ensure if the power is available to the fan. Check the breaker, if it is tripped, if so reset or if there is a fuse blown, replace it. Next, remove the canopy cover near the ceiling and check if all wires are securely fixed. Use a voltage meter to check if power is reaching the fan. If not, check the wall switch if it is faulty, using the voltage meter.

If you have a remote operated fan, first check the batteries in the remote control unit, if batteries are dead or weak, replace them and then test the fan again. In case of all of these fail then it appears there is a much more serious problem and you may have to call the repairman.

Problem: Ceiling fan wobbling too much

The fan operates normally at low speeds but starts to wobble at higher speeds.


First, clean the fan blades with a damp cloth so that all the dust and any debris sticking to blades are removed. Then check all the screws and nuts on the light kit, fan blades, motor coupling, down rod, and mounting hardware, to see if there are tight. Many times just tightening all the screws and cleaning the blades will solve the problem. If the problem persists, then balancing of the fan blades is required, which I have explained elsewhere.

Problem: fan lights not working

Some fan models have lights mounted on the motor assembly which may fail to light up.


First check if the bulbs might have gotten loose, if so; securely tighten them in their sockets. Check if the bulbs have fused, if so, replace the bulbs. Take the bulbs out of the socket and see if there are any charring or burn marks. The electrical wires may have shorted and need to be replaced.

Problem: Ceiling fan is noisy

The ceiling fan instead of normal whooshing sound of air flowing through its blades makes a humming or rattling sound. Sometimes this sound is cyclic and is quite irritating.


Look at all screws and pins and tighten to secure them. Check if any of the fan blades has cracked. If so, replace the blade. Check the light fixture, if your fan has it, and tighten all bulbs and ensure that all glassware is secure and snug in their positions. If all methods fail then there is a possibility of power variations in your circuit due to the operation of some other power equipment. This matter has to be handled by an electrician who can troubleshoot and resolve the issue.

Problem: Ceiling fan is operating on only one speed

If your fan has multiple fan speed options sometimes you may find that fan is running very slowly or very fast or just at one speed.


If you have a wall installed speed controller, then it is possible that it has shorted. Replace the controller switch with a new one. If you have a remote controller, then check if the batteries of the remote are weak, if so replace them.

If for speed changes you have a pull string than the mechanical speed switch in the fan unit needs to be repaired or replaced. If the fan motor seems very hot after the fan runs for a while then the motor bearings are shot or even the motor windings may be faulty. In some cases the capacitor in the fan gets shorted. All these cases, require a professional repairman and should not be attempted by yourself.


If preferred, take a quick look also at a selection of popular ceiling fan stock levels by clicking on any of the images provided below…

Finally, it would also be greatly appreciated by the community if you can share your own personal tips of fixing your ceiling fan by leaving a comment in the comment box below – So that others in the community can learn also!

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