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electrifier, Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 1633
Experience:  Electrical contractor and electrical inspector for over 24 years with phone and networking expertise
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my ceiling fan is running at high speed only no matter what

Resolved Question:

my ceiling fan is running at high speed only no matter what position the switch is in. Low medium or high are all the same fast speed. The fan does reverse and the lights do work. It just has one speed, fast. Any suggestions on what could be wrong. I did see two different capacitors of the 5 mfd rating could these be the problem?? The one has two different color wires goinginto it and does seem to be deformed.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  electrifier replied 8 years ago.
There is a 3 speed pull chain switch on the fan. These switches are commonly available at Home Depot, Lowe's and Menard's. This is most likely the problem, it's not switching circuits like it should. This switch can be changed or you could install a remote system for the fan. They are available at Home Depot, Lowe's and Menard's. There is a wall unit that replaces the switch in the wall and also a unit that goes above the canopy at the ceiling. This unit will give you speed control as well as dimming control from the wall switch location. Another option similar to the last has a control unit above the fan canopy and a loose remote control like a TV remote that will control the fan as above. These 2 remote units are priced in maybe the $40 range.
I hope this answers your question. If you have more questions on this feel free to come back here. After you accept my answer you will be able to come back to this same question without being charged again.
Thank you.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I still question if it is a capacitor problem. we do not use the switch very often at all. I do have a background in electronics and have seen bad capacitors cause problems. I just am looking for some options, and where I could get the fan capacitors if it is bad. At the moment I have everything hanging from the ceiling so both replacing the switch and the capacitors are easy at the moment
Expert:  electrifier replied 8 years ago.
Are you able to test the switch to make sure the power changes leads for it's output? Do you have a volt meter? Does this switch have an off position and does it work?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
yes it has an off position and yes I do have a volt meter. I will go up and check the different positions to see if the voltage changes with the position of the switch.
Expert:  electrifier replied 8 years ago.
It it doesn't change then the switch is bad. If it does change it's inside the fan.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I read the voltages between the black and the brown, black and green and the black and gray and they all change when the switch is pulled until the off position. I did write them down if this is important, but in the off position all read 120 volts and each one changed when the fan switch is pulled. If you can give me any more information i sure would appreciate it. My cell ph # XXXXX
Expert:  electrifier replied 8 years ago.
We can't communicate directly thru this site, we have to stay online to do so.
So pulling the pull chain switch changed the wire getting the power, is that what you're saying? This would mean the switch was good.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
that is correct. to determine if the fan is bad, what option do i have other than to go out and replace the capacitors that are in it. do you suggest trying that or should I just go look for a new fan............. Thanks
Expert:  electrifier replied 8 years ago.
If the fan still runs full speed when the input tap is changed to change speeds it is not good. I would simply change the entire fan. If 2 speeds went out at the same time it could very well be the motor itself. If one thing went out and you repair it how long until the next thing goes out. With a new fan you can simply be assured it's all going to work for some time. Some fans even come with the speed control included so you can control speed and dimming from the wall switch location.
Good luck with your fan. If you have additional questions on this fan issue feel free to return here and ask me. I'm happy to assist you as much as you need me.
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