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Ceiling Fan Problems

Ceiling fans can save energy in homes by lowering dependence on power hungry devices like air conditioners. However, installing the right size fan is important to ensure that there is no energy wastage and the fan helps to cool the room correctly. Homeowners have also been known to face a few problems with ceiling fans. These could be annoying issues like unbalanced or misaligned fan blades that cause the fan to wobble. Or a fan that runs noisily and needs to be controlled by an anti-hum kit. While some of these problems can be fixed with simple solutions, others might need the help of a professional to set them right.

Listed below are a few questions answered by the Experts on issues related to ceiling fans.

In the process of installing a ceiling fan, I noticed that I have four wires that come out of the outlet in the ceiling. They are a black, white, red and a ground wire. The fan itself has three wires—ground, black and white. How do I wire the red one?

Case details: The fan is controlled with one switch and has a remote.

All you need to do is cap off the red wire using a wire nut. You can use it later on if you want to control the fan and a light with wall controls separately. Usually, with a remote, you only require a single feed. However, keep the wall switch on at all times.

I have a Hunter ceiling fan, model 22788. I replaced the battery of the remote and cycled the dip switches, but it’s stopped working. I use the wall switch to turn the fan on. It starts on low and shifts to high after 12 minutes on its own. What can I do to fix this?

It seems like you have a capacitor that is failing. Look for it above the light kit inside the fan. Once you open it, look for a square plastic component. If this seems like it has been turned out of shape due to heat, you will have to replace it. When you replace it, leave a piece of the wires with the color on them so that you can easily connect the right wires when you do the new installation. Here is a link for an online supplier: http://www.eceilingfans.com/

I am trying to install a new ceiling fan in place of an old one. The old fan has one red wire and a black and red wire twisted together. The new one has a black wire, white wire and another wire that is black and white. A green grounding wire also exists. How do I wire this?

In most cases, the black wire is for the fan, the white signifies neutral and the black & white wire is meant to be for the light kit. All you have to do is connect the black and the black & white together to get power from the switch. Then attach the black and black & white to the red in the ceiling box.

I need to change a switch for the ceiling fan. There are four slots for wires for the new switch but I have only purple, black and yellow wires. What can I do?

It seems like you have got a three speed switch for a fan with only two speeds. The black wire would signify the “L”. The other two wires would be connected to the speed of the fan and are probably coming off the capacitor which is the little black box. It’s better to get a two speed switch to match the fan configuration for the speeds. Once you get the new switch, keep in mind that the black is the "L". Touch the black to the other ones to find out what the speeds are – 1 would be for low and 2 for high. So your switch should have L, 1 and 2.

If your ceiling fan starts to wobble, you would first need to locate the source of the wobble. Switch the power off and examine the fan for any loose screws or blades. Tighten all the parts that have come loose. Thereafter, examine the blades' alignment by measuring the distance between the ceiling and each blade. If you find that one blade is not in line with the others, bend the blade holder until the blade is aligned perfectly with the other blades. In case that doesn’t work, a few stores stock clips that can be attached to the blades to increase the weight of that blade. Finally, use a specially designed ceiling fan brush to clean the fan and remove any excessive dust that might be contributing to the wobble.
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