How To Install A Ceiling Fan
Need to know how to install a ceiling fan? To install a ceiling fan, you need to understand some simple electrical safety and proper mounting procedures. Not all ceiling fans are created equal! Every brand, style and quality of ceiling fan will greatly affect the overall value you get from the fan. For installation, most ceiling fans will install quite the same. Nine out of ten professional electricians will charge more to install a ceiling fan if the box is open than if it is closed. Simply put, knowing all parts are there removes a lot of the stress of the installation. Inventory the box before you start. It's imperative to ensure all the contents are present as per the owner's manual/instructions for installation.
To install a ceiling fan, you will need:
- A ceiling fan
- Wire cutters/strippers
- Wire nuts
- Electrical tape
- A non-conductive A-frame ladder large enough to easily reach the ceiling
- Philips and slotted screw drivers
- A truss anchor electrical box (if needed)
- Nails for installing the truss anchor
- A hammer
- Electrical safety is the key element in this step. Simply turning off the switch is not enough, as someone could easily walk in and flip it. We're talking about your health and life here, so it is much wiser to find the circuit breaker for the light or fan you are replacing with a new ceiling fan. Flip the breaker off and put a piece of electrical tape over the switch. Ensure the room switch is off as well and again place a piece of electrical tape over the switch. Let anyone around know you are working on the circuit. Better safe than sorry.
- Remove the light fixture or old fan that is getting replaced. Investigate the mounting box you've just uncovered. It needs to be well-mounted to a truss in order to support the weight of a ceiling fan. If it is plastic or not mounted well, install a truss anchored box, easily found at any home improvement center. Fall hazards from a heavy ceiling fan could be quite dangerous if this step is overlooked or skipped.
- Inventory and lay out the entire contents of the ceiling fan. Carefully follow directions supplied with the fan with all the installation steps. Build the fan base up as specified and install the mounting hardware.
- Hang the fan, as per the instructions. Locate and separate all the wires for a proper electrical install. Most newer homes will have the minimum three-wire system: black (hot), white (neutral) and green/bare (ground). Older home will most likely have only two wires, and the metal box is the ground itself: black (hot) and white (neutral). If the installation includes separate switches for fan and light features, these will be alike and simply wired separately. Twist together the ground wires (or connect the fan's ground to the box), place on a wire nut and wrap in electrical tape. Now do the same for the neutral and hot wires, matching color for color.
- Once wired, now would be a great time to test the circuit to make sure there are no shorts. Carefully turn on the breaker and then the switch; if nothing happens (as it shouldn't) then all is good. Turn them back off for safety reasons. Finish the installation as per the instructions. Clean up your mess, turn on the breaker and admire your handiwork.
Please keep in mind that a second set of hands would be very useful in the installation. Get yourself an assistant to hand up parts and hold the ladder. Ladder and electrical safety is a definite must if you want to keep your health and your life. Use great caution with both, please.