Replacing Your Overhead Light With A Ceiling Fan

You can cut down your heating and cooling bill by keeping the air circulated through your house. Ceiling fans are an efficient and attractive way to do this in nearly any room in the house. You could have a residential electrical services company do the installation for you. Or with a few simple tools and a couple of hours, you can have a ceiling fan up by following these instructions.

Tools and Supplies You'll Need

  • pair of pliers
  • wire cutters/strippers
  • regular screwdriver
  • crescent wrench
  • ladder

From the electrical supply or home improvement store:

  • ceiling fan
  • light kit
  • wire nuts
  • fan brace and mounting kit (optional)

Removing the Ceiling Light

  1. Switch off the power to the room and ceiling light at the circuit box.
  2. Remove the ceiling light cover.
  3. Remove the screws that hold the base of the light to the ceiling.
  4. Lower the light and pull the wires connected to it out of the electrical box.
  5. Cut the wires close to the light fixture.
  6. Remove the light fixture and set aside. You may want to keep the fixture in case you need to replace one in another room.

If the electrical box is secured to a ceiling joist, you can use the box as-is to install your ceiling fan. If the box is mounted only to the drywall, you'll need to install the fan brace and mounting kit as follows:

  1. Remove the old electrical box from the ceiling.
  2. Place the fan brace up through the hole where the box was mounted and turn it so the two arms are perpendicular to the ceiling joints.
  3. Screw the center of the brace to push the arms into the joints.
  4. Continue this until the arms are firmly secured in the wood joists. This brace will be responsible for holding the weight of the ceiling fan.
  5. Attach the U-bracket to the brace and the junction box to the U-bracket.
  6. Pull the electrical wires through the junction box.

Installing Your New Ceiling Fan

  1. Hold the fan mounting bracket up to the junction box and secure with the long screws in the fan kit.
  2. Pull the wires from the ceiling down through the mounting bracket.
  3. Have someone help you lift the fan motor up and set the downrod into the bracket.
  4. Attach the mounting plate to secure the downrod in the bracket.
  5. Strip off a half inch of insulation from each of the wires coming out of the ceiling and the fan motor.
  6. Twist the ends of the two green wires together and cover with a wire nut.
  7. Do the same with the two black and two white wires.
  8. Pull the black and white wires down from the bottom of the motor where the light kit will be attached.
  9. Hold up the light kit and twist the two white wires together, then the two black wires. Use wire nuts to secure the ends of the wire pairs.
  10. Screw the light kit onto the bottom of the fan motor.
  11. Push the wires up into the ceiling.
  12. Attach the fan base to the mounting bracket to conceal the wires and junction box.
  13. Secure the blades to the mounting arms and the arms to the bottom of the motor.
  14. Screw in the light bulbs and secure any globes to the light fixture.
  15. Switch the power back on at the circuit box.

Situations That Call For Help

If you encounter any of the following difficulties, you'll want a licensed electrician to finish the job for you:

  • The fan bracket won't secure to the ceiling joists.
  • There are multiple wires in the ceiling box.
  • The wires in the ceiling don't follow the black/white/green standard.

An electrician will sort through these problems so your ceiling fan installation will be safe and secure.

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