You may have started a home improvement project or observed that your ceiling fan is wobbling more than usual. Keeping in view the pop culture, it is common to think about if your innocent fan might be planning your demise.
Your ceiling fan can fall if the installation is in an electric junction box not rated for ceiling fans. Junction boxes are designed for the lighting fixture and should be taken out for a fan support brace to avoid falling. While wobbling can loosen shades or lights, there are no reported cases of it resulting a fan falling.
This article will help you to know how to support your ceiling fan and correct the standard causes of wobbling. However, it is necessary to know your limits and take help from a professional when you’re unsure.
How To Prevent a Ceiling Fan From Falling
When thinking of installing a fan, you should ensure your fan is supported. The reason is that ceiling fans can weigh up to 50 lb. (23kg), far heavier than a standard light fixture box can fit in.
If you are taking out a lighting fixture for a fan, you may see your fan is agreed with the current junction box’s weight requirement. In this case, you need to identify that it is rated for ceiling fan use. Approved boxes come with label settings that say, “For Use With Ceiling Fans.”
The National Electric Code introduced this rule since ceiling fans cause more force than light kits. The power added can result in shaking of the fan, loosening its hold and can make it fall to the ground.
If you’ve checked this and make sure that your box meets the requirements, you can switch out your existing fixture to add your fan. Alternatively, if your fan needs a new box, there are two different ways that can make sure your new junction box is secured.
#1. Use a Ceiling Fan Brace
An expandable mounting brace is a metal bar that is fixed between the joints in your ceiling. The brace uses metal spikes on any end to retain this firm grip. These spikes support your fan in spite of its force and weight.
These types of braces are perfect in situations where your attic is not in reach. Installation will include cutting a small hole in the ceiling to slide the bracket through. After getting inside the ceiling, twisting the brace causes it to expand as well as to fit into place.
Recommended: How to find out if a light fixture can hold a ceiling fan
When you use a mounting bracket, you need to make sure that your electric box is compatible. All junction boxes cannot be attached to a ceiling fan brace. Thankfully, you have multiple bracket/box combinations to select from and by them. I highly suggest using a perfect all-in-one solution like the Westinghouse Saf-T Brace for Ceiling Fans.This modern solution is suitable for all ceiling fans and come with mounting hardware and guides.
#2. Install a Block Between the Joists
This next option is suitable for handypersons but not suggested for the everyday DIY-er. In this case, a wooden block, either cut from a 2×4 or 2×6, can be installed in place of a brace. The block method is the perfect choice for new construction or extensive remodeling.
Mounting the block will need access to the joists that make your ceiling and a lot of space for your hands and tools. You should plan to add the block support before getting a finished ceiling due to this. If you try it afterward, it will cause a large hole and you will need patching in the end.
When choosing this option, connect your wooden block with screws. A lot of experts give preference to their stability over nails. For a detailed description, you need to go through this article written by Energy Star.
How To Correct a Wobbly Ceiling Fan
If your ceiling fan is wobbling, you do not need an alarm for it. currently, there are no cases reported that wobbling fan causing it to collapse. The cause of the wobbling may result in loose connections or unbalanced fan blades. You can fix both of them as they are fixable.
However, if you’ve had your ceiling fan for a while, you can begin with ensuring that blades of your fan are clean. Dust build-up can affect the performance of your fan and weigh down the blades. Below are the tips on fixing a wobbly ceiling fan:
1. Examine Misaligned or Loose Connections
The first thing you need to determine a wobble is in the wiring. If the connections are not aligned or loose, the motor of the fan will not work properly as intended, potentially causing wobbling.
Before starting the inspection of the wiring, first, cut power to the fan. The task is very simple as flipping the designated circuit breaker in your breaker box. A lot of experts suggest switching off the power to the whole house for an extra precaution. To do it, flip every circuit breaker, also, the main one.
Leave an alert at the breaker box in the shape of a note, so, others do not try to do something with the breaker and to secure yourself. The process will protect you from electrocuting and prevent others from sending power back to the house. You can begin inspecting the wires by shutting off the power. Use a screwdriver to unscrew the housing cover available on the fan. The housing cover can be found at the top of your fan, right where it connects to the ceiling.
You should also need to make sure that the wires of the ceiling fan are connected to the electrical connections listed in the instruction manual of the manufacturer. After making sure that they are connected, the next step is to ensure that electrical tape or caps is snug around the exposed electrical wires.
After that, change the wires and housing cover.
2. Use a Yardstick To Correct Unbalanced Fan Blades
If your fan wobbles even after cleaning it and ensuring it is connected properly, the problem can be of unbalance fan blades.
As you will turn the fan manually, ensure that every blade is at an equal distance from the ceiling. Check if any blade is out of place. After checking any irregularities, you can try to bend the out of shape blade back into shape.
If the blades are equidistant from one another and wobbling is still there, you should consult the manufacturer’s instructions now.
The instructions will allow you to apply the balancing kit that originally came with your ceiling fan.
Ceiling fan accidents can be avoided easily and they are also rare. The easiest way to keep your family out of danger is to make sure that your ceiling fan is installed properly. While replacing your fan, you need to verify that the junction box is for fan use and is able to give adequate support for you unit’s weight.
When your fan is wobbling, just keep in mind that wobbling does not indicate that your fan will fall. Instead, you need to ensure that the blades are balanced and clean and ensure all wire connections are also secure.