A wobbly ceiling fan can be frightening but sometimes, you can fix it easily.
The main cause a ceiling fan is wobbly is because the weight of the unit is not balanced. It can be fixed with the help of a fan-balancing kit. However, before you begin with fixing the balance, your fan should be cleaned, and make sure there are no damage or installation problems to rule out other reasons.
Below you will get exactly what you can do to prevent or stop your fan from wobbling.
Below you can find out exactly what you can do to stop your fan from wobbling.
You’ll need a fan balancing kit. you can get one here at cheap
Why Is Your Ceiling Fan Wobbly?
Before we start learning how to fix a wobbly ceiling fan, we need to know why it wobbles first. If you are not familiar with the reason why something is happening, it is difficult to fix it.
There are some reasons why a ceiling fan can wobble but the main reason is an imbalance. If the weight distribution of one side is a little different from the other side of the fan, the fan will wobble because the centripetal force pulls the side with the heavier weight off-axis.
Just take the example of the wheels on your car. When you get the new tires for your car, they need to be balanced. The reason behind it is that most timers come with an imbalance in them so it is essential to locate the heavies spot of the tire and add some weight to its opposite side in order to balance the tire. If you try to avoid it, it will cause your car to vibrate at different speeds.
It is not about the weight only. The distribution of the weight also has weightage. It is due to the weight at the tip of the blade consuming more power to accelerate as compared to a weight closer to the middle, this results in imbalance. Even though the weight is similar, the torsional forces are unequal from one side to the other.
Apart from the imbalance, some installation points really affect the wobbling. If the wobbling problems are not taken care of properly, it can increase the chances of the problem.
A little wobble can happen so, you do not have to worry about it. A good ceiling fan if properly installed must be stable but if it is wobbling for a long time, don’t be concerned about it. however, if the process just began and especially if it is getting worse, it is time to turn off the fan and determine the problem before something worse happens.
Let’s have a look at the different things you need to inspect in the correct order.
How To Balance a Wobbly Ceiling Fan?
The main reason why a fan wobbles is an imbalance. There are different factors that contribute to it and some causes make the imbalance worse. Here is what you need to inspect and how it can assist you.
The first thing in this order is to clean your fan. ceiling fans are prone to accumulate a bit of dirt on the blades. When the blades get dirty, the dust remains equally same on all the blades which is a bad thing but it will not result in a big imbalance. However, there are a few grams of difference in order to get your fan wobbling.
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At times, bugs leave a liquid on the blades and it can be sufficient to do the job if it happens a few times. Apart from the imbalance, I highly recommend cleaning your ceiling fan. Once a year will be good enough unless you have installed it in a very dusty environment. Dirty ceiling fans also give rise to allergies.
It is not very hard to clean your ceiling fan but if your fan has been running for a long time without cleaning, it will be wise to remove the motor cowling and clean under there too.
To reach the fan blades, use a stable ladder or stool. The ideal way to clean a ceiling fan is with the help of an old pillowcase. If you do not want to do it and do not bother about the dirt and dust falling down, do not use it but it is a good trick. A pillowcase around the blades will get everything and restrict the dust from getting into other areas of your place.
It is a wise decision to use a damp pillowcase that is dipped into the water and mild detergent included. The wet cloth catches all the dirt and dust and the detergent will make the cleaning easier and better. Don’t pull too hard on the ceiling fan when you try to clean it. Use the pillowcase to rub the blades in a way that does not put a load on the mounting hardware.
If the dust has become too stubborn to remove this way, you need to go for some soaking. A sprayable kitchen cleaner works very well but will be too aggressive for some materials. In most cases, just putting a water and detergent mixture in a spray bottle is very effective. After doing so, spray it and wait for a few minutes before you start using the pillowcase and it will do the rest of the work. However, when you spray liquid on fan blades, it increases the risk of some dusty water dripping down so you have to put something right under the fan on the floor to catch anything that falls down.
It’s a wise act to remove the motor shroud and remove any dust buildup there. Cut off the electricity that is supplying power to the fan before you begin the process under the motor shroud and to clean the dust just use a brush. Don’t use any liquids near the motor to keep the fan motor safe.
After cleaning it, let the remaining liquid dry and then switch on the fan to see if it stabilized.
Check for damage
When you are doing this, make sure that there is no damage to the fan blades. There may a little deformation on them which you do not have any idea of.
Additionally, fan blades can warp over time. The chances are very low that all the blades are warped in a similar way. When one blade is warped oppositely to the other, it can upset the distribution of the weight that causes an imbalanced fan that wobbles. Warped blades will also move against the air in a different way so if one blade contains more thrust than the other, it also results in a wobble.
In some cases, you can get a replacement for the blades. However, in most cases when the blades are worn out, it is ideal to purchase a new unit. It is very hard to change the blades on some fans so it is better to get a new fan and the best one.
Also, try to rotate it. check if the blades are spinning smoothly. If the blades are not moving freely, the issue might be with the motor and it is the main culprit. It does not happen often but it is a possibility. In most cases, this will compel you to change the motor or get a new fan.
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If the wobbling of your fan is significant, it will be best to examine it if it is properly installed. If the fan has been installed for a while and it began wobbling suddenly, it will be a concern. If anything got loose, the wobbling will make it worse and make it much looser very easily and rapidly.
- Check the level of the blades to ensure they are level. Measure the distance from the blade tip to the ceiling. (on a flat ceiling). They must be near.
- Inspect that all the blades are properly mounted to the blade holders
- Examine that the blade holders are properly connected to the fan flywheel
- Check if the fan brace or other attachment hardware is still properly secured to the ceiling.
If you are not confident about what to look for, call a professional for this task. Your mind will be at peace and a pro will be able to determine the issue and fix it too. This process will take care of everything professionally and you will be able to turn on your fan without feeling unsafe.
Use Fan Weights
If everything seems to be good to you, and the fan is still wobbly after checking and cleaning it, the next thing to do is: Fan weights. The function of fan weights is similar to the balancing tires. You will locate the heavy side and put a little weight on the opposite blade to balance it. The same rule is applied to almost everything that you want to balance and ceiling fans are one of them.
However, this should not be the first method you need to use because the wobble could be due to an underlying issue such as damage, dirt or installation problems. Firstly, you need to clean the fan blades and inspect the installation before adding any more weight.
A set of fan weights is cheaper compared to buying a new fan and might be cheaper than the installation cost of a new unit. So, if everything is in order, go for this cheap fix, a set of fan weights. Randomly, if you attach weights to the blades, there are very low chances that you get it right. It is because there is a proper way to find out where you need to place the fan weights but it requires some effort and 20 minutes of your time.
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Balancing a Ceiling Fan With a Weight Kit
There are a few things in a balancing kit. They might be different in terms of looks but generally, you will receive a clip and some weights. The little weights usually come with a strip of double sided tape on them so they can be attached to the blades easily.
You can get a fan balancing kit here.
The clips help you to determine which spot you need to put the weights in. The weights are then adjusted in that position on the top of the blades so you cannot see them.
Here is a step by step process for balancing a ceiling fan with weights:
- Firstly, switch on your ceiling fan and find out how bad the wobble is. Use your phone to take a video and it will be helpful to make a comparison after making changes. Taking a video from the same spot will be ideal so you will be able to compare it easily.
- Place the clip on the leading edge of one of the blades. Put it halfway between the tip of the blade and the motor.
- Turn on the ceiling fan and take notice if this made it better or worse. You might want to mark the fan blades especially when there are three blades on your fan because it’s difficult to keep track. Use a pen or marker or some masking tape to make it easy. Write the number of the blade on the tape and you can add marks for if putting the clip on that blade made the wobbling better or worse.
- Replace the clip from one blade to another and find out which blade makes the biggest improvement. Be sure to switch off the fan before changing the clip.
- Now, if you are able to notice the blade placing the clip on makes the biggest improvement, in small increments, start sliding the clip near the tip of the blade. Again, pay attention to it if it is becoming better or worse.
- Find the position where the wobbling is completely removed or as close to it as you can find.
- After that, take a weight, get rid of the backing of the double-sided tape and stick it on the blade. You need to stick the weight on top of the blade. Place it in line with the clip but in the middle of the blade rather than the leading edge.
- If you have a set with different weights, you should begin with the lightest and add more weight if essential or needed.