Got a New Ceiling Fan? Here’s How to Install it

You don’t necessarily need a professional to install your new ceiling fan for you — these tips will help you accomplish the task on your own.

Ceiling fans are a wonderful way to keep cool in the summer months, and they can keep your electricity bill lower, too. If you’re looking to complete the installation project on your own, here’s our tips to help you along.

Safety First

You’ll want to protect yourself against any injuries or accidental damage to your home, so before starting the project, take the following precautions:

  • Read through the manufacturer’s instructions for installation because it may have product-specific installation or safety information you need to know, plus you’ll have a good sense of the steps needed.
  • Make sure that the outlet box can support the weight of the fan, and that all the electrical connections comply with local standards.
  • Before doing any electrical work, ensure that the power is shut off at your circuit breaker box.

Take Out the Old Fixture

  • With the electricity shut off, remove any glass shades from your old fixture first.
  • Unscrew any fasteners holding the fixture to the ceiling, and carefully lower it.
  • Disconnect the electrical wires, by removing the plastic connectors from the ends.
  • Remove the old electrical box by unscrewing the fasteners, then pull it out through the opening.

Mount the New Electrical Box

  • Start by inserting a fan brace though the open hole, in a centered position, and rotate the support brace until perfectly locked into place. If the brace doesn’t fit, you may need to carefully saw a larger hole in your ceiling. Have a vacuum nearby to pick up any fallen debris.
  • Attach the provided U-bolt over the brace, using screws, then thread the electrical wire into the box. Move the box upwards, so that the bolts above attach to it, and secure it in place by tightening the nuts.

Attach the Bracket

  • The bracket is what connects your new fan to the box above. You’ll want to pay special attention to manufacturer instructions here, making sure to pull the electrical wires through the center before setting it in place. Some models may simply have a ceiling medallion to be glued, while some may need to be screwed in more elaborately.

Assemble the Rest

  • Grab your new canopy, motor, and downrod. While on a flat surface, feed the motor’s wires through the canopy, so that it rests loosely on top of the motor, then string it through the downrod pipe.
  • Attach the downrod to the motor, using the manufacturer’s instructions.

Connect the Wires

  • Find a way to rest the ceiling fan near the electrical box while you work — a friend could help you hold it, or you might be able to use a hook on the mounting bracket.
  • Connect each wire on your fan to the electrical box above, matching color to color (black wires should only connect to black wires, etc.) You may need to trim some of the insulation to link them and then finish with a wire nut, and make sure you connect the grounding wire appropriately.
  • Once everything’s connected, secure the fan into place, and attach it to the mounting bracket.

Attach the Bulb and Fan Blades

  • The last step is to assemble your fan blades, according to the manufacturer’s guide, and then fasten them to the motor. Some fans are designated as easy assembly, so keep an eye out for that if you want a simpler installation.
  • Twist in the lightbulb, then flip the power switch back on from the breaker and test your handiwork. The lights should be on, and the fan should be spinning smoothly.

Photo credit: antoniodiaz/Shutterstock

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