If you’re feeling particularly handy and adventurous, installing a ceiling fan should only take a couple of hours if you’re equipped with the right tools and know-how. However, it is best to have a friend assist you especially for some extra lifting power at the end to attach your fan! If this is not something you are comfortable with, you can always hire a contractor/electrician to help you out.
Read on and decide for yourself.
If you already have an electrical outlet in your ceiling (usually for lighting), you can get straight to work with the 10 steps below:
Part 1: Safety First
STEP 1: Turn off the power
Shut off the circuit breaker that connects to the switch and electrical outlet.
- You may find several pairs of wires in the electrical outlet or box. One would be the wire that you will use for the fan, and the others may be connected to the circuit
- If you have a light fixture or bulb in the outlet, turn on the switch to check if you have turned off the correct circuit breaker
- Check the wires again with a circuit or voltage tester to make sure they are completely off after removing any lighting fixture or bulb and changing the wall switch
Better still, turn off all the power in your house before you begin anything. Again, use a circuit tester to check the electrical wires.
Part 2: Remove old and unnecessary fixtures and other items
STEP 2: Remove cover and bulbs from the fixture
Remove the screws or nuts holding the fixture base to the ceiling’s electrical box and remove the old cover and bulb that you are replacing with the ceiling fan.
STEP 3: Lower the fixture base and remove any electrical tape or wire nuts
Normally, wires come in two or three colours: black (hot), white (neutral) and, sometimes, green (ground) wires.
STEP 4: Remove the existing electrical box and disconnect the wires from it
Loosen the cable clamp screws on the box. Then slowly remove the box, working from above, if possible.
Remove any type of nails or screws used to attach the box to the framing. You can try pushing it up a little into the cavity to slowly pry it from the frame.
Part 3: Install a Mounting Fixture to Support Your Fan
STEP 5: Assemble a “fan brace”/”hanging bar” and attach a ceiling fan electrical box
Ceiling fans are very heavy – the standard electrical box for your lighting fixture is not strong enough to hold the additional weight and vibration of the fan. Buy a “fan brace” or “hanging bar”, and also a special electrical box made to hold the weight of fans. Some manufacturers might include these with your fan package, so check what’s in your box before purchasing a separate set at the store.
Some braces are available separately from the electrical box. There are also models available that combines them both as a single item.
STEP 6: Remove the existing electrical box and install the brace
Your manufacturer should provide directions on how to install the adjustable fan brace/hanger bar and electrical box onto the ceiling. Most braces are adjustable and can be easily inserted through the hole in the ceiling. Move it around to feel where the ceiling joists are – roughly position it to be perpendicular to the joists.
Slowly rotate and adjust for the brace to expand until the sharp steel pins fix firmly into the wooden joists.
After ensuring that the brace is secure, fix your new electrical box on to the brace and lock it in place.
If you have a different type of fan brace other than the adjustable version, check with your store for installation details.
Part 4: Assemble Your Ceiling Fan
STEP 7: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to assemble the fan
Ceiling fans are very heavy – if your model does not have a suspension system, get a friend to help support the fan while you attach the wires. Wiring schemes differ slightly in different models, depending on whether they are light- or speed-controlled.
The basic installation of a ceiling fan is the same as a standard light fixture. Use the wire nuts to attach the fan’s wires to the matching wires in the new electrical box: black to black (or coloured wire), white to white, green to green (ground or bare wire)
STEP 8: Attach the fan blades to the motor & canopy main body
Check the instructions on installing the fan blades, whether to fix them before or after you attach the fan motor to the ceiling.
STEP 9: Attach fan to ceiling (almost there!)
Attach the assembled fan to the electrical box in the ceiling, normally you would follow this order: Fan motor and canopy, followed by the fan blades.
Mission Accomplished: Turn It On!
STEP 10: You’re done. Turn on the power, kick back, relax and enjoy your new ceiling fan.
Kaodim has a list of professional contractors and electricians who can help you out with repairs and installations in your home. Consult one today whether you’re in Kuala Lumpur, Klang Valley, Johor Bahru or Penang!