Removing an old or faulty ceiling fan is a common DIY project for homeowners. While the process may seem daunting, it can be easily accomplished with proper planning and by following safety precautions.
In this comprehensive guide, I will walk you through the complete process of removing different types of ceiling fans – flush mount and downrod. I will also provide tips to make the project smooth and hassle-free.
Things to Know Before Removing a Ceiling Fan
Here are some key things to keep in mind:
Turn off power supply – This is crucial for safety. Turn off the circuit breaker for the fan before starting.
Use a ladder – Have a sturdy ladder ready to reach the ceiling fan safely. Don’t overreach.
Remove fan components – Blade, light kit and other attachments need to be dismantled first.
Disconnect wires – Separate the fan wires from supply wires and cap them.
Unmount mounting bracket – The fan is secured to a mounting bracket that needs removing.
Seek help if needed – Get assistance to hold ladder or lower heavy fan components.
- Turn off power at the breaker, not just the wall switch
- Verify power is off by testing with a voltage tester
- Use fibreglass ladder for electrical work
- Don’t install replacement fan on damaged ceiling
- Cap all wires to prevent sparks or shocks
What You’ll Need
- Voltage tester
- Wire cutters
- Replacement wire nuts
- Electrical tape
Follow these steps to remove a ceiling fan smoothly and safely:
1. Turn Off Power
The first step is to shut off power to the ceiling fan at the main breaker panel. If you don’t know which breaker controls the fan, turn off the main breaker.
Verify power is off by switching the fan on at the wall switch. Use a voltage tester on the wires to be completely sure.
2. Inspect Fan Type
Determine if you have a flush mount or downrod style ceiling fan:
- Flush mount – Fan mounted flush to ceiling
- Downrod – Fan hangs down from the ceiling on a rod
This will impact how you dismantle it.
3. Remove Fan Blades
Use a screwdriver to detach the fan blades from the motor assembly. Removing blades will give you better access.
- Remove screws attaching blade arm to motor
- Detach blade and keep hardware aside
- Repeat process for all blades
4. Remove Light Kit
If your fan has a light kit, remove it next:
- Take out light bulbs
- Remove light kit mounting screws
- Disconnect wiring to light kit
- Set aside light kit and bulbs carefully
5. Disconnect Wiring
Now disconnect the supply and fan wires:
- Remove wire nuts connecting wires
- Separate supply and fan wires
- Cap the ends of supply wires with new wire nuts
6. Dismantle Flush Mount Fan
For flush mount fans:
- Remove canopy screws and lower canopy
- Allow fan to hang from the hinge
- Disconnect remaining wires and safety chain
- Lift fan off the hinge and down from ceiling
7. Dismantle Downrod Fan
For downrod style ceiling fans:
- Remove canopy by taking out securing screws
- Disconnect remaining wires as above
- Remove clevis pin and loosen downrod
- Carefully slide fan down the downrod
8. Remove Mounting Bracket
Finally, remove the fan mounting bracket:
- Take out screws securing bracket to ceiling
- Detach bracket and keep aside
- Replace ceiling electrical box cover
Tips for Ceiling Fan Removal
Follow these tips for smooth and easy ceiling fan removal:
- Use a step ladder for flush mount fans
- For downrod fans, use an extension ladder
- Have someone assist you in holding ladder and fan
- Work slowly and carefully
- Take pictures before dismantling as reference
- Keep all hardware and components safely
When to Call an Electrician
Consider calling a professional electrician if:
- You don’t feel comfortable working with electrical wiring
- The fan is too high up to reach safely
- Fan or wiring is damaged and needs repair
- You are unsure of which wires or circuits to disconnect
- Ceiling requires repairs before installing new fan
What to Do with Old Ceiling Fan
If the old ceiling fan is still functional, you have a few options:
- Sell it online or donate to thrift store
- Give it away on local classifieds and community apps
- Repurpose it in another room like porch or garage
- Keep as spare or for parts
Here are the key steps to safely remove a ceiling fan:
- Turn off power and verify
- Inspect fan type
- Remove blades
- Detach light kit
- Disconnect wires
- Dismantle fan assembly
- Unmount bracket
- Get help if needed
How to Remove a Ceiling Fan | The Home Depot
How do you remove a ceiling fan from the ceiling?