How to Install a Ceiling Fan Where No Fixture Exists

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Prepare the hanging ball

Slip the collar cover, then the canopy over the do

Slip the collar cover, then the canopy over the downrod. Slide the ball over the downrod and push the pin through both sets of holes, then lift the ball over the pin and tighten the set screw.

Install a new ceiling fan mounting box: electrical box and a ceiling fan wiring hanger bracket

Feed the existing wire through the cable clamp in

Feed the existing wire through the cable clamp in the top of the new metal ceiling fan junction box, slip the box over the saddle screws, and tighten the nuts to clamp the box to the shaft with a nut driver or a deep-well socket. Crimp a loop of grounding wire three-quarters around the grounding screw and tighten the screw.

STEP 4: Connect the ceiling fan wires

Photo: istockphoto.com

Carefully pull the wires through the knockout hole in the receptacle box. A handy pair of needle-nose pliers can help. Then, attach the fan’s mounting bracket with the hardware included. Attach the fan’s down rod with the ball end toward the ceiling, and secure (usually with an included cotter pin).

Next, connect the fan’s wires to the circuit wires: white to white, black to black, and the grounding wire to the green lead wire of the fan or a grounding screw. Secure all connections with wire connectors, and tuck them into the ceiling box.

How to Install a Ceiling Fan

1. Remove the Existing Light Fixture

  • Make sure electricity to circuit is turned off and carefully remove the glass shade or globe from the old light fixture.
  • Unscrew the retaining nut or screws that hold the fixture to the ceiling.
  • Lower the fixture and disconnect the wires by twisting off the plastic connectors from the ends of the wires.

2. Remove Box and Cut New Hole

  • Remove the old electrical box from the ceiling. If it’s nailed to a joist, pry it free with a flat bar. If it’s suspended from a bar, you may have to take off a metal plate to unscrew the box; then pry the bar from the joists.
  • Hold a 1/2-inch-thick pancake box against the ceiling, centered on a joist, and trace around it with a pencil.
  • Cut along the line with a drywall saw.

Tip: Hold a vacuum cleaner wand next to the saw to catch the dust.

3. Attach New Electrical Box

  • Feed the electrical cable coming from the ceiling through the knockout hole in the pancake box. (Be sure there’s a cable connector attached to the knockout hole.)
  • Set the box into the hole cut through the ceiling and press it tight against the underside of the joist.
  • Attach the box to the joist with the two 1 1/2-inch No. 10 hex-head screws provided. Drive in the screws with a drill/driver equipped with a 5/16-inch nut-driver tip.
  • Wrap the cable’s bare copper wire around the grounding screw inside the box. Allow the wire end to hang down.

4. Glue on the Ceiling Medallion

  • Apply a small bead of urethane-based adhesive to the back of the ceiling medallion.
  • Pass the wires through the medallion (above).
  • Center the medallion on the pancake box and press. Fasten it with four 6d finishing nails driven into the joist.
  • Set the nailheads and fill with caulk or spackle.

5. Mount the Ceiling Plate

  • Hold the fan’s metal ceiling plate up to the pancake box and pull the wires through its center hole.
  • Attach the ceiling plate to the box with two 1 1/2-inch-long 10-32 machine screws.

Tip: If you’re going to paint the medallion, do it before installing the ceiling plate.

6. Assemble the Fan Components

  • With the fan on the floor, feed the wires coming from the motor through the center of the canopy. Set the canopy on top of the motor.
  • Next, pass the wires through the hollow down-rod pipe.
  • Thread the down-rod pipe into the top of the motor. Use a wrench to tighten the square-head locking screw on the side of the pipe.

Tip: The pipe’s threads have a factory-applied coating. Don’t remove this coating; it keeps the pipe from unscrewing.

7. Make the Wire Connections

  • Hook one side of the canopy onto the ceiling plate.
  • Using twist-on wire connectors, join the two green wires to the bare copper wire coming from the cable. (If your room is wired differently from the one shown here, consult a licensed electrician.)
  • Join the two white wires.
  • Then connect the two black wires.
  • Swing the fan up into position against the medallion and secure it with the two canopy screws.

8. Attach the Blades and Lights

  • Attach each fan blade to a blade iron (the bracket that holds the blade to the fan). Then, fasten the blade irons to the motor with the screws provided.
  • Plug the fan’s light-fixture housing into the wire hanging from the underside of the fan’s motor.
  • Install the shades and lightbulbs.
  • Screw the plastic holder for the remote control to the wall beside the wall switch.

1. Powered Ceiling Fan and/or Light Without Any Switches (NoSwitches)

We recommend this method when you simply cannot run a switch into the room. It does require that you have the ability to bring power directly to the fan from a nearby location. It’s certainly an acceptable wiring method and the fans all come with pull string switches to control the fans and light kits. Wiring this type of electrical connection looks like this:

As you can see, this simple connection feeds power to both the fan and (optional) light kit. The ground and neutral wires simply get tied together as you’d expect. The power for the fan motor will typically be black, while most modern-day fans also have a separate blue wire that supplies power to the lights. It’s important to connect this wire even if you don’t plan on using a light kit as it gives the homeowner the opportunity to add one later on without having to remove and rewire the fan from above.

Final Thoughts

Replacing a ceiling light with a new ceiling fan is a fairly easy DIY project. After selecting the new ceiling fan based on the room’s size and design preferences, and then gathering all of the needed supplies and tools, it’s an interior design update that can typically be completed in an afternoon.

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Follow the manufacturer’s directions to install the adjustable hanger bar and ceiling box



You install most hanger bars by pushing them thr

You install most hanger bars by pushing them through the hole in the ceiling left by the old electrical box. When you have the hanger bar completely through the hole, rotate it until it’s perpendicular to the ceiling joists. The bar expands until it engages the ceiling joists. The ends of the hanger bar are equipped with sharp steel pins that dig into the wood joists when the hanger bar is expanded. You then attach the special ceiling box to the hanger bar, locking it in place to provide a secure base for the fan.

Project details

Skill

1 out of 5 Easy Somewhat easy. It takes a bit of work to install a fan-approved electrical box, but the ceiling-fan assembly and installation are very straightforward.

Cost

$50 to over $350, depending on size and features of the ceiling fan

Thats All, Folks!

Hopefully, this guide will get you on your way to installing a ceiling fan and making all of the required electrical connections to get it up and running smoothly. A ceiling fan makes a great addition to almost any room. It’s one of the easiest projects to complete and really makes an impact in your home. It can also make you look and feel like a real handyman.

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