How to Install and Replace a Ceiling Fan Capacitor

Install a Ceiling Fan: Step-by-Step

If you are unable to get a person who is qualified to install your new ceiling fan, then this quick guide will allow you to learn the basics of the installation. Please be aware that you are going to be handling electrical devices and all safety precautions should be adhered to during the process. If your ceiling fan unit comes with an installation guide, be sure to consult the manual for specific information. Please follow the steps below on how to install a ceiling fan.

1. Choose The Right Location

Most likely, you already have the ideal spot to install your ceiling fan, and hopefully, you have already supplied the necessary electrical wiring throughout your house in order to reach the exact destination in which your fan will be placed. If you have not, then you should consult with an electrician or expert who is qualified to do the job.

2. Make Sure That the Blade Has Enough Space to Spin

One of the most important aspects of choosing the right location for your new ceiling fan is to thoroughly test the clearance for the fan blade size that your fan model will be using. A simple method can be used to do this by taking the total measurement from the floor up to your ceiling. Then subtract the distance that your fan will take up from the ceiling connector to the bottom of the unit. Anything over 7 feet is ideal. Anything lower than 7 feet can be a hazard and is considered extremely dangerous.

3. Mounting The Fan Unit

First, be sure that all power is turned off. This goes for the unit as well as the electrical power in your room. To be on the safe side, you can even shut the power off from the main circuit breaker.

Next, you’re going to cut a large hole in the center of your room ceiling (where your fan will be installed) which will have the ‘junction box’ put in. If your junction box cannot be slipped inside and is beside the joist, then you’ll have to drill the appropriate holes and screw the box into the joist.

Finally, you must use the appropriate tools to mount the fan to your ceiling. This will depend specifically upon the ceiling fan that you purchased. The beam mount that you will use will depend entirely on whether you are mounting your fan to a horizontal beam or a vertical beam.

4. Time to Assemble the Fan

Now, it is time to assemble your ceiling fan unit. Every system may be different from one another. Therefore, it is important that you check specifically with the brand that you are installing. However, all ceiling fans will have a hanger pipe that is secured on top of the fan motor, which is held in place by tightly secured screws.

Next, you will attach the blades of your fan to the motor unit. This should be a simple process and is often secured by tightening screws that loop through the blades and into the motor. Be sure not to tighten the screws too tight as it can damage the threads.

You now want to mount your fan to its junction box. You’ll need the appropriate assembling screws and washers that should come with the unit. The fan should be easily slipped into the box, and the holes perfectly lined up. It is also much easier if you have someone to help assist you by holding up the fan while you are tightening up the bolts.

Once it is completed, the last part is to wire the fan unit and then slide its cover over the wire bracket. Depending on what unit you have, the manufacturer has supplied specific wiring instructions.

How to Replace A Ceiling Fan Capacitor: Step-By-Step

1. Shut off Power

Shut off all the power to the area. Never try to remove the fan when the electricity is still on.

2. Find the Capacitor

Next, open the fan and find the capacitor, it is usually located in the switch housing under the blades and above the light kit. Be sure to open the fan. If your ceiling fan contains a lighting kit, you will need to remove the kit before opening the bottom part of the switch housing. Find the switch to the pull chain and simply trace the wires back into the fan. The majority of the wires will go to a black box (the capacitor) with wires coming out of it.

3. Remove the Capacitor

There are two ways to remove the capacitor. The best and fastest way is to simply snip all wires, leaving about 1-inch of wire extruding from the capacitor. When you get the new capacitor, you will simply attach it with wire nuts. A more difficult way requires you to unplug each wire from the pull chain switch.

A simple household paper clip (preferably a large one) will do the trick. Just straighten it and poke the end into the switch, which will release it. Stick it in right next to the place where the wire enters the switch itself. Doing so will permit the wire to be released from the switch itself. It is important that you note down which wire you unplugged from which position on the switch.

4. Replacement Parts

A reliable supplier should be able to provide you with an exact replacement part, making it easy for you to match up the wire colors. If you chose the easy option in step four (the one that involved cutting the wires), all you will need to do is match the color wires and attach each with a wire nut.

If you chose the more challenging alternative in step 4 above, and unplugged each wire from the switch, then your next step is to plug these wires into their correct positions on the new switch. Re-install your light kit or switch housing cover and your job is done.


Now that you can see how simple it is to replace a ceiling fan capacitor, don’t rush out to buy a new fan if yours stops working, quality ceiling fans can be maintained. You can enjoy a fully functioning ceiling fan rather quickly with these steps — it’s fast, simple, and inexpensive.

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