How to Stop a Ceiling Fan From Shaking

Pamela Gardapee

If you notice that your ceiling fan is shaking, chances are good that it needs some adjustments that will stop the shaking. The ceiling fan can become unstable after years of use or if it was not properly installed. Shaking is the common complaint.

However, there is a way to stop a ceiling fan from shaking without having to buy a new one. The process is easier than replacing the fan.

Tightening the Blades

  1. Tighten the fan blades with a screwdriver. The blades may have come loose or may not have been properly tightened when the ceiling fan was installed.

  2. Take each blade and wiggle it. If the blade feels loose, use a screwdriver to tighten the screws holding the blades to the brackets attached to the fan base.

  3. Test the fan by turning it on. If the shaking is still present, move on to Section 2.

Aligning the Blades

  1. Use a tape measure to make sure that the blades are aligned. Place the tip of the tape measure on the ceiling and bring the other end of the tape measure down to the first blade.

  2. Look at the measurement on the tape measure to see where the first blade measures. Gently and slowly, bring the next blade around to the tape measure. Note if the blade meets the same measurement as the first one and continue on to the rest.

  3. See if any blades are more than 1/4 inch off. If one is, you will need to gently bend up or down on that blade depending on the measurement. Sometimes the blades get bent slightly if you bump them or pull on the blades too hard when cleaning them.

  4. Run the fan to see if Step 3 solved the shaking problem. If the fan still shakes, move to Section 3.

Balance the Blades

  1. Use a balancing kit, which you can buy at any home improvement store, to make sure that the blades are level. Turn on the fan. Pull the speed control switch to test the different speeds to see which speed causes the most shaking.

  2. Leave the control switch on the speed setting that is causing the most shaking and turn off the fan.

  3. Slide the clip from the kit on the tip of one fan blade. Turn on the fan to see if that fixed the problem or made it worse. Do this for each blade until you find the blade that decreases the shaking a little bit. This will be the blade that needs to be balanced.

  4. Move the clip around on the blade that causes the shaking until you find the spot that stops the shake. Continue moving the clip and turning the fan on and off. When you find the place that eliminates the shaking, place one of the self-sticking weights on the fan blade in the same spot as the clip. Remove the clip and turn on the fan. If a little shake persists, add another weight and turn on the fan again.


Sometimes you might need a little more weight, but the weight you have is too heavy. Use a small piece of duct tape and tape a penny or a dime to the fan blade as a weight instead.