How to Tell If a Ceiling Fan Is Broken

Like any appliance, ceiling fans wear out and eventually have to be replaced.

When a ceiling fan is broken, it means it does not operate correctly. Some ceiling fans become broken beyond repair and need to be replaced. This particularly applies to fans with burned-out motors. Other ceiling fans can be fixed if only part of the fan is broken. A broken fan can be a safety (or fire) hazard. Look (or listen) for some obvious signs that a fan is broken.

Check for electrical problems if the ceiling fan does not turn or does not make any noise at all. If it's not an electrical problem, the fan almost certainly has to be replaced,

Notice if the fan produces a burning smell. A fan that smells may very well have a motor and ball bearings that are permanently damaged.

Look to see if the blades turn normally. Blades that turn very slowly, or take longer than usual to begin to spin, are signs the motor and the fan are probably broken beyond repair.

Listen for clicking or scraping noises. The source of the noises can be the result of many things, including a broken (or bent) blade. A blade that is warped can also create a noise and cause the fan to shake badly.

Look to see if the fan has a severe wobble or shake. Some of these problems can be corrected by balancing the blades, but they can also indicate part of the fan is broken.

Listen for a humming noise. A humming noise will often go away on its own, or could indicate a problem with the fan's motor.

Know that some ceiling fans are "lemons'' like any other appliances. Fans can be broken in transit and simply need to be replaced.

About the Author

John Smith is a writer with over 30 years experience. He has worked at a newspaper, various magazines and websites, and he has interests in a wide range of subjects including sports, politics and entertainment. Smith earned a bachelor's degree in history from the College of New Jersey.