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How to Tighten a Loose Ceiling Fan

Ceiling fans help cool the air in a home and improve air circulation. If the fan blades or fasteners holding the fan to the mounting bracket come loose, the fan may begin to wobble. More than 1/2 inch of wobbling from side to side is excessive. Loose ceiling fans make a lot of noise and should be tightened as soon as possible.

Loose ceiling fans can be noisy and unsafe.
  1. Set up a ladder beneath the ceiling fan.
  2. Remove the screws holding the housing around the fan's bracket with a screwdriver. Locate the label on the electrical box to see if the box is rated for fans. If you discover that the box is not rated for fans, call a licensed electrician to change out the existing box with an approved ceiling fan box.
  3. Look at the bolts or screws holding the fan to the bracket. Tighten loose screws with a screwdriver and bolts with a socket wrench and the appropriately sized socket. Use a socket extension if the fan blades or ceiling lights are in the way. If you can't see the screws or bolts that hold the fan in place, then you'll need to go up into the attic.
  4. Turn the light on in the attic, or bring a flashlight, and walk across the ceiling joists until you get to the fan. Tighten the screws and bolts. Inspect the bracket that the fan is attached to. Tighten the fasteners that attach the bracket to the ceiling joists. If the fan hangs from a drop rod, inspect the ball joint to ensure it is engaged properly with the mounting bracket. Tighten this if necessary.
  5. Climb up the ladder and measure from the top of each fan blade to the ceiling with a tape measure. If any of the measurements have a difference of 1 inch or more, then the blades may be bent or warped. Remove and replace the damaged blades.

Things You Will Need

  • Ladder
  • Screwdriver (Phillips or flathead)
  • Socket wrench
  • Socket set
  • Socket extension (optional)
  • Tape measure

Tips

  • Contact the fan manufacturer if you can't find anything wrong with the loose fan.
  • If your ceiling fan was attached to a normal electrical box, instead of a mounting bracket especially designed for fans, then the entire fan will need to be removed so that the proper brackets can be installed. Call a professional licensed and insured electrician to do this work.

Warning

  • Always turn off the electric breaker for the fan in the fuse box before attempting any repairs. Failure to do this may result in electric shock or death.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images