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How to Shorten a Ceiling Fan

Kevin McDermott

Ceiling fans can be attached to the ceiling in one of two ways; the default method being to "flush-mount"it (meaning, putting the fan housing directly against the ceiling). Fans can also hang down from the ceiling on a "down-rod" that is installed between the fan housing and the ceiling. If your fan has a down-rod that is it too low, you can simply adjust it by removing the rod, and reinstalling the fan without it.

  1. Turn off the power to the existing ceiling fan at the house fuse box by unscrewing and removing the fuse. If the system uses circuit breakers instead of fuses, turn off the circuit breaker.

  2. Climb up your stepladder and remove the blades from the fan by taking out the screws and washers with a screwdriver that is appropriate for the type of screws located on the blades. Set the blades aside, along with the screws and washers.

  3. Using the appropriate screwdriver bit, take down the fan by removing the screws that are holding the top of the down-rod to the mounting bracket that is mounted to the electrical box. Disconnect the two wire connections between the fan and electrical box and untwist the wire caps from them in a counterclockwise direction. Pull the fan unit away completely, leaving a black and a white wire hanging from the ceiling. Leave the fan's mounting bracket in place on the ceiling.

  4. Remove the down-rod from the fan's housing by unscrewing the screws holding it there. This should leave two long wires coming out of the housing, one black and one white. If the fan includes a light, then there will also be a blue wire.

  5. Tuck all the wires in the fan housing, where the down-rod was attached, so that just the bare ends are sticking out.

  6. Reinstall the fan unit (minus the down-rod). Hold it close to the electrical box and attach the white wire from the unit to the white wire from the box by holding the two wire ends next to each other and twisting a wire cap around both of them in a clockwise direction. Do the same for the black wires from the fan and the box. If there is a blue wire, attach it together with the two black wires, with the wire cap going over all three wires at once.

  7. Mount the fan unit (the top of which was previously attached to the down-rod) directly to the mounting bracket, tucking the wire connections up inside the electrical box. Using your screwdriver, secure the fan unit to the bracket with the screws that previously connected the down-rod to the bracket.

  8. Turn the power back on at the house fuse box to make sure the fan motor is working properly. Be sure to turn the power off before reinstalling the blades, using the same screws and washers you removed earlier.