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  1. AndyAndy says

    Hi Mark – My ceiling fan needs repair. Searched your site and found your article and video on installing new one. That’s now my fallback. Per the picture I just sent, the fan blade assembly has “fallen” from the fixture and does not engage with the rotor/turning thing. I cannot see any way to reattach it! Any thoughts??


    • MarkMark says

      Hmm… Not obvious to me either, from this photo. I wouldn’t sleep under that, though! If it’s of any help at all, I’ll give you a gut feeling based on past experience: I suspect you can probably reattach that. But… if you have to disassemble a ~10-12 (?) year old fan, figure out how to fix it mechanically (if practical), and then reassemble and test… Is it really worth it? I’d start with the manufacturer. Perhaps send them this very photo. Could the unit (given this specific failure) be under warranty, potentially?



Attach the hanger bracket

Position the hanger bracket so that the opening in

Position the hanger bracket so that the opening in the bracket is on the uphill side of the sloped ceiling. Then screw it into the box with the special screws provided with the fan brace.

Pull the ceiling fan wiring into the new box, mount the box onto the brace (Photo 4) and attach the fan hanger bracket (Photo 5).

4.  Separate connected ceiling fan wiring

With downrod fans, you’ll need to remove the canopy first. Then you can begin removing the wire nuts and disconnecting the fan wires from the house wires. If your ceiling fan has a remote receiver wired in the canopy, be sure to remove the wire nuts and disconnect the remote receiver wires from the fan and ceiling. 

Once you remove the light and blades from your low-profile fans, you can remove the canopy to begin disconnecting the wires from the fan, ceiling, and any remote receiver. Low profile ceiling fans often attach to the mounting bracket from a hinge on one side that you can rest the fan, making it easier for you to use both hands for unwiring the ceiling fan.

NOTE: If you are uncomfortable with the wiring portion of removing a ceiling fan, consult with a certified, professional electrician.

Wire the fan, fan light and switch

Connect ceiling fan wiring at the fan: Know your ceiling fan wire colors

This is what you need to know about ceiling fan wi

This is what you need to know about ceiling fan wire colors: Connect the bare ground wire from the box to the green ground wire on the bracket with a wire connector. Connect the white neutral wire from the motor to the neutral wire from the box. Connect the blue and black wire from the motor to the black hot wire from the box and neatly fold them into the box.

Project details


1 out of 5 Easy Somewhat easy. It takes a bit of work to install a fan-approved electrical box, but the ceiling-fan assembly and installation are very straightforward.


$50 to over $350, depending on size and features of the ceiling fan

3. Install the ceiling bracket

Now it’s time to install pieces of the new fan. First up is the ceiling bracket. Use the screws that come with the new fan, and secure it into the holes on the electrical box.

Bring the wires from the ceiling through the center hole. In our case, that was one white wire and one yellow wire (plus the green one on the ceiling bracket).

5. Attach canopy and wires

Bring your assembled fan base up to the ceiling, and hook it into the ceiling bracket. Most new fans have a feature that allows you to rest the fan on the bracket so you don’t have to hold the weight while connecting the wires. This will save you some serious arm pain!

Once the fan is secure, connect your wires. We had three sets of wires to account for: wires from the ceiling, wires from the fan, and wires from the receiver inside the fan (which lets us use a remote control).

First, we connected the ground wires from the ceiling, fan and ceiling bracket. Next, we connected the wires for the remote control — yellow to black, blue to blue. Finally, we connected the neutral wires (white to white) and hot wires (black to yellow).

Note: The wire colors may be different depending on your fan model and the wires in your ceiling.

Use the wire caps to create secure connections. You don’t want any wires slipping out when you push it all up into the ceiling, so it’s important to really twist on those wire caps.

We then tucked the wires neatly into the ceiling a

We then tucked the wires neatly into the ceiling and screwed the canopy’s base into place.

How to Install a Ceiling Fan

1. Remove the Existing Light Fixture

  • Make sure electricity to circuit is turned off and carefully remove the glass shade or globe from the old light fixture.
  • Unscrew the retaining nut or screws that hold the fixture to the ceiling.
  • Lower the fixture and disconnect the wires by twisting off the plastic connectors from the ends of the wires.

2. Remove Box and Cut New Hole

  • Remove the old electrical box from the ceiling. If it’s nailed to a joist, pry it free with a flat bar. If it’s suspended from a bar, you may have to take off a metal plate to unscrew the box; then pry the bar from the joists.
  • Hold a 1/2-inch-thick pancake box against the ceiling, centered on a joist, and trace around it with a pencil.
  • Cut along the line with a drywall saw.

Tip: Hold a vacuum cleaner wand next to the saw to catch the dust.

3. Attach New Electrical Box

  • Feed the electrical cable coming from the ceiling through the knockout hole in the pancake box. (Be sure there’s a cable connector attached to the knockout hole.)
  • Set the box into the hole cut through the ceiling and press it tight against the underside of the joist.
  • Attach the box to the joist with the two 1 1/2-inch No. 10 hex-head screws provided. Drive in the screws with a drill/driver equipped with a 5/16-inch nut-driver tip.
  • Wrap the cable’s bare copper wire around the grounding screw inside the box. Allow the wire end to hang down.

4. Glue on the Ceiling Medallion

  • Apply a small bead of urethane-based adhesive to the back of the ceiling medallion.
  • Pass the wires through the medallion (above).
  • Center the medallion on the pancake box and press. Fasten it with four 6d finishing nails driven into the joist.
  • Set the nailheads and fill with caulk or spackle.

5. Mount the Ceiling Plate

  • Hold the fan’s metal ceiling plate up to the pancake box and pull the wires through its center hole.
  • Attach the ceiling plate to the box with two 1 1/2-inch-long 10-32 machine screws.

Tip: If you’re going to paint the medallion, do it before installing the ceiling plate.

6. Assemble the Fan Components

  • With the fan on the floor, feed the wires coming from the motor through the center of the canopy. Set the canopy on top of the motor.
  • Next, pass the wires through the hollow down-rod pipe.
  • Thread the down-rod pipe into the top of the motor. Use a wrench to tighten the square-head locking screw on the side of the pipe.

Tip: The pipe’s threads have a factory-applied coating. Don’t remove this coating; it keeps the pipe from unscrewing.

7. Make the Wire Connections

  • Hook one side of the canopy onto the ceiling plate.
  • Using twist-on wire connectors, join the two green wires to the bare copper wire coming from the cable. (If your room is wired differently from the one shown here, consult a licensed electrician.)
  • Join the two white wires.
  • Then connect the two black wires.
  • Swing the fan up into position against the medallion and secure it with the two canopy screws.

8. Attach the Blades and Lights

  • Attach each fan blade to a blade iron (the bracket that holds the blade to the fan). Then, fasten the blade irons to the motor with the screws provided.
  • Plug the fan’s light-fixture housing into the wire hanging from the underside of the fan’s motor.
  • Install the shades and lightbulbs.
  • Screw the plastic holder for the remote control to the wall beside the wall switch.

The Drip Cap

  • While most ceiling fans come pre-packaged with a down rod, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the down rod is sized right for your room.
  • Remove the screws that secure the ceiling fan’s canopy to the mounting bracket and let the canopy slide down the down rod.
  • Lift the ceiling fan to unseat it.
  • ( Look at the base of the down rod for a pin and clip system that holds the down rod in place.
  • Take the new rod and slide the ball joint onto it.


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