How to Fix a Fan That Won’t Spin

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Updated July 21, 2022

If you are new to the world of indoor cooling, you may wonder how to fix a fan that won’t spin. Many of the best fans, after all, are susceptible to maintenance and repair issues with prolonged use. So how do you tackle the issue of a fan not spinning? Keep reading to find out.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • There are a number of reasons why a fan would stop spinning, but your first step should be to make sure it is receiving power.
  • After that, look into the ceiling fan motor housing and check out the capacitor, replacing the component if necessary.
  • Other issues can cause a fan to stop spinning, including torn wires, a missing wire nut, frozen ball bearings, and bricked fan motors.

Fixing a Fan That Won’t Spin

What is a fan, and what repair issues do consumers run into? There are many kinds of fans out there if you are wondering how fans work, with many unique repair issues, including those that impact spin. There is no universal fix here, as it largely depends on your fan design and the root cause of the issue, which is similar to when learning how to fix a squeaky ceiling fan.

Insider Tip

It is a good practice to clean your fan every one to three months, no matter the type of fan you have.

With that said, if you learned how to change a fan speed and the blades still aren’t spinning, here are some troubleshooting tips to try. As a note, these tips go above and beyond, say, learning how to oil a ceiling fan.

Check the Power

No matter what type of fan you have, from a ceiling fan to a tower fan and beyond, your first troubleshooting step is to check the power. Start by making sure the fan is plugged in (no judgment if not.) Next, head to the circuit breaker box and turn on the fuse associated with the fan. If necessary, replace the fuse to get things going again. Once you are sure that the issue does not pertain to your power grid, you can move on to other steps.

Replace the Blown Motor Capacitor

A fan’s motor capacitor tells the motor what speed to spin at, so a faulty capacitor is a likely culprit if these blades won’t spin at all. This is a crucial but tough fix to perform on your own. In other words, do some research but hire a pro for the heavy lifting, as the replacement procedure involves dislodging the motor housing and performing some delicate electrical work. Once you open the housing, however, a blown capacitor is easy to spot, as it will look melted or burnt.

Hire a Pro

There are other potential causes, such as frayed wires, a broken flywheel, frozen ball bearings, and more. A qualified professional will get to the bottom of these issues to make your fan blades spin once again.

STAT: You can even use a floor or table fan on a low setting to help circulate heat in the wintertime — a particularly effective method for making a pellet or wood stove work harder in your home. (source)

Fixing a Fan that Won’t Spin FAQs

What to do if you have a wobbly ceiling fan?

Wobbly ceiling fans are all too common, which is not a problem you have with an air conditioner. To address the problem, shut the power off at the circuit breaker and power supply, look for any loose wires, and clean the blades.

What to do if your ceiling fan is noisy or humming?

If your fan is making a humming sound or a squeaky sound during use,e clean the blades, cover up any obvious tears or cracks with electrical tape and tighten screws surrounding integrated ceiling lights.

Why did my ceiling fan stop working?

There are many reasons that ceiling fans fail, including a bad circuit breaker, a broken ceiling fan motor, a faulty power supply, heavy ceiling fan lights, or a broken ceiling fan remote.
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