How to Remove a Ceiling Fan

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Updated July 21, 2022

If you are new to the world of indoor cooling appliances, you may wonder how to remove a ceiling fan. Some of the best fans, after all, are mounted on the ceiling, and these appliances must be removed in the case of replacement or for necessary repairs. So how do you get this done quickly and safely? Keep reading to find out.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Removing a ceiling fan is necessary if you have purchased a replacement model or if you need to send it in for repairs.
  • The process is somewhat complicated and will greatly benefit from another set of helping hands and safety gear.
  • As for tools, you’ll just need a screwdriver and a ladder but count on spending up to an hour to remove the ceiling bracket, light fixture, wire nuts, black wire, white wires, and everything else.

How to Take a Fan Down

This is a fairly difficult process, unlike learning how to oil a ceiling fan. It is even harder than learning how to install a ceiling fan, though this depends on the overall design. As such, we recommend hiring a pro for this task and reserving your DIY spirit for easier procedures like learning how to remove a fan light cover.

Insider Tip

Before purchasing a new fan, make sure it integrates with your ceiling setup and your power supply.

Still, there is a process to take a ceiling down safely without the need for a professional.

  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Time Required: 45 minutes to one hour 
  • Tools: Screwdriver, Ladder, Safety Goggles 
  • Steps: 5 

STEP 1 Turn Off the Power and Prepare

  1. Turn off any power going to the fan, including via the main junction box. This is for safety.
  2. Gear up, so grab your screwdriver, a ladder, and safety goggles.
  3. This process is much easier with another set of hands.

STEP 2 Remove Lighting Fixtures

  1. Go around and remove all lighting fixtures, including bowls, bulbs, the light kit, and anything else.
  2. Hold on to the bulbs and light kit in case they fit the replacement fan.

STEP 3 Remove the Blades

  1. Use a screwdriver to remove the fan blade bracket, allowing you access to the fan housing.
  2. Carefully detach each fan blade as necessary.

STEP 4 Remove the Canopy and Mounting Bracket

  1. Now that the blades are gone, move onto the canopy and mounting bracket.
  2. Use a screwdriver to remove any canopy support screws and remove any plastic caps or wire nuts connecting any wires.
  3. Once unscrewed, the canopy or mounting bracket should lower to the floor.
  4. Cover loose hanging ceiling wires with these caps or with black electrical tape.

STEP 5 Disconnect All Other Components

  1. Each fan is different, depending on the design, so removing the canopy may still leave the mounting bracket and vice versa.
  2. In other words, use the screwdriver to remove any lingering components of the fan.
  3. Bring everything to the floor and continue unscrewing components until you can easily carry each part.

STAT: Fans can also wear out over time, with many ceiling fans having an estimated life of 10 years. (source)

Removing a Ceiling Fan FAQs

What tools do I need to take down a ceiling fan?

Not much, as you can see. The motor housing, fan motor, and center hole can all be removed with just a screwdriver.

How do I cut power to my ceiling fan?

Turn the power off at the light switch or remote control and make sure the junction box is also powered down to ensure it is safe to handle the fan wires and that the ceiling fan blades won't randomly start spinning.

How to install ceiling fan wiring?

The wiring is complicated, requiring ready access to the ceiling box, the ceiling bracket, the ceiling joist, and more. In other words, call in an electrician to help.
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