Archive for Monday, August 20, 2012


Fix-It Chick: Balance a wobbly ceiling fan

August 20, 2012


Ceiling fans can reduce energy costs by properly circulating the air throughout any given room. For optimal performance, ceiling fan blades should be set to rotate clockwise during the summer months and counterclockwise during the winter.

Wobbly ceiling fans are both inefficient and potentially dangerous.

Step 1: If the blades appear unsteady, check to make sure the fan is assembled properly and all nuts and screws are tightened completely.

Step 2: Remove the fan housing and confirm that the junction box is firmly attached to the ceiling joist and ascertain the fan is mounted correctly.

Step 3: With the fan off, rest the edge of a yard stick against the tip of one fan blade. Hold the top of the yard stick steady against the ceiling and manually rotate the fan blades, measuring the distance from the ceiling to each of the blade tips.

Step 4: If the blade tips are uneven, gently bend the blade holders back into position so each blade tip is equal distance from the ceiling.

Step 5: If the fan still wobbles, use a blade balancing kit to properly weight one of the blades to offset the unevenness. Turn the fan off and select one blade. Place the balancing clip onto the blade edge, half way between the blade tip and the blade holder.

Step 6: With the clip securely in place, turn the fan on and test to see if the wobble is better or worse.

Step 7: Turn the fan off and remove the balancing clip. Reposition the clip onto the next blade. Turn the fan on and observe the wobble. Repeat the process until all blades have been observed.

Step 8: Once all the blades have been tested, place the clip back onto the edge of the blade which showed the most improvement with the clip in place.

Step 9: Slide the clip up and down the blade edge, turning the fan on and off to identify the position which bests reduces the fan’s wobble.

Step 10: Once the optimal position is determined, center a balancing weight on the blade top directly in line with the balancing clip.

Step 11: Install the balancing weight and remove the balancing clip. Test the fan again to assure the wobbles are gone. If not, repeat the process with additional balancing weights.

— Linda Cottin can be reached at


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