The flush mount ceiling fan in my home turned 21 this year. It’s time for an update. The fan still works, but I just needed something a little more modern and energy efficient. Most people have flush mount ceiling fans because of building codes. Ceiling fan blades must be 7ft from the floor. However, if your ceiling is 8ft or higher, you may be denying yourself a more airflow by using a flush mount ceiling fan. 8 to 12 inches of space between the ceiling fan blades and the ceiling is needed for the best airflow. When the spacing between the fan blades and ceiling decreases, airflow diminishes. Typical flush mount ceiling fans only have 6 to 10 inches between the blades and the ceiling. Another reason some people go with flush mount ceiling fans is to avoid ceiling fan wobbling, but this can be avoided on a downrod ceiling fan with proper installation. So, if your ceiling is 8ft and above, it makes sense to choose a downrod ceiling fan over a flush mount ceiling fan.
In this post, I will explain how you can replace your flush mount ceiling fan with a downrod ceiling fan. Replacing a ceiling fan is not hard and only requires basic electrical knowledge and tools. It usually can be completed in about an hour. Let’s get started.
Things you’ll need
Make sure to disconnect power from the ceiling fan before working with it. You may be tempted to just flip the ceiling fan switch on the wall to disconnect power, but that is unsafe. The fan may be incorrectly wired and cause electrocution. For you to be safe, you need to turn off power using the circuit breaker. Always test that there is no power going to the fan using a voltage tester.
Remove old ceiling fan
This is the ceiling fan I will be removing. It’s a 1997 Hampton Bay AC-652. This is a flush mount or hugger ceiling fan.
STEP 1: Remove Blade Arms
Remove the blades by removing the two screws on the blade arm. This will reduce the weight of the fan motor assembly and allow room for the motor housing to slide down for the later
STEP 2: Remove Screws From Housing
Next, you’re going to remove 4 screws from the motor housing. There are two on each side. When these are removed, the housing can slide down to reveal the ceiling fan bracket and mount.
STEP 3: Remove Ceiling Fan Bracket
Now that the bracket is exposed, you can remove the ceiling fan bracket from the mount by removing two screws on each side of the bracket.
STEP 4: Allow Motor To Hang From Hook
Slowly lower the fan motor assembly and allow the motor to hang from the bracket hook. This will reduce stress on the wires as you work.
STEP 5: Disconnect Wires
Now, disconnect the electrical and ground wires by unscrewing the wire caps and separating the two wires.
STEP 6: Remove Old Bracket
Once the fan is disconnected, you’ll be left with the bracket. Before you remove it, check your new ceiling fan to see if you can reuse the old bracket. I will be removing this bracket because my new fan is incompatible.
Install the new ceiling fan
I’ll be installing a 52″ downrod ceiling fan with an led light kit. The type of light kit won’t change how the fan is installed.
STEP 1: Inspect Box
You must read the package contents in the manual and match them with what’s in the box. I hate it when I’m deep in a project and I find out I’m missing a very important part. Make sure everything is in the box. Downrod ceiling fans come with 3″ to 6″ rods. You may need a longer rod depending on the height of your ceiling.
STEP 2: Preassemble Fan
Your ceiling fan will come with longer wires than you need-this is to accommodate a longer downrod. Cut the wire to the length you need according to the downrod size and strip away 1/2″ wire insulation. Now you can preassemble the fan according to your ceiling fan manual.
STEP 3: Install New Bracket
Install your new bracket if your new fan can’t use the old one.
STEP 4: Hang Fan On Bracket
Place the hanger ball on the fan motor assembly into the mounting bracket and rotate the fan until it drops into a groove. The fan will not be able to rotate further.
STEP 5: Insert Remote Receiver
If your ceiling fan doesn’t have a remote and remote receiver, you can skip this step. Look at the back of your remote and receiver. Both have sets of toggle switches. In order for the remote to work with the ceiling fan, the switches on the remote and the receiver must be in the same position. When that is done, insert the receiver into the mounting bracket.
STEP 6: Connect Wires
Your new ceiling wires should be labeled. If you have a receiver connect all of the receiver wires that say “To Motor” and “To Light” to the fan wires by color. Connect the receiver wires (hot and neutral) to the house supply wires coming out of the ceiling. Place wire nuts at the end of all connections. It’s okay if you have a wire left- make sure to cap it. If you don’t have a remote receiver connect the fan wires to the house supply wires by color and cap the end with wire caps. Your fan should have come with some in the box, but they are easy to find at a hardware store.
If you have an older house, you may only have two house supply wires. They may both be black. Make note of how the wires on your old ceiling fan are connected. The blue and black wire from the ceiling fan powers the fan and the light kit and connect to the hot wire- cap them together. The white ceiling fan wire goes to the neutral wire.
STEP 7: Tuck Wires and Secure Canopy
The next step is to secure the fan motor assembly to the mounting bracket. Tuck all wires into the outlet box and attach the canopy to the mounting bracket. You’re almost done.
STEP 8: Assemble Fan Blades
Most ceiling fan blades are reversible. Pick the blade color you want and attach the fan blades to the blade holders. Make sure all blades holders are installed on the same side and all screws are tight. Loose screws will cause wobbling.
STEP 9: Attach Fan Blades
Attach the blade holder to the fan motor assembly and tighten with the provided screws. It is important that the blade holders are secure. One loose screw will cause wobbling and you will have to disassemble to retighten.
STEP 10: Connect Light Kit
Once all blades are attached, you can connect the light kit. The fan I have uses quick connect wires that snap together. All you need to do is connect the two wires and secure the light kit to the fan with screws.
Test Ceiling Fan
You’re almost done. Now you need to test the ceiling fan. Give power to the ceiling fan by turning the breaker back on. Turn on the ceiling fan to see if the light and fan work. Test the fan on low, medium, and high. Most wobbles show themselves at the high speed. If you have a wobble, you need to make sure all of your screws are tightened. Turn the breaker to the fan back off and check that the fan blades are tight with the blade arms and that the arms are tight with motor assembly. Also, check that the ceiling fan is mounted to the bracket correctly and the down-rod screws are tightened. If you fan is still wobbly, use a fan balancing kit to stop the wobble. One probably came with your new fan, if it didn’t you can find them at any hardware store.
I hope you now have the confidence to install your own downrod ceiling fan. Please, use this knowledge to replace your ceiling. Thank you for taking the time to view this post. Let me know of any suggestions you have down in the comments or email me.