Installing Ceiling Fan

Old 07-13-03, 01:15 PM
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Installing Ceiling Fan

I would like to say real quick that this is an excellent site. I just stumbled across it and with us just buying our first home most of the questions we have are on here and been answered. So hopefully we will be here quite a bit as our projects begin.

My question is:

We have a modular home that we want to install ceiling fans. Is there an easy way to this ourselves or are we going to have to hire a professional? Can we somehow convert the connection wires to cause the fan to run off the electrical outlet? Any help is appreciated.
Old 07-13-03, 01:36 PM
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Ceiling fans are very often DIY jobs. One reason to hire it out would be if you can't handle the weight of the fan, because you do have to lift it up to the ceiling and hang it from a bracket you previously mounted there. Another reason would be if the amount of electrical work required is above your level of skill.

Here are some increasingly difficult situations:
  • The job is easiest if you already have a securely mounted electrical box there.
  • The job is only a bit more complicated if there is a ceiling light there mounted to a plastic box. This is still pretty simple, but requires you to remove the plastic box and replace it with a fan brace kit. This isn't really very hard.
  • The job gets significantly more complicated if there is no electrical box in the ceiling at all. In this case, you need to get power up there. If you have an accessible attic above the room, and if you are going to control the fan exclusively with a remote control, then the job is not that bad. All you have to do is figure out which of those many cables up there is a good one to tap into (there are many, many bad choices, so you just can't make this decision lightly).
  • If there is an accessible attic and you already have a switched receptacle, it's not too hard to make the switch also control the fan. You just need to drill a hole into the top plate and get a cable down to the switched receptacle.
  • If you want two wall switches, one for a fan and one for a light, then you will also need to get a cable down to a new switch.
  • Worse yet is when there is no ceiling fixture and no accessible attic, but there is a switched receptacle. You can do this with a surface wiring method such as Wiremold.
  • If surface wiring is distasteful to you, you'll need to learn one more skill -- drywall repair.
I suggest you start by doing two things:[list=1][*]Go to your home improvement store and pick up a book or two on home wiring.[*]While you are there, visit the fans section. Pull the installation instructions out of a box (with employee assistance) and read them completely to see what you're in for. The employee may be willing to make a copy of them for you to take home and study.[/list=1]

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