If your ceiling fan is not working, it helps to troubleshoot the problem and fix it, rather than consigning it to a landfill and buying a new one.
Step 1 - Check the Breaker Box Fuse
If your ceiling fan is not running, check the fuse at the breaker box to determine if it has blown. Replace it if necessary. Otherwise, turn off the power to the room where the ceiling fan is located.
Step 2 - Use the Voltage Meter
Unscrew the switch plate and remove it from the wall. Then, clip your voltage meter to the screws on either side of the switch. The meter will tell you if the screws are holding a charge or not, something you need to know before you pull out the switch housing to avoid getting shocked.
Step 3 - Rewire the Switch
Gently remove the switch from the box and unscrew the two wires from their terminals. Then, use a small set of pliers to straighten out the ends of both wires. Twist the bare wires together and use a wire nut to hold them in place.
Step 4 - Test the Switch
Once the wires are secured with the wire nut, turn the breaker for the room back on. You will know right away if the problem is with the light switch or the fan. If the fan turns on, then the switch is the culprit and needs to be replaced. If the fan doesn’t turn on, then the problem is with the fan.
Step 5 - Dismantle the Ceiling Fan
Once you discover that your switch is working, move to checking the ceiling fan wiring. Again, turn off the electricity to the room at the breaker box and, if you have someone to hold up the ceiling fan while you work, then just unscrew it from the ceiling. If you don’t have an assistant, you will need to remove the fan blades and then unscrew the ceiling fan from its mounting bracket.
Step 6 - Check Your Instruction Manual
Read your ceiling fan owner’s manual to familiarize yourself with the wiring instructions. Double check that the wires are still connected properly. If they are, then the problem may be the ceiling fan motor. If you discover that the wiring has come undone at some point, then rewire it using wire nuts to hold the ends of the wires securely together.
Step 7 - Power to the Ceiling Fan
Remount the ceiling fan and return electricity to the room. Turn on the switch to see if the fan is running. If it is, then you’ve repaired your ceiling fan. If it still doesn’t run, then consider recycling the fan or calling a technician to diagnose and repair it.