Ceiling Fan Speed Troubleshooting

Adjusting the ceiling fan speed helps to regulate the air flow and temperature. Ceiling fans usually have at least three speeds from which they operate. Speeds are regulated through the use of a pull chain. This pull chain is set on the side of the ceiling fan and can sometimes cause problems. If your ceiling fan speed doesn't seem to be right, here is a short troubleshooting guide to help you fix the problem.

Ceiling Fan Speed Remains Constant

Being able to change the speed of the ceiling fan is a great convenience for those times when you need either more or less airflow. If the speed remains the same when you pull the chain, there can be several reasons.

  • Chain is disconnected: The pull chain is the weak link in changing the speed. Using the chain many times can weaken it at the connection point until it breaks. Sometimes the chain will pull out of the fan, while other times it will still seem connected. 
  • Speed mechanism is shorting: If the chain is connected, there is possibly a short in the speed mechanism. Test it with a voltage meter. 
  • Wire is unhooked: As the ceiling fan operates, vibrations occur in the motor assembly. A wire can come unhooked. Check all of the wires to make sure they are connected.

Ceiling Fan Is Wobbly

Loose attachment screws can cause the ceiling fan to be extra wobbly as it operates. When the ceiling fan speed is increased, the fan wobbles even more. Remove the light and housing of the ceiling fan to secure the attaching screws.

Blades Are Warped

If the ceiling fan still has excessive wobbling when you increase the speed, or if it seems to be under great pressure while trying to maintain the speed, there is a problem with the blades. Check to make sure each blade is seated properly and that they are not warped. A warped blade will react differently as it slices through the air. 

Blades Are Not Balanced

Just like the tires of a vehicle, the proper balance to the ceiling fan blades is what helps with the speed of the fan. Adding some small adhesive weights to the end of the blades will help bring the fan back into balance for a smoother operation.

Motor Is Stressed

A motor powers the blades at the desired speed. When it seems like the fan starts to turn hard or fails to keep up a constant speed, the motor is under stress or failing. Replacing the motor is often the only remedy. 

Faulty Connection at the Wall Control

A problem with the ceiling fan speed does not necessarily have to be caused in the fan itself. If the ceiling fan is operating the way it should, check out the wall control. A faulty installation, loose wires or shorted wires can cause the fan to lose speed.