How to Install a Ceiling Fan on a Beam

ceiling fan mounted to a beam on a high ceiling
What You'll Need
Ceiling fan
Drill machine
Fan brace
Beam mount
3 Inch screws
Measuring tape
Wire molding
Wire stripper

It is not difficult to learn how to install a ceiling fan on a beam. With basic electrical knowledge and simple tools you can tackle this DIY project. The steps are laid out below to teach you the basics.

Step 1 - Measure the Ceiling to Floor Distance for Blade Clearance and Precautions

Know the blade clearance under the building codes of your area. Blade clearance is usually calculated by measuring the distance from ceiling to floor and subtracting the distance the fan will be hanging below the ceiling. The recommended height is seven feet. If you are not familiar with electrical wiring and its installation it is best to hire a professional electrician.

Step 2 - Turn off Main Power Supply

flipping a circuit breaker in the main box

Turn off the main power supply to the room you are working in before you begin the wiring procedure in order to avoid electric shocks.

Step 3 - Beam Wiring Options and Fan Brace

You can either drill a hole through the beam using a drill machine and a spade bit (3/4 inches) or you can attach a light box directly to the beam. If you use the former, run the wire through the hole and place the fan brace/beam mount on the beam while supporting it with your hand. Measure the length from the power supply unit to where you are installing the fan and cut out an equal measure of wire molding. Attach the wire molding either in the center of the beam or on the side. Run the wire through it prior to running it through the hole you drilled. Attach the fan brace/beam mount using three-inch screws. Always use a beam mount for any fan heavier than 30 pounds.

Step 4 - Assemble the Ceiling Fan

Most ceiling fans require assembling and usually come with an instruction manual. Carefully read your ceiling fan’s instruction manual prior to assembly to avoid problems with the functioning of the fan later. Read the wiring instructions as well.

Step 5 - Install the Ceiling Fan onto the Beam

large living room

Using a wire stripper, strip the two wires up to 1 1/2 inch. The wires are color specific. Usually the white wire is attached to the motor, the black wire is attached to the remaining wiring from the motor and the copper wire is connected to the green ground wire (follow manufacturer’s wiring instructions for accurate wiring to avoid short circuiting). Connect wires using wire nuts. The fan hanger pipe is usually run through the fan canopy/ ceiling cover attached to the motor and the blades are attached to the motor unit. Attach them to the fan brace/ beam mount using the provided screws. The fan canopy will cover the wiring like an electrical box.

Step 6 - Add a Regulator Switch for the Fan and Finish Up

Add a switch for the fan next to your light switch. You can cover up the wire molding with paint to match the color of the beam.