Design & DIY

How to fix a wobbly ceiling fan

Ceiling fan

Tighten: Rebalancing a wobbly ceiling fan is a trial-and-error process, with many trips up the ladder. Cut the power and check the fan’s electrical box—if it’s not tight, it’s the likely suspect. If it’s secure, tighten the fasteners on the fan itself. “Screws can vibrate loose over time,” says Shawn Lewer, owner of Northern Fan in Ottawa.

Isolate: After picking up a balancing kit from a fan dealer, put the clothespin-like clip on the leading edge of a blade, halfway between tip and motor. Clip each blade in turn and run the fan on high (air blowing down). When the wobble improves, move the clip along the blade till the fan runs true. Replace the clip with a self-adhesive weight, centering it on top of the blade. Some fans need more than one weight, and low-quality fans often can’t be balanced.

Don’t make do with duct tape and coins, cautions Rick Church of in Chatham, Ont. “The tape can dry up,” he says, “and then the loonies go flying.”