The Ceiling Fan is installed!

After finishing up the installation of the solar panels I am no longer intimidated by electrical stuff. You need to treat it with respect but it’s not that hard. The ceiling fan was a bit more work than the plain switch of the fixture I did earlier. I started as I did with the solar by researching the topic and watching on line videos that explain how to do it. I also read the manual, all of it, very carefully three times before I felt I understood it all. I took out the assorted parts and examined them to make sure I could match all the parts to the diagram well before I started doing anything. Then I slept on it. There were some extra considerations.

The fan weighs 23 pounds and requires a mounting/outlet box that can take 35 pounds of force. Fortunately a bit of snooping on line and I learned that whoever wired this house a long time ago did everything the ultra sturdy old fashioned way. I already had a steel outlet box and that box was bolted to the ceiling joists on two sides and it had two secondary 2X4 pieces attached to the joists forming a full box around the outlet and then those sides were also bolted. Some on line research and I found that a properly installed steel box outlet bolted securely like mine was can take 50 pounds and so not only could it take my 35 pound fan but I had an extra 15 pounds of safety margin. I didn’t have to change the outlet box. If you have a newer home, especially one with a outlet plastic box, you have to be much more careful about that and you will need a proper outlet box designed specifically for ceiling fans.

The fan motor is installed first and, while hanging from the attached safety cable, has the wiring connected. That was a bit tricky because in my house the old wiring was red for live and black for neutral and plain copper bolted to the outlet box itself as ground. The new fan had black (fan motor) and blue (light module) wires to connect to live, white for neutral and green for ground. In order to be sure I had all that right I had to research old and new wiring and use my handy dandy volt meter but I did.

The manual offered multiple wiring options. If I were installing the fan into a new house and had easy access to the inside of the walls I would have used the configuration that allowed the thing to be attached to a fancy multi use wall plate so one could turn the lights off and on and dim them and turn the motor off and on and set it all from the wall. Since I didn’t want to tear the walls up I just installed it so the light switch provides on/off power and we have to set the fan speed, direction and lights using the pull chains. And no dimmer for the lights. They go on or off. I can live with pulling chains myself. Also as your eyes get older you enjoy dimmers less and less. I really can’t recall the last time I used a dimmer switch to do anything but turn the light on as bright as possible.

After I bolted on the decorative cover I ended up with this:

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Once I had reached this point, I decided to quit and take a break.

The next day I tackled the rest. It was time consuming but not difficult with the advance planning. I attached the fan blades, then added the light mount, and then attached the light mount and put the wiring together. That was very easy. The ends were all designed to fit together with a snap and no splice and dice.

The last step was to install the glass light holders, secure them, and then put in the bulbs. And then the real test. I restored power and held my breath. No explosions, shorts or crashes. Instead the motor began turning and the lights went on. It worked perfectly. All four speeds for the fan, both directions and the lights work. No wobble, no whine and no buzz. This is a very nice fan, the quietest I have ever had. it is soundless.

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And there we are. Before.

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After. Cost of the fan $65 from the Renuzit Habitat for Humanity and my time, Three hours for background research on line, about one hour for the outlet box research and inspection, two hours to the first part of the installation, and an hour and half for the rest.

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A thing of beauty is a joy forever, or at least as long as we live here and the fan works.

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