Tuesday, October 4, 2016

How to replace a ceiling fan...

There are many reasons to replace an existing ceiling fan. It could be the fan wobbles and freaks out the grandchildren when they're visiting. Or maybe the old fan squeaks at times. Possibly the fan is inefficient for the size of the room. None of these are reasons for us to systematically replace every stinking ceiling fan in our house over the past few years. Our fans were replaced because of a more serious reason...they were tacky. I did not know they were tacky. Debbie pointed it out to me each time. I have always replaced the fans myself being the son of Leroy L Mihills. He was a DIY guy before it was stylish and taught his sons to be the same. When I was recovering from my accident and still promising to never, ever climb another ladder, the ceiling fan in our den became tacky all of a sudden. I didn't hear a thing but then again, I was on some pretty heavy meds. Debbie told me that although the timing couldn't have been worse, it had happened. There was no time to lose. We had to buy a new fan and we would have to hire a non-clumsy younger person to hang it for us. This was a mistake. Not only did she replace the world's fastest and most efficient fan hanger ever (me) with someone she didn't know, she did it over my loud protestations. Her argument was this: You can hang a fan from a standard height ceiling but you can't hang a fan from a raised ceiling. If you were to fall you would get hurt. She didn't take into consideration the fall that landed me in ER was from the second step of the ladder. And most importantly, this non-clumsy younger person expected to be PAID.

I do admit it was nice having the fan installed for us. The guy did a great job and only charged us a minimal labor amount. If you need a ceiling fan installed I can recommend this guy if I ever remember his name. But back to my story. I'm going to tell you how to install a ceiling fan. First of all, after the existing fan has been dubbed "tacky" waste no time in getting it down and out of the house. You don't want to be known as the guy with tacky fans. Grab a ladder and set it up just off-center of the existing fan. Climb the two steps necessary to reach the fan. Note: If operating in a room with a standard height ceiling two steps are sufficient. If you can not determine if your ceiling is standard height please reconsider doing this work yourself because you are a dummy.

Step two is simple. After you have climbed the ladder carefully remove the two set screws holding the housing thingy. During this process you should remember that this is really step three. Step two should have been, Go to the breaker box and shut off the electrical power. If you don't remember, there will be a built-in reminder.

Step four is a bit confusing. You must first carefully disconnect the three colored wires and the ground wire. This is where the built-in reminder is installed. Hopefully you have avoided it. If not, I will look for that non-clumsy younger guy's name for you. Next, carefully lift the old fan from its hangy down thing which is attached to the electric box. This is a simple process if someone besides me has told you how to do this. A smart instructor would have told you to remove the blades and the light attachment before removing the fan. I never seem to remember this step until I am fumbling with a heavy mass of stuff with long arms sticking out while I make my way down the ladder. I strongly suggest you include these two optional steps in your project.

Now that the old fan is removed and carted out to the curb you should take a nice long break. We will proceed tomorrow. And don't even think about trying to sell the old fan in a garage sale. No one will buy it. It's tacky. Goodwill doesn't want it either. They try to resell more upscale stuff.

Okay, another day! Let's finish this easy DIY project. Your ladder should already be in the best position for install so climb on up and attach that new hangy down thing to the electric box. Next, take the new fan body and install it into the hangy down thing which will support it and free up both hands for you to proceed.

Your next step is to rewire the three wires to the electrical wires coming down from the ceiling. Just take the blue and black wires and attach to the black wire with a wire nut.....HAHAHA! Gotcha. You forgot to check to make sure the power was still turned off didn't you?!?! Normally if you are the only person working in the room this won't be a problem. However, if you are married to a Type A woman such as my wife, you can never make any assumption. While you are resting up from yesterday's work your wife might see a speck of dust under your ladder and decide to vacuum the whole room. Finding no power and not wanting to wake you from your nap, she will quietly go to the breaker box and return that room to full electrical power....whew, that was funny! Anyway, after you have the wires reattached to the main wiring climb down the ladder and casually look at the remaining parts to install. Climb back up the ladder and disconnect the wiring, lift the ball of the fan out of the hanger, climb back down the ladder and slip on the outside housing as instructed in the "Easy installation steps" no real man ever reads.

After repeating all of the previous steps your fan is ready for completion. Attach the light kit and tighten all three of the impossible to align mounting screws. Next try to install the blades. I say "try to install" because you will find you can't do that with the light kit already installed. You must take the light kit off while remembering the two hours spent lining those stinking mounting screw holes up. Now, attach the blades. There are normally five blades. When you count only four, take a look into the grandkids' toy closet. Install each before re-attaching the light kit.

Now then, you are nearly done. Put light bulbs in their sockets, attach the glass light deflector and turn on the power. Beautiful! You can bask in the glory of a job well done....but hurry. As soon as your wife takes a look she will notice one of the blades is installed with the wrong finish side up. Scurry on back up that ladder and fix it....quick before the whole fan becomes tacky.

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