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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    Default Ceiling fan balancing

    I have two identical ceiling fans in a cathedral ceiling. One works fine throughout all speeds. The other begins to wobble and make noise. I've never had to balance a fan before. These fans have the larger, wooden, leaf shaped blades. How do I go about balancing the fan? What can I use for weight and how do I determine where to put it? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    7

    Default Re: Ceiling fan balancing

    Most ceiling fans come with a balancing kit. They contain weights and instructions on the process of adjusting the fan. They should have these little kits at hardware stores. I have personally never had any success with these kits but that is just me. GIve it a shot it can't hurt. Also, take a screwdriver and tighten any of the set screws for the down rod and the ceiling bracket. Good luck

  3. #3
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    Aug 2007
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    6,480

    Default Re: Ceiling fan balancing

    Jimmy is right, balancing kits are available at any hardware store or home center, they'll be in the electrical/lighting section.

    Fans can be out of balance for many reasons. It could be from a bent or damaged blade, it could be a heavier blade, it could be loose screws, etc.

    - Start with cleaning the fan blades with a vacuum and damp sponge and tightening the blade and bracket mounting screws, there is usually three screws on the blade and two holding the bracket to the motor.
    - Get yourself eye level with the blades and slowly spin them by hand. Look for blades that are higher or lower or if the pitch (tilt of the blade) varies. You can carefully tweak each bracket to bring all the blades into symmetry.
    - Turn the fan on and see if the above changes made any difference. If not, then it's time to move onto balancing.

    Balancing is a trial and error thing. First, you have to find the blade or blades that are the culprit. In the balancing kit you'll find a plastic fork. Slip the fork over the leading edge of any blade somewhere between the center and tip of the blade, turn on the fan and look for improvement or deterioration of balance. It's helpful to mark the blade you started on with small piece of tape and work your way around the fan from there.

    - Once you start seeing improvement, move the fork further inboard or more towards the tip of the blade, if necessary, pinch a weight under the fork - do not permanently stick it.
    - After you find the right blades you can permanently stick a weight. Notice I said blades, because there can be more than one blade causing the problem.

    You will have to turn the fan on/off many many times to accomplish this task. It requires patience and preferably a helper who can operate the control switch for you while you're working. If your fan is so equipped, you can use the pull chain, however the wall switch is faster and easier in the long run.

    Report back with your progress.
    Last edited by A. Spruce; 06-03-2010 at 12:45 PM.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    19

    Default Re: Ceiling fan balancing

    would removing and weighing the blades and correcting any differences work

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Shamokin, Pa.
    Posts
    645

    Default Re: Ceiling fan balancing

    Quote Originally Posted by A. Spruce View Post
    Jimmy is right, balancing kits are available at any hardware store or home center, they'll be in the electrical/lighting section.

    Fans can be out of balance for many reasons. It could be from a bent or damaged blade, it could be a heavier blade, it could be loose screws, etc.

    - Start with cleaning the fan blades with a vacuum and damp sponge and tightening the blade and bracket mounting screws, there is usually three screws on the blade and two holding the bracket to the motor.
    - Get yourself eye level with the blades and slowly spin them by hand. Look for blades that are higher or lower or if the pitch (tilt of the blade) varies. You can carefully tweak each bracket to bring all the blades into symmetry.
    - Turn the fan on and see if the above changes made any difference. If not, then it's time to move onto balancing.

    Balancing is a trial and error thing. First, you have to find the blade or blades that are the culprit. In the balancing kit you'll find a plastic fork. Slip the fork over the leading edge of any blade somewhere between the center and tip of the blade, turn on the fan and look for improvement or deterioration of balance. It's helpful to mark the blade you started on with small piece of tape and work your way around the fan from there.

    - Once you start seeing improvement, move the fork further inboard or more towards the tip of the blade, if necessary, pinch a weight under the fork - do not permanently stick it.
    - After you find the right blades you can permanently stick a weight. Notice I said blades, because there can be more than one blade causing the problem.

    You will have to turn the fan on/off many many times to accomplish this task. It requires patience and preferably a helper who can operate the control switch for you while you're working. If your fan is so equipped, you can use the pull chain, however the wall switch is faster and easier in the long run.

    Report back with your progress.
    I agree 100%, but posting one addendum. Could the fan be tooooo large for the room? In some cases the air has no where to go, except back into the fan turbulence and upsetting the applecart.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    6,480

    Default Re: Ceiling fan balancing

    Quote Originally Posted by swadedvm View Post
    would removing and weighing the blades and correcting any differences work
    No. Most folks don't have weight equipment accurate enough for something like this, and it also doesn't take into account out of balance issues with the fan motor.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ernie_Fergler View Post
    I agree 100%, but posting one addendum. Could the fan be tooooo large for the room? In some cases the air has no where to go, except back into the fan turbulence and upsetting the applecart.
    If you've got apple carts on your ceiling, you've got far larger problems than too big of a fan! Then, of course, some would also say that it's not how big the fan is, but how it is used, a myth perpetrated by those with small fans
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Shamokin, Pa.
    Posts
    645

    Default Re: Ceiling fan balancing

    Quote Originally Posted by A. Spruce View Post
    No. Most folks don't have weight equipment accurate enough for something like this, and it also doesn't take into account out of balance issues with the fan motor.




    If you've got apple carts on your ceiling, you've got far larger problems than too big of a fan! Then, of course, some would also say that it's not how big the fan is, but how it is used, a myth perpetrated by those with small fans
    Us Pennsylvanians are awfully proud of our apples !!!!
    And that Yuengling Lager as well...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    jersey
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    174

    Default Re: Ceiling fan balancing

    Is it by some chance a Tommy Bahama fan?
    Help us name our new Hidden Content

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    72

    Default Re: Ceiling fan balancing

    No, they are Hampton Bay fans. I tried taking the wobbly fan apart, cleaning and putting back together tightly. I still get wobble and squeak. As I mentioned, these are not regular blades on these fans...they are wood designed to look like leaves. I noticed that one had a small ding in it. I'm thinking maybe this blade may be the culprit. I'm going to try one of the balancing kits next.

  10. #10
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    Aug 2007
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    6,480

    Default Re: Ceiling fan balancing

    Quote Originally Posted by drewp View Post
    No, they are Hampton Bay fans. I tried taking the wobbly fan apart, cleaning and putting back together tightly. I still get wobble and squeak.
    The squeak may be coming from the hanger rather than the fan. With the fan out of balance, it rocks in the hanger cradle, causing a squeak. You can wipe a little lubricant on the ball if you want to, though balancing will probably take care of it.

    Quote Originally Posted by drewp View Post
    As I mentioned, these are not regular blades on these fans...they are wood designed to look like leaves. I noticed that one had a small ding in it. I'm thinking maybe this blade may be the culprit. I'm going to try one of the balancing kits next.
    The type of blade doesn't matter, they can still be out of balance, bent, or damaged. As long as all the blades are visually symmetrical, you can use a balancing kit to take care of the wobble. Because one blade has a ding in it, I'm willing to bet that it's bracket is bent a little bit, causing it to track in a little different manner than the rest - there's the cause of your wobble. Carefully tweak the bracket until all the blades are traveling at the same height and pitch - refer back to my previous post outlining the balancing procedure. You'll actually have to add weight to the blade opposite the damaged one because that is how you offset the problem. Still, follow the procedure above and you should be able to get minimal wobble.
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

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