Simple steps to fix that wobbling ceiling fan

By Nick Harder

Knight Ridder News Service

One of the most aggravating aspects of home living is a ceiling fan that wobbles. Not only is it wasting energy and your money, but hearing and seeing a wobbling fan is just plain annoying.

Don't fret, though. In most cases, fan wobble can be fixed. Some things to consider.

Mounted securely


Make sure the fan's motor housing or the pole to the housing is securely fastened to an electrical box that, in turn, should be attached solidly to the ceiling. Sometimes you can merely get on a stepladder and eyeball if there are any loose screws in these areas.

It's probably necessary to turn on the fan and watch and listen for these problems. If the electrical box doesn't seem to hold properly (if it's a plastic box, that's a no-no; you need a metal electrical box to be strong enough to hold a ceiling fan), consider refastening it or adding a means of fastening it stronger such as more screws or additional bracing.


The fan's blades must not be bent or warped and must all pass through on exactly the same plane. Again, often you can simply tell this by watching the blades closely, though this is better seen from the same level as the blades. Do some of the blades seem to spin at different levels? If you're not sure, measure the distance from the ceiling to the top of each blade.

If a blade seems out of whack, the first way to adjust it may be to simply look to see whether it's properly fastened to the motor housing. Can the blade be moved easily to place it in line with the others?

Be careful here not to bend or shape a blade too hard. Some blades will break if put under too much stress.


You may also be able to adjust the path or weight of blades by using a weight clip that may have come with your fan. These weight clips can sometimes be purchased separately at a fan or hardware store or home center.


Essentially what a weight clip does is help to balance a blade's weight or path through the air with other blades.

Finding the right place for the clip, let alone right blade, is often a matter of experiment. That is, you'll have to move the clip from one blade to another or from one part of the blade to another. This might mean from a leading edge to a trailing edge, for instance.

If you have a problem with one or more blades that can't seem to be fixed, it may be possible to replace the blades without replacing the entire fan.

Blade replacement

Don't just try to replace one blade, though. Replace with an entire set of new blades, which should come balanced from the factory as a set.

Another problem making a fan wobble could be a light kit, lights that are usually added below but a part of the ceiling fan.

Again this could be a matter of loose screws that are causing the light fixtures to make the fan wobble.

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