Installing an outdoor ceiling fan isn’t a difficult job, but before attempting installation you should have experience with general home improvement projects and especially electrical wiring. If you’re uncomfortable or unfamiliar with performing a ceiling fan installation you may want to consider hiring a licensed electrician.
In this article we’ll provide step-by-step instructions on how to install an outdoor ceiling fan. But before we get started, let’s first make sure you’re installing the ceiling fan in the proper location outdoors.
If you’re doing the outdoor ceiling fan installation yourself, remember that outdoor ceiling fans are either wet-rated or damp-rated, which makes a big difference when choosing where to hang the fan. Wet-rated ceiling fans are meant for patios, porches, gazebos, or any outside applications that may not even have a covering. Damp-rated ceiling fans can also be installed outdoors, but they must have much less exposure to the elements. For instance, damp-rated ceiling fans are perfect for covered patios where direct rain cannot reach the fan, a screened-in sunroom or porch, a semi-covered gazebo, an outdoors shower or bathroom, and even indoor bathrooms and laundry rooms.
The list of outdoor ceiling fan applications goes on and on, as do the types and styles of ceiling fans to install. You can choose from a wide selection of wet-rated and damp-rated tropical, modern, traditional, decorative, small room, large room, and outdoor ceiling fans with lights, to name a few.
Outdoor Ceiling Fan Installation
Here are the basic steps for installing an outdoor ceiling fan:
- Install the outlet boxes, electrical wiring, and base plate according to the National Electrical Code and your local codes for installing ceiling fans (this is the step where you may want to hire an electrician).
- Assemble the fan blades according to the manufacturer’s directions. Remove and discard any motor blocks attached to the motor. You will typically want to assemble the blades to the mounting brackets first.
- Prepare the fan motor assembly according to the instructions provided by the manufacturer. This will include prepping the base plate for a direct mount or connecting the down rods for a dropped mount.
- Turn off the electricity. Then hang the ceiling fan motor assembly to the base plate and wire the fan to the electrical system.
- Attach the blades to the motor and make sure to tighten all of the screws. Depending on your brand of outdoor ceiling fan, you may be prompted to perform this step earlier in the installation process (but usually not), so be sure to follow the manufacturer’s step-by-step instructions.
- Connect the switch-housing to the fan. If you have a light kit, assemble and install it onto the switch-housing, as well as any glass light covers and the appropriate light bulbs.
- Make sure the fan is completely assembled before turning the electricity back on and testing all of the connections to make sure they are functioning properly.
- If your fan does not start, check the steps above. If even one step is missed, the fan will not operate properly. Note that many ceiling fan service calls and returns are due to the motor-blocks not being removed before starting the fan (motor-blocks are designed to keep the motor from spinning prior to installation). Another common reason for early non-operation is that the electrical switch-housing was never connected to the fan (see step 6 above).
- If you hear a clicking noise, make sure that all screws are 100% tight.
- If your fan is still not operating properly, feel free to call the experienced sales staff or authorized ceiling fan service department at CeilingFan.com.
These are the basic instructions for installing an outdoor ceiling fan. You will obviously want to closely follow the manufacturer’s directions and consult a licensed electrician if you are unfamiliar with this type of home installation. If you’ve already purchased an outdoor ceiling fan and have any questions about how to properly install it, you can always contact the experts at http://ceilingfan.com/ or by calling toll-free 877.724.2326.