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Ceiling fan causing insect terror

Look at this pic -- what the heck? Wife and I moved in with the ceiling fan hanging like this, about two inches off the ceiling. This is in the bedroom, over the bed, and now I'm lying awake nights wondering if some big roach or spider is about to fall out of there... :eek:
Actually it looks worse in person than in these pics. I've never put up a ceiling fan -- any advice on where to begin fixing this? Any advice is much appreciated!

Re: Ceiling fan causing insect terror

From what I can see it looks like the metal collar has loosened and dropped down. Get up there and look for loose or missing screws. If there are screw holes in the collar line them up with those in the down bracket and secure it with 3/8 inch sheet metal screws.

Re: Ceiling fan causing insect terror

From the pictures it is hard to tell but it does not look like there is a mounting plate attached to the ceiling box. It looks as if the screws for it are still attached to the canopy so the mounting plate may have fallen off the box. This is definitely not a good situation as the fan is probably hanging from the wires or if you're lucky a safety strap that some fans come with. Whoever installed the fan did not do something right as this should not happen if done right. The first thing you need to do is make sure you have a ceiling fan box in the ceiling. This needs to be attached to the structure of your house (ceiling joists) or a 2x that is attached to the ceiling joists. They also sell retrofit kits that have a metal bar that attaches to the joist. In any case a regular ceiling box for a light is not acceptable. If that is OK you need to make sure you have the right screws on the mounting plate. They should be #10 not the #8 screws that light fixtures use. Some fans also have screws that screw directly into the ceiling joist or 2x that the box is attached to. Lastly if the fan is hanging by the wires I would toss it and put in a new one. Who knows what kind of damage could have been done inside the fan if the weight of it was by the wires. If you are not comfortable with any of this you should check with a qualified electrician.

Re: Ceiling fan causing insect terror

Take that fan down A.S.A.P. and don't use it! In our own home, we found out that our fans were attached only with 2 small screws in the electrical box -- NOT SAFE!!! The fan should be attached with long wood screws that go directly into the wood of your ceiling joists. If you don't see any wood behind the electrical box, or no box, then you need a kit (as the last poster stated) that makes a "brige" between your 2x4's in the ceiling that your fan can hook up to. It's not that hard to install a new ceiling fan. Easier with 2 people if possible.

Re: Ceiling fan causing insect terror

So I guess I was procrastinating, until...not sure when it was exactly...one night last week...my wife found a bug in our bed. Or rather, it found her. When a bug dashes across her leg, she has some sort of highly-tuned bug radar that wakes her up in a state of alarm. I think I probably sleep right through this sort of thing. I'm sure it happens all the time to people who don't realize it has happened, like eating aphids in lettuce. So it was one of those middle-of-the-night scenes where the sheets are thrown up into the air, pillows bounce across the room, and screams fill the air. I removed the little bug after having flattened him with a flip-flop. The ceiling fan is, of course, the thing to blame for our unwelcome visitor, so when the weekend came I had no choice but to climb up to it and take a closer look.
Here are two photos of what it looks like up there. It's really over my head, no pun intended. I removed some screws and pulled down the canopy thing. But I've never installed a ceiling fan and am completely baffled about how to proceed. I will have to hire an electrician, and mention the things you've mentioned here about how it must be installed properly.
I'll post an after shot when it's done. Thank you, thank you, thank you for all your wonderful advice! Wish us luck,

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