Steps // How to Size and Install a Ceiling Fan
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Step 1: Remove the existing light fixture

 
Step One // How to Size and Install a Ceiling Fan

Step 1: Remove the existing light fixture

Removing a light fixture before installing a ceiling fan
Photo by Shaffer Smith Photography

First, make sure the electricity to the circuit is turned off.

Carefully remove the glass shade or globe from the old light fixture, and unscrew the retaining nut or screws that hold the fixture to the ceiling. Lower the fixture and disconnect the wires by twisting off the plastic connectors from the ends of the wires.

 
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Step 2: Remove the old box and cut a new hole

 
Step Two // How to Size and Install a Ceiling Fan

Step 2: Remove the old box and cut a new hole

cutting a new hole to install a ceiling fan
Photo by Shaffer Smith Photography

Remove the old electrical box from the ceiling. If it's nailed to a joist, pry it free with a flat bar. If it's suspended from a bar, take off a metal plate to unscrew the box, then pry the bar from the joists.

Hold a 1/2-inch-thick fan box against the ceiling, centered on a joist, and trace around it with a pencil. Cut along the line with a drywall saw, holding a vacuum cleaner wand next to the saw to catch the dust.

 
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Step 3: Attach a new electrical box and mount the ceiling plate

 
Step Three // How to Size and Install a Ceiling Fan

Step 3: Attach a new electrical box and mount the ceiling plate

attaching a new electrical box when installing ceiling fan
Photo by Shaffer Smith Photography

Feed the electrical cable coming from the ceiling through the knockout hole in the fan box. (Be sure there's a cable connector attached to the knockout hole.) Set the box into the hole and press it tight against the underside of the joist.

Attach the box to the joist with the screws provided. Wrap the cable's bare copper wire around the grounding screw inside the box. Allow the wire end to hang down.

Hold the fan's metal ceiling plate up to the fan box and pull the wires through its center hole. Attach the ceiling plate to the box with the provided screws.

 
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Step 4: Assemble the fan components

 
Step Four // How to Size and Install a Ceiling Fan

Step 4: Assemble the fan components

assembling the components of a ceiling fan
Photo by Shaffer Smith Photography

With the fan on the floor, feed the wires coming from the motor through the center of the canopy. Set the canopy on top of the motor, and pass the wires through the hollow down-rod pipe. Thread the down-rod pipe into the top of the motor. Use a wrench to tighten the square-head locking screw on the side of the pipe.

 
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Step 5: Make the wire connections and attach the blades

 
Step Five // How to Size and Install a Ceiling Fan

Step 5: Make the wire connections and attach the blades

attaching the blades and lights to a ceiling fan
Photo by Shaffer Smith Photography

Hook one side of the canopy onto the ceiling plate. Using twist-on wire connectors, join the two green wires to the bare copper wire coming from the cable. Join the two white wires. Then connect the two black wires. Move the fan up into position against the ceiling plate and secure it with the two canopy screws. (If your room isn’t wired this way, consult a licensed electrician to complete this step.)

Attach each fan blade to a blade iron (the bracket that holds the blade to the fan). Fasten the blade irons to the motor with the screws provided.

 
 

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