My home in Denver attests to the fact that I can be pretty handy. I’ve built and installed plenty of shelves and hardware that I use every day. But I’m not very confident in my electrical skills – when it comes to things like rewiring, I usually leave it up to the professional electricians.
So when I decided to replace all of the old ceiling fans in my home, I wasn’t entirely sure if I would be doing the work on my own or if I would be hiring one of Denver’s trusty electricians to do it. All I knew is that the old fans had to go. I needed to do a little research. Thankfully, you can find a lot of information about installing ceiling fans online.
I discovered that most of the process of installing new fans is pretty easy. Even I knew that you have to turn off the electricity before beginning the work. Head to your circuit breaker box, and find the switch that controls current to your breaker. This might take a minute if things aren’t properly labelled, but you’ll know when you’ve got the right breaker when you can’t turn on your fan anymore.
Once the power to your fan is out, unscrew the fan’s blades – this will lighten the weight of the canopy that you’ll be supporting in a moment. Then unscrew the canopy, taking care not to stand directly under it – just in case.
Next, you’ll need to disconnect the wires from the now-loose canopy. Again, the electricity leading to the fan needs to be off at this point. Once the canopy is disconnected, you’re ready to start installing your new fan. Basically, you’ll be doing fan removal process in reverse – very easy.
First you need to secure the new mounting bracket. Be certain to use new screws, and not to re-use the old holes. Then you’ll need to connect the wires. Before you do this, you’ll need to make sure that the ends of the wires are exposed so you can connect them properly.
First, you’ll need a wire stripper to strip insulation from the ends of the wires, leaving about 5/8” exposed. You’ll also need wire-nut, or twist-on, connectors. Don’t make the mistake of using electrical tape to connect the wires together. Any electrician in Denver will tell you that using tape is liable to yield loose, poorly-made connections can cause arcing and electrical fires.
Wire-nut connectors look a little like the little valve caps you remove when you add air to your car tires. Hold the two wire ends together, insert them into the open end of the wire nut, and twist several times until the new connection feels secure. Once the connections are made, you can attach the new canopy.
Because you’ll be holding the canopy in place for a moment or two, don’t attach the fan blades until the fan is securely mounted. Once you attach your blades, go ahead and flip that breaker back so you’ve got power to the fan. That’s it – you’re ready to enjoy your new fan.
I’m still no electrician, but the ceiling fan installation process was easier than I thought. It did take quite a while, however. If you don’t want to mess with wires, or want the fan installation completed quickly and reliably, feel free to call a professional electrical service. As for me, I’m going to relax under my new fan and contemplate a job well-done.