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Wobbing and Rocking Fans

Ceiling Fans That Wobble

Do you have a ceiling fan that wobbles every time you turn it on? This is a common occurrence that can easily be fixed, without having to call a specialist. First, it must be determined if the fan is rocking or wobbling. A fan that is rocking CAN NOT be balanced, and the cause is a problem with the installation. Let's look at the difference between a rocking fan and a wobbling fan. A rocking fan has a side to side, either vertical or horizontal, movement and a wobbling fan has an orbital movement of the fan body. This can be easily viewed by taking a 12" piece of string with a weight attached. Tie or tape the string to the bottom of the fan or light kit. Turn the fan on at medium speed. As the fan gets up to speed the weight on the string will start to move. If the weight is moving side to side the fan is rocking as shown in (Fig#1). If the weight is moving in an orbital, egg shape movement, the fan is wobbling, as shown in (Fig#2).

Now, let's look at the causes of fan wobble. Some installation problems also can be the cause. One potential problem is that your ceiling fan has loose screws. Considering that all ceiling fans have several screws that are used in the assembly of the fan, it would not be uncommon for some of them to come loose. Start by tightening all of the screws used to hold the blades to the blade irons and where the blade iron fastens to the motor as shown as location # 1 (Fig #3). If this does not work, try securing the down rod to the fan motor as shown in location #5 (Fig #3). Next, tighten the screws used to secure the down rod to the mounting ball, the screws for the mounting bracket, and finally, the screws that secure the ceiling box to the ceiling, as shown in locations #4 and #6 (Fig #3). These steps should resolve the problem.If the wobble continues, try tightening all other screws. Listed below and show in (Fig#3) are all other locations on your ceiling fan that should be checked for loose screws.

Let's check each of these other causes of wobble in order. First, are your blades flat and straight? This is easy to check. Just get up on a ladder and look down the length of each blade, as shown in (Fig #4) on the next page. Is each one nice and flat? There should be no bend and no twist to the blades. Wooden blades contain water. Over time, the water can evaporate until the moisture content of the blades is equal to the moisture content of the air in your home. Depending on how the blade was sliced from the original piece of wood,

Wobbling and Rocking Fans - ( CONTINUED )


Movement of a Rocking Fan.
( Fig #1 )


Movement of a Wobbling Fan
( Fig #2 )

( Fig #3 )


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