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Our ceiling fan spins very slowly, and constantly, no matter how many times I pull the chain to try and turn it off. I've tried leaving it for several minutes between chain yanks, to give it time to spin down (even though it's spinning at about a revolution per ten seconds), but it never stops.

I'm not worried about the fan working - I don't need it. I just want to be sure it's not going to cause a fire. Am I ok?

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    Any malfunctioning electric device should be disconnected from power as soon as possible. You don't know what's wrong with the fan, and it could very well cause an electrical fire. Does it not have a light switch controlling it? If you stop it with your hand does it restart? It's not air currents in the room that keep it moving right?
    – JPhi1618
    Oct 20, 2017 at 21:01
  • @JPhi1618 The lights under it work. I've tried to stop it with my hand and it starts up again. Oct 20, 2017 at 21:06
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    Does it still spin when disconnected from the mains completely? (Say, by turning the breaker for the circuit it's on off) Oct 20, 2017 at 22:23

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I had the same problem just recently, and learned that our space heater was sitting just right to create a draft and make the fan spin very slowly.

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After several years in the electrical service business I also would recommend disconnecting and taking down the unit. Throw it away. My experience is that these units do not experience a long, long life; ten years is a good life. I have never seen one of these units overheat; they are no doubt impedance protected. Just the same, play it safe and get it out of your house.

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    It could very well be that nothing whatsoever is wrong with it -- this very well could be simply a draft causing the fan to spin. Oct 20, 2017 at 22:24
  • @ThreePhaseEel It doesn't seem likely that a draft would consistently cause the fan to spin that slowly. At that rate, without a breeze, it would only take a second or two for friction to stop the fan; getting a draft to drive it that exactly would be difficult. Oct 21, 2017 at 13:13
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I have a heater on the floor below the fan which starts the ceiling fan spinning slowly. After turning off the heater and stopping the blades they did not spin again. Quite a relief!

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    Welcome to Home Improvement. If you'll note, this is the exact same answer that was posted and accepted more than 2 years ago. While it's true, it doesn't add anything of particular value to the question. If you'll take the tour, you'll note that the proper thing to do is click the up vote next to an answer you agree with, which, in this case, is also the one with the green check mark (noting acceptance). I'd suggest you do that as soon as you've earned 15 points of reputation (which you can easily do by asking a good question or writing a good answer).
    – FreeMan
    Oct 21, 2021 at 14:01
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Bad switch - my ceiling fan has chain pull switches. One went bad, easy replacement from hardware store.

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An electric appliance/device that isn’t working correctly should not be used and should be unplugged or disconnected even if it won’t turn on. Unless you know the exact failure mode, you have to assume the worst.

A ceiling fan and it’s light kit will commonly have different wires for the fan motor and the light kit. If you don’t want to replace the fan, someone that has some electrical experience should be able to disconnect the wire for the fan motor and leave everything else connected and in place. This is probably your safest and cheapest option.

If the fan happens to only have one supply wire, I’d have to recommend replacing it with a basic ceiling light or another fan.

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