We've had this house since late June, and the house was renovated. I am not sure if the ceiling fan in question was brand new or simply recently new. It is a Harbor Breeze, Model RLG52NWZ5C3L.

Regardless, we came into our master bedroom one night to see it slowly spinning down to a crawl. Based off of Google searched articles, Reddit posts, and DIY Stackexchange, my first step was to try and replace the capacitor... After waiting a week for the part, it did not fix it.

  • Yes, it hums, but I've heard louder humming from older (working) ceiling fans. I am not sure if newer ceiling fans simply are not as loud hummers as they used to be.
  • You can kind of see it start to snail-crawl when you first turn it on.
  • No, it does not stay spinning if I give it a spin, but
  • Yes, it does seemingly freely spin with no obstructions when off.
  • Yes, the light works. It has a separate light switch.
  • Update 1: Voltage from black wire in ceiling measures 118 VAC

I have also tried checking/resecuring all the connected wires that comes downward into the light assembly to ensure they were all actually connected, so I didn't check the wires in the ceiling. I have not voltmeter tested anything. Neither spin direction as expected.

So, at this point, I am at a loss. I don't know if this ceiling fan has a flywheel or not, or how to tell if it does. I don't know what the 2nd black box is, that is around the same size as the capacitor.. but it has 3 wires, one of which being for the light I believe. I am open to suggestions, but I understand if it is not worth fixing anymore past the capacitor.

The "other box"

Update 2: This is the "other box" similar in size to the capacitor. While the manual doesn't mention it, it was stuck to the top of the switch housing area.

Update 3: In the pic, I noticed it said E313648, which IS a wattage limiter. From what I understand, that is to regulate the wattage that goes to the light sockets. Can this affect the fan motor too?

Update 4(Final Update): The motor is shot.

  • Does the fan have a remote wireless receiver switch operated by a remote control? Aug 1, 2019 at 16:53
  • None that I see, no. Aug 1, 2019 at 17:12
  • Contact whoever renovated it and ask them about the fan. Was it new, etc.? Aug 1, 2019 at 17:18
  • I have never heard of these fans having a flywheel. The fan blades would serve the function of a flywheel which function is to load the motor and prevent over speeding. I can imagine that if one was installing a fan and powered it without the blades installed, damage would result. Aug 1, 2019 at 17:21
  • 1
    Pull chain. When I replaced the capacitor, I actually had to attach some of the wires onto the pull chain's box. I made sure to match the uF's, not the color wires. Separate, non-dimmer light switch for the light or fan. Aug 1, 2019 at 20:15

1 Answer 1


Looking at the manual for that fan, there is no "extra box" shown, but it does mention that

"This fan is remote control adaptable (remote control not included). Please refer to instructions provided with the remote control before proceeding with these wiring instructions."

So my guess is that your extra box is the remote control option, and the previous owner lost the remote, with the fan stuck on "Low". I would remove it and wire it as it should be without a remote.

Another thing to try is the Fwd / Rev switch. it may be old and/or dirty, try flipping it back and forth a few times.

  • It had been working fine, changing speeds and everything no problem, up until one night, when it had the symptoms of a bad capacitor (slow spin, hum). I did already try messing with the FWD / REV switch multiple times. The most recent ceiling fans that had a remote I installed (4+ years ago?), had the box for it in the canopy, so I didn't think about that box being remote related as it was down below in the switch housing. Looking at this Harbor Breeze remote manual (pdf.lowes.com/installationguides/671961408435_install.pdf) makes me still think I would have seen it in the canopy. Aug 2, 2019 at 6:16
  • I wonder if the extra box in the photo is a wattage limiter for the lights? Aug 3, 2019 at 3:43
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    @ThreePhaseEel I noticed in the pic I could see the letter/numbers, E313648, which IS a wattage limiter. Aug 3, 2019 at 5:02

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