I have a ceiling fan fixture with lights. The fan runs fine for a few hours or so and then suddenly seems to lose power and slow to a stop. The switch stays on and the circuit breakers are not tripped. I have to toggle the switch repeatedly to get the fan to work again. The fan worked fine for several years so I don't think it's a wiring issue. Any ideas what could be wrong?

In case it's relevant, the fan switch is on a wall panel of three switches. There is one switch for the fan lights, one for the fan itself, and one for a wall outlet in the room. The outlet switch stays on 24/7 and both the outlet and the lights work properly.


The fact that you have to toggle the switch to get it going again leads me to believe you've got a bad switch or maybe it's wired by utilizing the backstabs.

Try switching the light and fan switch to see if the problem "moves" to the lights or stays with the fan. Don't disconnect anything until you've taken a few pictures for reference. Also, turn off the breaker before you do anything.

  • Thanks for the tips, although I'm not quite there yet it seems. The wires were backstabbed, so I connected them to the side screws, didn't work. Swapped switches with the light wires, but the lights still worked and the fan didn't. Any further suggestions? Could this be a motor issue in the fan itself?
    – user107982
    Oct 11 '19 at 23:23
  • it sounds like it's the motor, the run capacitor overheating perhaps.
    – Jasen
    Oct 12 '19 at 1:41
  • As Jasen pointed out, the next thing to do would be to replace the capacitor. It should be located between the fan and the light fixture. It's a little box with wires . You can get them at your home tore for about 6 bucks.
    – JACK
    Oct 12 '19 at 2:00
  • Thanks, will pursue that this weekend.
    – user107982
    Oct 12 '19 at 4:37
  • Fan ran fine over the weekend except for being a bit slow. I looked into it and that also suggests a capacitor problem, so marking this issue resolved. Thanks for the help.
    – user107982
    Oct 14 '19 at 15:47

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