A few days ago my bedroom ceiling fan stopped working completely out of the blue. Both the fan and lights will not turn on when using the pull chains and remote control. I’ve done some basic troubleshooting and confirmed that the breaker has not been tripped and that the unit is receiving power via non-contact voltage tester. I even replaced the wall switches thinking they went bad, with no success. I’ve read that a power surge or outage may fry the internal electrical components, but we’ve had no outages or power issues. I also read that the wiring may loosen over time due to the fan shaking or vibrations but we have not used the fan for the last few months (only the lights) so I doubt that would be the case. Any other ideas why the entire fan and lights would both stop working just suddenly before I replace it altogether?

  • Can look for fried mice in the walls. I would check for loose connections anyway since it is simple and change the batteries in the remote.
    – crip659
    Mar 28, 2023 at 21:42

2 Answers 2


remote control

The typical fan remote control is a module that sits on top of the fan connected to both the incoming power (from the wall switch) and to the fan/light itself. If that remote control goes bad, it will affect every way of turning the fan and light on/off, not just the portable remote control device.

The typical fan remote control is relatively standardized so it can generally be replaced. Alternatively, if you have the right wiring between the fan/light and the wall switch (some do, some don't) then you can remove the remote control and install a double switch, one for fan, one for light.

  • Thank you, I will try replacing the fan control receiver. I didn’t know it would affect the pull chains as well.
    – Kevin
    Mar 29, 2023 at 14:39

Power surges can be so short that you will not notice, but the electronics will.

Since per your report you have power all the way up to the remote control in the ceiling, it shall be the remote controller at fault.

Assuming the hand held remote is working and battery is not dead, so check that first.

If pull chain is connected after remote and remote is in off mode pull chain can not do anything since it has no power.

In you case the remote is not working.

  • 1
    First thing I did was change the batteries for the remote, thinking it was dead. It did not solve the problem.
    – Kevin
    Mar 28, 2023 at 23:40
  • @Kevin did you accidentally change the dip switches on remotes, or just check they settings are equal
    – Traveler
    Mar 29, 2023 at 0:20
  • 1
    @ Ruskes, The pull chain function is not disabled when a remote is used. As a matter of fact the pull may have been pulled to the open/ Off position which will make the fan not run until it is pulled again.
    – RMDman
    Mar 29, 2023 at 1:02
  • @RMDman interesting, so how is the pull chain wired ?? before or after the remote, if it is before it will work in parallel, thus pullchain or remote have control, if it is after it has no function unless remote is doing it
    – Traveler
    Mar 29, 2023 at 1:55
  • The pull chain is after the remote. The final control before the motor. When using a remote module the pull chain should be set on the High Speed setting, otherwise the speed inputs from the remote will be reduced, or in the case of the PC switch being open, will do nothing and the fan will not run.
    – RMDman
    Mar 29, 2023 at 3:32

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