I've got a ceiling fan in my kitchen that all of a sudden stopped working one day. No lights, no fan. Power is still up in the rest of the kitchen, and no breakers tripped.

Is it common for a ceiling fan to stop working? It's less than a few years old. It does run a fair bit, but I'd expect the lights to still work if for instance the motor went out.

I'm not sure if that means something is wrong with the electrical inside the fan, or if it's at the connection, or perhaps even the switch.

What can I do to test that it's not kaput?

4 Answers 4


Well for starters you can check the power at the switch to see of the switch has failed. This can be done with a power line wire test probe.....but do use care when dealing with AC power. It is dangerous stuff and can injure or kill if not handled properly. If this leaves you with a queasy feeling then now would be a good time to call in a professional electrician.

If power is passing through the switch to the fan and light unit then it is a pretty good guess that something has gone wrong with the unit itself. There are many things that could happen and some of them may be dependent on just what type of ceiling fan unit this is. For example if the fan was one of the type suspended down from the ceiling on a pipe type thing and if the fan was somewhat unbalanced a continual swinging motion of the hanger pipe could cause the electrical wires to fracture and become open circuit. Without further detail as to the type of fan it would be difficult to suggest specific failures that you might expect to see.

Do note that it is common that a fan / light assembly may have separate switched power leads for the fan and for the light. However there may be a common return neutral line. Since it seems like both the lights and fan failed at the same time it is likely that the wiring failure could be in this common return line.

  • I've fixed a couple where wiggling wires inside the fan housing simply came loose from their connections. May 30, 2013 at 13:02
  • Me too. I had one instance where the wiggling made the wire come out of a wire nut and started to spark.
    – Michael Karas
    May 30, 2013 at 14:53

I had the same problem and found out it was the remote control controller you can replace it at Lowes hardware store pretty cheaply but that was the Problem

  • How did you determine that was the problem? Knowing the troubleshooting steps you took might be helpful for other users
    – Niall C.
    Oct 10, 2013 at 18:49

If it is a Casablanca brand, their website has good troubleshooting. I fixed one of them once by purchasing and installing a new control circuit board.worth the effort on an expensive fan. Power surge can fry the board.


Just had that same problem. Found out it is the receiver in the fan for the remote. They are very sensitive to power surges, which is when my fan stopped working.

  • How would someone determine that this is the problem rather than any number of other failure points in a fan?
    – BMitch
    Dec 11, 2013 at 12:09

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