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Over the course of the winter, the ceiling fan on my screened-in deck stopped working. The attached light still functions properly, so it is definitely getting electricity, but the fan will not operate. Pulling the cord results in no response whatsoever.

What can I do to try to troubleshoot this further? Is it even worth the time/effort to do so, or is it best to just skip ahead to replacing the entire fan?

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There are a couple of things you can try to fix it before thinking about getting a new fan:

All the fans I've seen will make a slight humming noise when they're turned on, whether they're moving or not: if you don't hear that noise, you may not be getting power to the fan. Turn off the circuit at the service panel, take down the fan from the mount on the ceiling and check all the connections. Once everything is checked out, remount the fan, turn the circuit on and try again.

Second, does the fan turn easily if you move it by hand? If it doesn't turn easily, then something is wrong with the mechanics and the motor might burn out trying to turn the fan. Try spinning it a few times to free up whatever might be sticking; if that doesn't help, then I think it's time for a new fan.

  • Traffic noises are too loud to detect any humming, but I can feel a slight vibration and hear the motor trying to function when I have it on the highest setting. The blades turn easily when moved by hand, but I still get nothing from the motor. Guess that means it's time for a new one. – Jeffrey Blake Mar 5 '11 at 19:55

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