If you want to know exactly how to install a ceiling fan without attic access, you need to follow a number of steps. Without the access of an attic, this type of installation proves relatively easy – that is, as long as you are equipped with the right tools and have the time.
If you are a do-it-yourselfer, you should still check with an electrician, first, before you begin an installation. Doing so will make the task safer and keep you on top of the operation of your electrical system. What will help make the installation easier is if you already have a circuit in place where you plan to add the fan. However, with that being said, you simply cannot switch out a light fixture for the fan. You still need to follow a specific protocol.
Before You Begin . . .
Before you begin on your project, make sure you have the power switched off. You will need a voltage tester to check the circuit to make sure the electricity is turned off. This tool is essential for any do-it-yourselfer who plans to make their own electrical installations or upgrades.
How To Install A Ceiling Fan Without Attic Access
The following instructions are basic instructions that will assist you in adding your ceiling fan with a good amount of ease. Combine these basic steps with the directions that are provided by the fan’s manufacturer for mounting your ceiling fan and assembling it.
After you have made sure that you turned off the power, you can remove the current light fixture. Make sure the wires are not frayed and that they are still strong. If the wires are in poor shape, use wire strippers to cut the ends and strip about three-fourths of an inch of insulation from each wire at the tip.
Next, you need to remove the fixture box. When removing the box, make sure you do not damage the existing wire.
Insert the ceiling fan’s mounting bracket into the access hole that is located behind the old box. Set the bracket just above the ceiling and center the bar over the hole. Make sure the bracket’s feet are flat or flush against the drywall.
Twist the bracket to expand it. The bracket features teeth that you can place into the ceiling joists. Once you feel some resistance, install the bracket with an adjustable wrench and tighten it.
Get rid of the knockout on the mounting box and add the grommet.
Insert the wires through the grommet before adding them inside the box. Use needle-nose pliers for this operation. Secure the box to the bracket, as directed by the manufacturer. Tighten the nuts that secure the box to the bracket with nut drivers.
Read the instructions for assembling and installing the ceiling fan that are provided by the manufacturer.
Install the mounting bracket for the ceiling fan to the ceiling box.
Lift up the fan to set its ball joint within the half circle on the bracket used for mounting. Doing so will make it easier to connect the wires.
Connect the wires, according to color or use. For example connect the white fan wire to the ceiling wire that is white and the ground ceiling wire with the ground fan wire. The black-and-blue fan wires should be connected to the ceiling wire that is black. A blue wire is included in a fan that features a lighting kit. If the fan does not feature a light, you will not connect the blue wire.
Tighten all the wire connections and wrap each connection in electrical tape before stuffing them with care into the ceiling box. Doing so will prevent them from getting captured between the ceiling and canopy.
Screw the canopy onto the bracket for mounting and power the circuit.
Further Tips for Installation and Assembly of the Fan
As you can see, this operation is fairly simple, as long as you have some knowledge of this type of electrical installation. You just need to remember that an electrical box that is used for a ceiling light will not accommodate a ceiling fan. It is simply too light and flimsy to hold the fan. Any fan needs to be replaced with an electrical box that is specifically designed for fans.
You will find it easier to install a fan if you can find an image online that reviews a fan’s design. You just need to remember that the current electrical cable will be attached to the ceiling joist and that a pancake electrical box is screwed on the joist’s underside. That is usually the normal anatomy.
Including a Medallion
Include a decorative ceiling medallion to cover the former light fixture hole, especially if you are installing the fan in an older home. A metal ceiling plate screws into the pancake electrical box and the down rod pipe threads into the fan’s motor.
When adding the ceiling medallion, apply a bead of a urethane-based glue to the back of the medallion. Pass the wiring through the medallion and center the medallion over the pancake box before pressing it tight into place. To finish off the work, add four finishing nails (6d) and drive them into the ceiling joist.
Establish the nail heads before spackling or caulking. If you need to paint the medallion, you should do so before you add the ceiling plate for the fan. After the paint dries, hold the metal ceiling plate or the fan up to the pancake box, pulling the wiring through the center. When you attach the ceiling plate to the box, you should do so with about 20 machine screws that are 1 1/2 inches long.
Assembling the Fan’s Components
When you assemble the fan’s components, do so by setting the fan on the floor. Feed the wiring that emerges from the motor through the canopy center. Set the canopy over the motor. Pass the wiring through the down rod pipe before threading the pipe into the motor’s top. Tighten the locking screw on the pipe’s side with a wrench for good measure.
Remember that the threads on the pipe have a coating that has been applied in the factory. Therefore, you should never remove the coating. The finish keeps the pipe intact or keeps it from unscrewing.
Attaching the Blades
When you attach the blades for the fan, affix each blade to an iron, or a bracket that holds each blade on the fan. Fasten the irons for the blades to the motor. Screws are usually provided by the manufacture. If the fan features lighting, you will next need to add the lightbulbs and shades. Screw the holder for the remote control next the wall beside the wall switch.
A One-Day Task for a Do-it-Yourselfer
Once you follow the above basic steps, you will find that your ceiling fan will indeed impact your overall comfort and livability. While the fan can keep you cool during the sultry days of summer, it can also pull air down into a room during the winter time. If the fan is lighted, you can also use the fan as your major source of lighting. Replacing a current light fixture with a ceiling fan takes about one day, as the wiring and connections are already in place.
Further Tips of Caution
When you are taking on this type of project, you need to use a volt meter to make sure the electricity is disengaged and methodically follow each of the above steps. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions as they are given for assembling the ceiling fan. The above information gives you an idea of what to expect.
Once you have the ceiling fan assembled and ready to mount, make sure the power is still switched off and that a family member has not reconnected the electricity. While this task is fairly easy, once you learn the steps, you still need to make sure everything is safe.
Installing a ceiling fan will lead you to consider the installation for other parts of your home, once you learn how much money you can save in energy usage. The addition of a fan circulates the air so you can optimize the use of your heating or cooling system. For this reason, the fans are currently trending among homeowners and businesses, as they make the best use of energy efficiency.
Carefully Review the Instructions
When you receive your fan and before installing it, carefully review the instructions for installation given in the fan’s users manual. If you are not sure about anything regarding the wiring, ask an electrician and make sure you are well versed in this area. This is not one of those projects that you should consider trial by error, as the error you may make can cost you your life.
When handling any type of wiring, it is imperative that you are extremely careful. Even if the task is small or light, you cannot ignore the seriousness of any electrical injury.