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Hey, you're in the home improvement zone--YOUR HANDYMAN ZONE!

Cooling and Ventilation Systems Category: Ceiling Fans


Ceiling fan wobbles / shakes / squeaks.

Tools / Materials (See Below for Applicability):

  • Screwdriver (or other fastening device as determined by the manufacturer's use of fasteners)

  • Torque wrench for u-bolts and lag screws

  • Tape measure

  • Fan-designed electrical box

  • Blade balancing kit



Very light wobbling of your ceiling fan while in use is typical and permissible in the industry, however anything more than that cannot be ignored, including any wobbling you think is excessive based upon your experience, which is indicative of an underlying dangerous problem that requires your immediate attention.

Caution: When dealing with any device that requires electrical power, make sure you take precautions before you work on it, including disconnecting the power.

If you experience any of the aforesaid irregular wobbling / shaking / squeaking, do the following:

  1. Unscrew the screws to the the bracket housing attached to the ceiling and then bring the unscrewed bracket housing down a bit enough to see that the underlying electrical box of the ceiling fan is actually noted somewhere thereon as one that is designed for a ceiling fan.

  2. If the electrical box is one designed for a ceiling fan through such an expressed label designation, your problem may lie with how the box is secured.  If the box is loose, use a torque wrench to tightly fasten it with either lag screws or u-bolts to what should be an existing solid block of wood that is a part of the ceiling or a structure bracket.  If the electrical box is found to be not designed to be used for ceiling fans, you will have to replace it with a fan-designed electrical box.  (This should fix your problem, as electrical boxes not designed for ceiling fans are not meant, nor can they, withstand the movement nor weight of a ceiling fan and can consequently cause the wobbling / shaking you are experiencing.)

  3. If the fan-designed box is tightened as much as possible and yet shaky / wobbly, you may need to add additional support to which the box is secured, either through the installation of another block of wood or otherwise.  If applicable, make sure the structural bracket that is attached to the electrical box is tightly fastened, too.  There are specialists in this area that may provide additional insight into how to add additional support.

  4. If a drop rod is used to hang your ceiling fan from the ceiling, inspect this rod to make sure the ball joint of this rod correctly works with the bracket that supports the ceiling fan.

  5. If the ceiling fan still wobbles / shakes, lastly measure the blades of the fan to ensure that each is evenly hanging from the fan body itself.  If not, the blades that are incorrectly hanging may, by now, have suffered irreparable damage and should be replaced; contact the manufacturer for replacement blades or otherwise visit a home improvement store or fan specialist.

  6. Short of replacing the blades, if the ceiling fan still wobbles and particularly squeaks, then purchase a blade balancing kit from a home improvement store or online, which usually encompasses self-adhesive weights that are specially designed to be placed on the blades.  Follow the manufacturer's instructions. 

  7. Should any of the above possible problems be the applicable problem in your specific situation, once you remedy it with the appropriate solution set forth above, make sure you securely  fasten the bracket housing to the ceiling as originally found.  (For step 6, of course, the bracket housing should already be re-secured, as the step does not require access to what is underneath the bracket housing.)

Ed the Handyman


Your Handyman Zone Team


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