How to fix a ceiling fan that won’t spin

ceiling fan that wont spin
Image Credits: Pixabay

A ceiling fan is one of the most underestimated appliances in our homes and offices. They provide us with cool air throughout the summer months but most of us fail to consider them and look after them like other appliances. Due to lack of maintenance, a ceiling fan can encounter several problems and one of them is ceiling fan not spinning. If you too are facing the same issue, then the following given troubleshooting tips on how to fix a ceiling fan that won’t spin, might prove useful.

1. Blown motor capacitor

REASON: One of the common reasons because of which you have a ceiling fan that won’t spin is a blown motor capacitor.  The motor capacitor may simply burn out due to either overheating or age.  If you have been using the fan for a long time, then the chances of this may increase.

SOLUTION: The only solution for this is to replace the motor capacitor either yourself or by contacting a professional. In order to check the capacitor, you must first remove the motor housing. The capacitor is basically a little black box which is connected to the pull cord.  You will be able to detect the blown capacitor just by looking at it as it will seem melted or burnt.

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2. Broken flywheel

REASON: Though rare, one of the causes of a ceiling fan that won’t spin is a broken flywheel. In some of the models of ceiling fans, the blades are attached with a rubber flywheel rather than the motor itself.  Due to constant usage and over a period of time, the flywheel may become weak and brittle. This may cause it to break. In such a situation, the motor would still be working or running but the blades may not be spinning.

SOLUTION:The solution in this case is replacement of the flywheel. This should be done through a professional.

a new flywheel
Image Credits:

3. Frozen bearings

REASON: Another common reason for a ceiling fan that won’t spin is frozen bearings.  The bearings present inside the motor may have got stuck or frozen which may thus not be allowing the blades to spin.  Even if you push the blades by hand, they won’t move if this is the cause or case.

SOLUTION: It is true that bearings can be replaced but it is recommended to change or replace the fan altogether for better results.

frozen bearings
Image Credits: Instructables

4. Check the power

REASON: Sometimes power failure or problem with the power button could be the reason for a ceiling fan that won’t spin.

SOLUTION: Thus you must make sure the fan is receiving power to function. You can either use a multimeter to check for continuity or call an electrician to help you check the power.

checking through multimeter
Image Credits:

Now that you know the various reasons and solutions for a ceiling fan that wont spin, you can solve the issue on your own. But if you have no previous experience with electrical wires or connections, then it is better to take help of a professional. Contact Mr Right services for ceiling fan installation or repair.

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  1. 1

    excellent article. The place else may anyone get that type of info in such a perfect method of writing? I’ve a presentation subsequent week, and I’m at the look for such info.

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    I wish to say that this article is awesome, nice written and come with almost all vital infos. I’d like to see extra posts like this .

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    Since I went brokish buying this house I can’t do anymore repairs such as my ceiling fan that won’t spin yet. It has power as I can hear the motor. It does spin when I push the blades then stops but I sure want this fixed to help push heat down in the winter months and feel some air in the summer which hasn’t happened for almost 3 years.

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    There is no continuity between the hot and neutral when I turn on the switch. It’s as though there’s a snag in the system. This is when things start to get strange. I have sporadic continuity when I connect my hot and neutral to my VOM and then manually spin the motor. Each turn will provide a short burst of continuity as long as I’m in one of the three “on” positions. When I try to dial in the exact location of the motor where the continuity happened, however, the continuity vanishes. Even if it’s only at extremely low RPMs, the motor must be rotating.

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    I went ahead and energized the fan to 110v. It works
    So, I guess it had something to do with the variable speed setup. Not sure, but since it works, that’s what matters.

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    I’ve been troubleshooting a small Westinghouse fan/light. I was told that the light didn’t work. But after tracing and remaking all the connections, the light does indeed work.
    The fan, however, does not. When I engage the switch there is no continuity between the hot and the neutral. It’s like there’s an open wire somewhere. This is where it gets weird. If I connect my hot and neutral to my VOM, and THEN spin the motor manually, I get intermittent continuity. So long as I’m in one of the 3 “on” positions, each revolution will produce a short burst of continuity. If, however, I try to dial in the actual position of the motor where the continuity occurred, the continuity disappears. The motor has to be spinning, even if that’s only very very very low RPMs.

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    It was really informative as to why a ceiling fan would not spin and the reasons behind properly evaluated to make a fix.

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