Do you know that a ceiling fan can be repaired? The ceiling fan is one of the most reliable appliance in the house. They usually last many many years without trouble.
Modern fans usually have an electronic circuit board. If you have fans with remote control, timer or natural breeze with variable speed, then they will probably have a small electronic circuit board in it. This board can be damaged by lightning strikes and usually you have to get a replacement from the manufacturer if it is damaged. If the fan is too old or you cannot locate replacement parts, then you probably have to get a new fan.
Traditional ceiling fans without any electronic circuit boards tends to last longer since they are less susceptible to damage by lightning or power surge. They do have electrical parts which is usually a capacitor. These tend to be more robust compared to integrated circuits. Quite often the part that is damaged is the capacitor. The capacitor is quite cheap, usually just a few ringgit and can be easily replaced. Both modern and simple ceiling fans have capacitors. It is a key component that makes the fan spin.
How do you know if the capacitor is damaged? These are the symptoms:-
- the ceiling fan does not start but makes a humming noise
- it spins very slowly
- it spins only if you help it get started by pushing on the blades
If your ceiling fan has any of these symptoms, then very likely, it is the capacitor needs to be replaced. To confirm if the capacitor is the culprit, when you take a closer look at it, a damaged, capacitor will have a bulge, looked aged or even have a burnt smell. This confirms that it needs to be replaced. If it does not have any of these signs, the the ceiling fan malfunction may be caused by other problem.
The capacitor is usually located under the cone that sits above the fan. It is usually square or round in shape. Some have 2 wires, while some have 3, 4 or more wires. See the photo below. In this instance, the capacitor, it is the black rectangular box.
Here’s another view from another angle.
As you can see from the photos, it is quite easy to replace. However, you must get a similar capacitor. There will be markings on it. For Malaysia, the voltage of such capacitor must be rated at or above 240v. It is common to have a capacitor rated at 400v but do not get anything that is lower. The other rating is the capacitance, denoted in μF or micro Farad.
If you are not sure how to go about replacing the capacitor, then get an electrician. At the very least, you’ll know that is should not cost too much to replace.
If you plan to do it yourself, then you must buy the part at electronic or electrical repair shops. Shops that sell new television and household appliances usually do not sell them. Bring along the old capacitor and you will be able to get the right one.
Before you remove any wires, make sure you take the necessary precautions and switch off the power. Use a test pen to make sure there really is no more power going to the fan. Then mark the wires so that you can put them back they way they were.
This is how to repair a ceiling fan from simple malfunction.
Note – this DIY repair involves mains voltage. You can get killed by electricity. If you do not know what you are doing, then leave it to the professionals.