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How to Lubricate a Squeaky Ceiling Fan

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Does your fan emit a headache-inducing squeak when you power it on? Sounds like you need to oil up your fan. Just like any machine with moving parts, a ceiling fan requires lubrication to run smoothly and quietly. Usually, older ceiling fan models require lubrication but newer ones don’t. To keep the ceiling fan in tip-top shape, lubricate it every year. And if you need pointers on how to oil up your ceiling fan, consider these tips:

Checking the Fan

Turn off the ceiling fan and get a stepladder. Once the fan stops spinning, use the ladder to locate the squeak. If the sound comes from the inside casing, the problem could be the motor. This will not be solved by simply oiling up the blades. You’ll have to disassemble the motor and make the necessary repairs. If the squeak is caused by friction between moving parts of the fan, then lubrication will fix the problem.

Cleaning the Moving Parts

Turn off the power to prevent an accident, and then remove the ceiling fan carefully using a screwdriver. Disassemble the moving parts for cleaning. Make sure to keep the screws in one place so you don’t lose them later on.

Start by opening the motor compartment of the fan. You can use a damp cloth or an old toothbrush to remove accumulated grime and debris. Then, assemble the motor compartment back together. Now, move forward to the fan blades. Check if the fan blades are balanced. Clean the fan blades to remove dirt and grime using an old toothbrush or a damp cloth.

Add the Lubricant

Now start adding the lubricant. There should be a small hole meant for the oil into the motor. If it does not have this hole, add the oil to the bearings of the fan. Any lubricant works to eliminate the pesky squeaking sound, but we recommend WD-40. If you don’t have WD-40, you can use sewing or light machine oil. Add about six drops into the well.

After adding oil on all the moving parts of the fan, manually move the blades. This will disperse the oil to other parts of the ceiling fan. After adding the hole, attach the blades back into the motor with a screw driver. Make sure to tighten every screw very well. Check to see if each blade is straight and balanced.

Assembly and Testing

After screwing the blades back into the fan’s main motor, you have to assemble the fan right back into the ceiling. Depending on how the ceiling fan was installed, you might have to put the wires back into the unit.

Once the fan is re-attached to the ceiling, you’ll have to check if it continues to make the squeaking sound or if the unit is wobbling. Turn the fan on to check. If it wobbles, parts of the ceiling fan were not screwed properly or the blades are not balanced. In any case, you’ll have to remove the ceiling fan and make the necessary adjustments.


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