How to adjust ceiling fan speed

How To Adjust Ceiling Fan Speed

Most ceiling fans’ speeds are controlled in three different ways: using a pull chain, remote control, and wall speed controller switch. All modern fans come with either remote control or pull the switch to adjust the fan’s speed. But, if your ceiling fan does not have anyways to control speed, you can add a method to control it. Sometimes, the default speed will not be suitable for you, or your fan speed may slow down over time.

Or even the minimum speed might be high for you, and there might be different things. Whatever your problem, we will try to describe different solutions for different problems. Continue reading and find out your problem and solution.

Reason for fix speed:

If your ceiling fan runs only at high speed or it runs only one speed, there might be three reasons: bad capacitor, bad switch, or malfunctioned remote.

What you need:

If the problem is with the remote, you can easily fix it by resetting the remote. If you don’t know how to reset the remote control, keep your look at the end of this article.

If the issue is not with the remote, it can be technical, and you need the following tools for fixing when your fan is stuck on one speed.

  • Screwdriver
  • Stepladder
  • New capacitor or switches
  • Voltage tester

Method 1: Replace the capacitor

If the speed cannot be adjustable, first, you need to check the capacitor. The replacement capacitor must be the similar rating and wires of your previous capacitor.

At first, you need to remove your old capacitor. For doing this, set up a step ladder on a flat surface and secure it perfectly. Some capacitors are located inside the ceiling fan light fixture, especially 3 in 1 capacitor. But two wires capacitors are typically found in the canopy.

Before starting work:

  1. Make sure there is no electricity.
  2. Turn off the breaker and check with a voltage tester.
  3. At first, remove the light kit/ fan housing with a screwdriver.
  4. Locate the capacitor, and it looks like a small black rectangular piece.

For a three-speed pull switch ceiling fan, you will find a five wires capacitor. Before cutting the wire, take a photo for further installation.

A capacitor is measured by capacitance. Before through away the capacitor, you can check it using a multimeter. If the capacitance is below the original what was mentioned on the body, the capacitor is bad. And it would be best if you changed it. First of all, check the number of wires in your old capacitor. If it was 5 wires, you have to buy 5 wires capacitor. Another important thing is the rating of a capacitor, and it also should be an exact rating.

Related article:

Here is an article for you to choose the right capacitor for your fan. “Best ceiling fan capacitor”

Now you can cut all the wires of the old one and purchase a similar one to replace. Connect your new capacitor according to the previous wiring. If you are not a professional, don’t forget to take a note or a picture. Restart the breaker and check the speed.

Method 2: Change the fan’s switches

Most ceiling fans come with a speed control switch, and it may wear out over time. If the pull cord is ok, but the speed does not change, probably this is because of a faulty switch. So, you need to change the 3-speed adjustable switch. The switch is located in the motor housing. If the capacitor is ok, but the switch is damaged, the fan speed will not be changed. You need some basic tools for changing it.

Please turn off the breaker before starting works and test it using a voltage tester. Now, you need to remove fan housing or light housing to bring out the switch. Using a screwdriver, lose all the screws and remove the housing, and locate the switch. Don’t cut the wire before taking a note or a photo using your mobile phone. Also notice, how much wire brings out from the switch, and you need to buy the exact switch to control your fan.

You can now disconnect the wires, buy a similar speed controller switch, and reconnect your new switch according to the previous connection. And finally, reattach all other parts and turn on the breaker, and test fan speed.

Method 3: Reset your ceiling fan remote

Step 1: Turn off your fan using remote

Step 2: Wait for a few seconds. It may vary from brand to brand—15 sec for some brands, 30 sec for some others. You may experiment with how much second works for your fan. Or follow the user manual.

Step 3: This is the final step; you need to press and hold the “OFF button” for 10 seconds. That’s it.

Final Verdict:

Most homeowners do not maintain their ceiling fans timely. That’s why it may slow down over time. Sometimes, if you do not clean your ceiling fan’s blade, the speed might decrease for dust and dirt on the blades. After 5 to 10 years, the fan capacitor may also be damaged. If your ceiling fan slows down, check everything and solve the issue.

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