Why Is My Ceiling Fan Slow?

A ceiling fan whose speed diminishes over time might indicate the existence of various problems, one of which is the most probable one; old age. However, if a brand new fan is troubling you with a speed that is slower than the speed of a normal fan, then you need to fix it.

The main possible reasons why ceiling fan running slow is lack of lubricants, damaged capacitor, and imbalances in the fan blade.

How to find the exact reason of Why is my Ceiling Fan Slow?

Examine the Ceiling Fan

Start by turning off the fan and then wait until it’s completely stationary. Spin the fan blades gently with your hands. If the blades do not spin and the movement is facing resistance in turning, then it indicates the existence of a lubrication problem. In case the fan blades spin smoothly, turn on the fan and pay close attention to the sound as the fan accelerates to maximum speed. Any unusual humming sound will indicate a damaged capacitor. Besides this, make sure your ceiling fan is compatible with the speed control switch.

Causes for slow fan speed and its resolution

Lack of Lubrication

Usually, ceiling fans come along with some oil containing a lubrication reservoir. The fans use the oil in the reservoir to lubricate the ring-shaped structure known as the “bearing”. A small hole located in the top portion of the ceiling fan allows the oil to be added to the fan reservoir when needed. It is wise to add a small amount of oil in the reservoir and then let the fan run for a while. Then stop the fan and fill the reservoir completely. Doing so will solve the issues caused due to lubrication problems.       

Damaged Capacitor

Ceiling fans have a “capacitor” that provides the required initial boost that the fans need to start running. The capacitors are usually black cubes or sometimes they are silver in color and shaped like a cylinder. If the capacitor in the fan burns out, it must be replaced otherwise the fan won’t function properly. Open the cap of the ceiling fan; the disassembly process may differ for different models of the fans. Look for any distortion in the capacitor and replace the swollen or the burned ones.             

Balancing Blades

Wobbling in ceiling fans is caused due to imbalances in the fan blades, misalignment of the fan blades, or loose blade holder mounting screws. First of all, make sure that all the blades are tightly screwed into the blade holder. If the wobbling continues, check the blade alignment by measuring the distance from the edge of the fan blades to the ceiling. Make sure all of the blades are at an even distance from the ceiling. If the blades are misaligned, gently bend the fan blades in various directions until the blade is in balance with the rest of the blades. If the ceiling fan continues to be slow after all of these fixes, move on to the next step.

Control switch

The control switch is the device that is used to handle the speed of the ceiling fans. First of all, make sure that the ceiling fan is compatible with the control switch. They are not the most expensive devices and could be the root of the problem. Take all the precautionary measures first; cut off the flow of power to the room where the fan is.

Remove the control switch and establish a direct connection of the respective wires. Turn the power back on and observe the speed of the fan. In case the ceiling fan accelerates faster than before, it indicates that the problem was with the control switch.

Winding problem

This step requires you to completely dismantle the fan. Separate the motor from the rest of the parts. Visually inspect the windings to see if the copper windings are burned or have discolored stains. Replace the motor and associated capacitors and you’re done.

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