Hunter ceiling fan.
Electrical Fixture Installation:

Installing A Hunter®
Ceiling Fan

 
In This Article:

The special hanger bracket is attached to the ceiling box. The downrod is attached to the fan motor. The motor is hung from the hanger and wiring connections are made. Fan blades are assembled and installed. Light kit is installed.

Related Articles:
Skill Level: 2-3 (Basic to Intermediate) Time Taken: About 2 Hours

By , Editor

Ceiling fans are great, I put them in every room possible. There are many energy-saving and comfort benefits of a ceiling fan:

  • During the heating season, a ceiling fan allows you to bring warm air down from the ceiling.
  • In summertime, a ceiling fan can provide enough moving air to let you actually sleep on hot summer nights, especially for us northern fools who don't have central air conditioning.
  • A ceiling fan can help distribute the cool air from window air conditioners, although I find tilt-able circulating fans to be perhaps more effective.
  • The light breeze created by a ceiling fan cools you by causing the perspiration on your skin to evaporate. In theory you can run a ceiling fan and slightly raise the temperature setting of your central air conditioning, thus saving energy. But I can't speak from experience.

I always recommend that appropriate wiring be installed when a room is remodeled, especially when wall and ceiling surfaces are removed.

Unlike ordinary light fixtures, a ceiling fan is heavy and makes vibrations, however small. If an ordinary ceiling junction box is used with a ceiling fan, these vibrations can cause the mounting screws to loosen and fall out, which could be dangerous to persons in the room. Imagine having a ceiling fan fall on you while you were sleeping. No sweet dreams for you!

When installing a ceiling junction box in the middle of a room, I always use a box approved for ceiling fans, even if a fan is not being installed right away. And I always runs 3-conductor cable from the switch to the box, so the light and fan motor can be controlled separately.

After the ceiling was painted, I was ready to install the ceiling fan and light kit.

 

During remodeling I connected this temporary light fixture. This is just a cheapo 2-bulb fixture without the glass cover. I simply hung it from the white and black supply wires. Since this fixture weighs practically nothing when no glass cover is used, it can safely hang by the wires.

 

I removed the temporary light fixture.

This is the starting point. During the rough-in phase, I ran a 14-3G cable from the switch box to this ceiling fan junction box.

Junction box for ceiling fan, showing ends of wires.

 

A closer look at the fan J-box. This is a Westinghouse item from Home Depot, about $5.

There are 4 hex-head screws that attach this box to a wood cross-member overhead.

During rough-in, I used a piece of 2x4 to span between the ceiling joists. The 2x4 is screwed to the joists with 3-inch deck screws.

 

I wrapped the ground wire around the green ground screw, and tightened the screw.

 

Note the colors of the wires in 3-conductor cable: White (for neutral), Black, and Red.

The colored wires are hot.

You can just forget about that "white-hot" concept... that might describe your basketball game, or your love life, but it does not apply to residential electrical wiring.

Sometimes you'll run across yellow, orange, perhaps even blue wires, especially when there are individual conductors running through conduit. These are normally HOT  wires. Green, of course, is always ground. White is neutral, always, unless tagged as colored.

 

I unpacked the ceiling fan to make sure all the parts were there.

 

This is the hanger bracket.

 

The top of the hanger bracket has four black rubber vibration isolators.

 

While the instructions mention a pair of 3" lag screws, I found none. I believe these 3" pan head wood screws are meant for mounting the fan.

They talk about pre-drilling and driving these screws through the "outermost holes in the outlet box". 

Say What? In a metal junction box?

 

I removed this screw that came with the junction box.

 

I put the washer on the screw and stuck it in one of the mounting slots.

 

But the screw only protruded about 1/4 inch beyond the ends of the rubber isolators.

 

And the threaded stand-off in the junction box is recessed by about 1/4 inch.

 

Hello... This ain't gonna work.

 

I got my own 10-24 x 1½" long machine screw.

This should be long enough. I tried a 2" long screw, but it hit the bottom of the hole before it was done tightening.

 

I drove the screws into the mounting holes in the ceiling J-box.

Wait a minute! These don't fit.

The washers hit the rim of the big opening on the hanger bracket (red arrow). I don't remember having this problem with other Hunter fans.

 

So, leaving those first screws in place, I drove the 3 inch wood screws through some other slots, outside of the metal junction box, where I knew there was wood above.

 

Then I removed the machine screws.

 

The hanger bracket after installation.

 

For Sloping Ceilings:

This big gaping hole in the side of the bracket must be on the uphill side.

 

I decided to install the machine screws again, but without the washers. I figure extra holding power can't hurt, though it might let more vibrations and noise travel through to the structure.

Some people might be tempted to use only these screws. Using washers would be a bad idea because the washers can't sit flat. Without washers these screws seem to have a good hold on the metal hanger bracket, but I can't guarantee anything.

Hunter's instructions don't say anything about using machine screws and the junction box's original threaded holes. All they say is to drive screws into the wood structure.

 

I laid the motor assembly on the floor.

The wires that are bundled up are quite long, about 3 or 4 feet. The extra length might be needed if the fan was being installed on a high ceiling and a long downrod was being used to bring the fan blades back down to a reasonable height.

 

I turned the motor over and removed the plastic shipping blocks. These hold the motor from turning.

 

This is the canopy trim ring. It covers the screws that hold the canopy to the mounting bracket.

 

This is the canopy. It covers the mounting bracket.

There is a piece of tape inside, holding a funky washer in place...

 

...this washer.

 

Low Profile Installation:

In place of that washer mentioned above, this special washer is used for low profile installation.

 

Looking straight down at the shaft above the fan motor. There are 3 screw holes for low profile installation.

 

A close-up shot of one of those holes.

 

After I removed the set screw, I placed the trim ring over the motor, then I threaded the wires through the canopy with the special washer.

 

I installed three screws.

The instructions call for 8-32 x ½" long machine screws, but all I could find was 3/4" long screws. They seemed to work.

 

Then I hung the motor/canopy assembly on the J-hook. There is one small hole in the canopy that can be used for this purpose.

At this point the wiring connections would be done, and then the canopy would be installed on the hanger bracket, by starting two screws in the hanger bracket (near the ceiling) and sliding the "L"-shaped slots over the screws, then adding the third screw.

 

Normal Installation:

I'm going to follow the normal installation procedure, since my ceiling is 8 feet high. But I'm going to keep the low-profile parts, just in case I decide to raise the fan a little higher.

I put the trim ring, the canopy, and the normal washer over the wires.

Note that the big 'ol set screw has been installed again.

 

This is the standard downrod that comes with the fan.

 

Fan Height:

Hunter recommends that the fan blades be about 7 feet above the floor. If the blades are too low, somebody could smack their hand (or their head) on a moving blade, which could really hurt. And it could break the fan blade.

  • An 8-foot ceiling uses the standard downrod.
  • For a 9-foot ceiling, a 12 inch downrod is recommended.
  • 10-foot ceiling: 24 inch downrod... you get the picture.

 

Changing The Downrod:

This small screw is removed.

While it doesn't seem very useful, this screw keeps the downrod assembly together.

 

The plastic ball-thing is slid down.

 

The metal pin is removed.

 

This plastic tapered piece is slid down.

 

The ground wire is removed and installed on the new downrod.

 

During re-assembly the pin must be seated in a pair of shallow slots (red arrow) in the ball-thing.

 

Attaching The Downrod:

I threaded the 3 fan wires through the downrod.

 

I screwed the threaded end of the downrod into the motor assembly. I had to hold the wires firmly to keep them from getting all twisted up,

 

I used a wrench to tighten the set screw.

 

Hanging Time:

This small tab near the inside bottom of the metal hanger bracket is very important.

 

The tab needs to fit into this groove on the ball-thing.

This keeps the whole assembly from turning when the fan is switched on.

 

I simply lifted the motor assembly and dropped the ball-thing into the socket in the hanger assembly, making sure the groove fit over the metal tab.

Now I can make the wiring connections without having to hold up the weight of the fan.

 

Wiring Connections:

I connected the two green wires to the bare ground wire, and I connected the white fan wire to the white supply wire.

 

I connected the hot wires. There are two hot wires in the fan... one black, and the other black with a white stripe.
  • The black with white stripe wire is for the light.
  • The black wire goes to the fan motor.

In my case, the black supply wire (part of the 14-3G cable that feeds the ceiling J-box) comes from the light switch on the wall. The red wire comes from the fan switch on the wall... because that's the way I wired it.

 

I tucked the wires into the space above the ball-thing.

 

Mounting The Canopy:

I partially installed 2 of the 3 screws in the hanger bracket.

These are 10-32 x ½" long screws.

 

I raised the canopy up so the screws entered the slots, then I turned the canopy to engage the slots.

 

I installed the third screw, then tightened the others.

 

The trim ring attaches with two of these white plastic tabs.

 

I just pushed the trim ring up against the canopy and it snapped in place.

Removing the trim ring, according to Hunter's instructions, involves using a screwdriver to pry the trim ring away from the ceiling. A putty knife should also work.

 

Attaching The Blades:

This is a blade iron. There are 3 threaded holes on the back side.

Note the blades in the background. Opposite sides of the blades have different colors. I want the darker color down, so the lighter color will go on top.

 

I attached the blade to the blade iron with 3 screws.

Note that this is the top side of the blade, so the color I don't want is seen here.

 

I installed the blades on the motor, using the screws that I removed from the temporary shipping blocks.

These screws need to be good and tight.

 

The fan blades have been installed.

The fan motor won't run yet, because the light kit needs to be installed, and the fan direction switch is part of the light kit.

 

Installing The Light Kit:

This fan came with a 4-bulb light lit.

The upper switch housing arrives unattached.

 

I installed the upper switch housing to the underside of the fan, using 3 small 6-32 pan head screws.

 

I snapped the electrical connector together.

There are matching letters on each half of the connector to ensure proper orientation.

 

I pushed the lower light housing up into the upper housing. Crammed would be more like it... there were a lot of wires for that small space.

Then I inserted three small (6-32) flat head screws to hold the light housing together.

 

The glass shades (4 in this case) have rubber bands around the mounting collar, which is a recent improvement that is probably meant to reduce any chance of rattling.

 

Each light has 3 thumb screws around it to hold the shade.

I had to back off some of these screws to get the shade in place.

 

I set the shade in position and lightly hand-tightened the 3 screws.

The shade needs to be "retained" by the screws, not squeezed in a death-grip.

 

 

I installed the light bulbs, maximum of 60 watts in this case.

(Ooooh, this is a dramatic picture!)

 

Handyman #1: How many handymen with Attention Deficit Disorder does it take to screw in a light bulb?

Handyman #2: I don't know, how many?

Handyman #1: Let's go watch TV!

 

Finally, it's done.

 

Let's take it for a spin...

Woohoo, it didn't even need the balancing kit.

 

 

Tools Used:

  • Cordless Drill/Driver
  • Wire Strippers
  • Wire Cutters
  • Phillips Screwdriver

Materials Used:

  • Ceiling Fan, 44", Hunter 23843
  • Wire Nuts
  • #10-24 x 1½" Machine Screws

 

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Written September 26, 2005