Modern ceiling fans are well designed and will provide years of reliable service with minimal maintenance. When one does fail to function properly, the problems can usually be traced to an accumulation of dirt in the motor's bearings or to a defective motor capacitor. With modern fans, the capacitor plays an integral role in controlling the motor speed. Replacing a defective capacitor is an easy repair that almost anyone can complete with relative ease.
1.Turn off the circuit breaker on the service panel supplying power to the ceiling fan. Ensure you have turned off the correct breaker by bringing the noncontact voltage tester near the fan's switch cover. Erect the stepladder beneath the ceiling fan.
2.Disassemble the light kit on the ceiling fan. Remove the light bulbs and lampshades. Remove the screws that secure the light fixture to the fan's housing. There are usually three screws on the side of the housing. Unscrew the plastic wire nuts to disconnect the fixture wires.
3.Find the motor capacitor. The motor capacitor is a black box with two to five wires coming out of it, depending on the make and model of the fan. The capacitor connects to the fan switch. The capacitor leads are color coded but the motor leads may not be. Tag the motor leads with colored tape before disconnecting the old capacitor, if necessary. Remove the old capacitor by unscrewing the wire nuts connecting its leads to the motor and switch leads. Take the old capacitor to a home center or appliance parts store to get an exact replacement.
4.Install the new motor capacitor by holding the stripped ends of the capacitor leads next to the appropriate motor lead. Screwing on the wire nuts. Secure the capacitor in the wiring compartment and reconnect the light fixture leads. Reinstall the light kit on the fan and reassemble the lampshades. Install the light bulbs and turn the circuit breaker to the "On" position.
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