Ceiling fan wobble

Someone who shall remain nameless because she is my girlfriend hit my ceiling fan with her arm. It abruptly stopped but then continued to work. No visible signs of damage. Since then there has been a pronounced wobble to the fan. Any way to fix that or is it time to go shopping?

Take off the cover where the fan attaches to the ceiling, and loosen the screws that hold it into place. Fans these days are usually held in place by a ball joint. You want the ball (well, usually half a ball) to be able to rotate freely. Make sure the mounting bracket and everything still attached to the ceiling are firmly attached and weren’t pulled loose when the fan was hit.

With the fan hanging perfectly straight (a level or a tape measure can help), tighten the ball joint. It may have just been knocked out of place a bit.

If the wobble stops, you’re done. If not, you can try balancing the blades. They sell small weights at ye ol local home repair shops (lowes, home depot, ace hardware, etc). Basically, just move the weight from blade to blade until you find one that makes an improvement instead of making the wobble worse. Then move the weight up and down on that blade to balance the wobble away.

Theoretically … you should be able to duct tape a weight somewhere and balance the fan blades out … or open up the unit and see what’s causing the wobble … trial-and-error would work and make the girlfriend happy enough maybe she’ll tell you her name …

It’s been years, but I seem to recall that it’s easier to loosen the blades and wiggle them slightly to put the center of mass at the center of the blades. Basically, if you can move the blade that your nameless girlfriend hit back to where it was then the fan will be back in balance. The trick is figuring out which blade moved. It may be possible that the screw holes in that blade will be slightly oblong or otherwise damaged.

I’ll bet she bent a blade.
They all need to be in the same plane, or the fan will wobble.

It’s also possible that the blades are merely loose. Take a minute to do a simple wiggle test and make sure everything is snug.

This. I used quarters and black electrical tape on my bedroom ceiling fan.

Measure the distance from each blade to the ceiling. They should all be the same distance.

All good advice

Stay away from girls that stick their arms into moving blades.

She probably bent one of the blade mounting brackets. Most fan blade mounting brackets can be replaced. Check Home Depot or Lowes to see if they have brackets with the same mounting brackets.

Carefully go thru and make sure all the blades are aligned the same. My procedure:

Take a ruler and measure the tip of each fan to the ceiling. Put the ruler just off the tip of a blade and rotate the fan checking their distances. Bend any blade that’s off from the others back to the right level.

Next up is pitch: the tilt of each fan blade. Use the ruler again to measure the back and front of each blade near the tip. Unfortunately this requires moving the ruler out of the way so be careful in relocating to the same spot. Again, twist any blade that needs to be matched to the others.

No you might have to check and redo the first step. Then again the second step. But you should converge soon enough.

If it was stable before, there’s no need to add weights.

Note going thru this process from time to time is a good idea. It fixes not just most wobbles but also extra “whoop-whoop” noise.

Make sure you do it this way – rotate the fan so you measure each blade to the same spot on the ceiling. Otherwise you may be off – many ceilings aren’t exactly level, and the variation could be more than the fan blade is bent.

Very likely. The blades need to be balanced, any change to the shape, weight, or position of the blades can create a wobble.

When this happened in my home, due to children who shall not be named, it occurred to me that the fan in question was quite dated and ugly.

I found a modern fan for an excellent price at HD and replaced the old one in about a hour. I like the stylish quiet and smooth new fan.