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Shut the front door!
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I turned my ceiling fan on (has been off for a few weeks) and it made an awful grinding noise.
VERY slow to start.
I shut it off for fear something was wrong, and it was going to catch on fire!
(I am not a fan of electricity).

Any ideas what's wrong? Is this normal after it sits for a few weeks?
 

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Sounds like something is gumming it up. Perhaps a dust build up? I don't think most ceiling fans need oiling but I don't really know. I don't run mine that often but never had one make a noise. Could be a bearing burned out also. I wouldn't run it either since it is slow to start it could burn out and catch fire.
 

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Shut the front door!
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Discussion Starter #3
I am going to ask a dumb question........

If the switch to the fan if OFF......does that mean there is no electricty running to the fan OR do I have to turn off the main breaker (shut the whole house down) to insure there is no electritcy running to the fan?
I would climb up on a ladder and take it apart, I just don't want to fry myself!!
 

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For safety I would shut off the breaker. I always use a tester to confirm there is no power. Did you happen to notice, after you turned the switch off, did it come to a stop quickly? Does the fan have a lot of free play (loose) at the shaft? The grinding noise is of concern, but was it really just on a low setting and making a noise getting started. I would start it again and maybe put on a higher setting and let run a little, after confirming the shaft is stable....James
 

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I am going to ask a dumb question........

If the switch to the fan if OFF......does that mean there is no electricty running to the fan OR do I have to turn off the main breaker (shut the whole house down) to insure there is no electritcy running to the fan?
I would climb up on a ladder and take it apart, I just don't want to fry myself!!
Usually turning off the switch won't allow electricity to the fan, if it was wired normally. You need to get one of those cheap little circuit testers on your next trip to the hardware store, the ones that light up and beep when you get near or touch the wires.

Example
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Gardner-...gclid=CPmajNin_8ECFWxk7AodCA8AqQ&gclsrc=aw.ds

Now to the fan.
It's shot, time for a new one. Don't mess around, just replace it. And yes, I once had one in the living room that made that noise, until it shot out a blue flame and the magic smoke came out of it........:facepalm:
As long as the switch is off, it should be ok until you get the $ to replace it.
 

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Usually turning off the switch won't allow electricity to the fan, if it was wired normally.
Just to be safe i would turn the breaker off to that circuit. In town i saw an electricians van in the neighbors driveway. I heard the neighbor say he turned off the switch. Climbed up his 14 foot aluminum ladder. Stuck the screwdriver in the ceiling fan and came to on the other side of the room. The guys a jerk. I wouldve paid good money to see that happen to him.

Be careful Laura.
 

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Turn off the breaker before you mess with it. To verify the correct breaker, have the unit (or light) on and make sure it goes off when you flip the breaker. Fans are not that hard to replace - the trick is to have some sort of hanger to hold it up while you make connections - most new fans come with such a hanger. And the other trick is to keep the breaker off - a good idea is to place a piece of tape over the breaker to make sure someone does not flip it back on without your knowledge.
 

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It depends on how its wired if it has any power in the box when its switched off, the fan itself shouldnt have power with the switch off, but messing with it could be exciting. If you don't understand how this can be, please get someone else to work on it, or ask.

Sounds like the fan is toast.

When messing with it (replacing it), be sure its a fan rated box. If not, replace it with a fan rated box or don't put a fan back up, its a fire hazard not to have one. Seriously. You should be able to google fan rated ceiling boxes and figure it out, or take pics and post them here when the fan is taken down. It can be taken down, the wires capped with wire nuts (or a cheap light put up), and the power turned back on.

You can simply replace it with a light, either to get rid of the fan, or until you can afford another fan.

Totally off topic, I don't care for ceiling fans in the winter. Moving air feels colder than still air, even though the theory is that youre getting the warm air down where you are. Still feels colder to me with the air moving.

... Stuck the screwdriver in the ceiling fan and came to on the other side of the room. The guys a jerk....
I would use a different word, but wouldn't want to offend anyone that was learning disabled by unintentionally lumping them in with someone like that.
 

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The good thing about a ceiling fan in the winter, if running the right way, is it moves the air out to the walls and down, making all the air in the room more the same temperature instead of pockets of cold air or drafty places. It will also move warm air into other rooms. Warm air rises and when sitting down you are in the colder layer, without the fan....James
 

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A real electrician would identify the breaker involved in protecting the wiring to your fan, shut that breaker off, tape it in off position with a note not to touch, then check the wiring at your fan with one of several possible tools for energized wiring before he stuck a screwdriver in the fan. Honestly I don't know an electrician that would stick a screwdriver in a fan to start with, they just replace things, almost nobody fixes things anymore, often its cheaper to replace anyway. (although its usually a cheaper grade)

Get a new fan, its shot and if you are not completely sure how to do it safely, get help that does. I as well as anybody can replace an existing fan not including assembly faster than you could bake my payment for said services, which would be a batch of fresh baked peanut butter cookies, with a glass of ice cold real milk. Not skim white water. You see I cook well , but don't bake! :thumb:
 
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