In addition to helping you save money on your energy bills all year long, ceiling fans may add a sense of refinement to your home’s interior design. Whether or whether ceiling fans need to be oiled as part of their maintenance routine is a frequently asked subject. To help you with this, we’ve put together this tutorial.
Modern ceiling fans often don’t need oil because their sealed, self-lubricating ball bearings are built to last. If your ceiling fan was manufactured before 1970, it probably needs to be lubricated once a year.
Older ceiling fans need oil because they frequently have cast iron or metal bearings and other moving elements that need to be lubricated to decrease friction. Some popular oil-needed ceiling fan brands and models are as follows:
- Yvonne Leslie-Locke
- The Original Hunter
- Ward, Montgomery
Let’s expand on why some fans require oil and others do not. We’ll demonstrate how to assess whether you should oil your fan and what kinds of oils are suitable. Last but not least, we’ll teach you exactly how to oil a ceiling fan while it is attached.
Does Oiling Ceiling Fans Make Sense?
Because older models of fans were not constructed with sealed ball bearings, the friction created by the movement of the bearings progressively wears the bearings down, causing rust and corrosion. This eventually leads to the fan developing problems. Motor oil is used to lubricate the bearings to restore continuous, smooth action to avoid this.
Modern ceiling fans are frequently made to require little or no maintenance. They’ll probably have self-lubricating, double-sealed ball bearings, so applying oil to them won’t be necessary very often.
Some older, traditional ceiling fan types may come with reconditioned motors that have sealed ball joints, eliminating the need to lubricate the motor with fan oil.
There are several situations where self-lubricating ceiling fans still need to be oiled. The fan may start to make squeaking, grinding, or clicking noises while it is running if it is getting close to the end of its lifespan or if the bearings are caked with dirt. This typically happens when fans are used frequently or are situated in dusty or smoky environments.
It is recommended to consult the manufacturer’s instruction manual that was packaged with the fan when you bought it to find out whether your ceiling fan needs oil.
You may easily find the handbook on the manufacturer’s website or even by conducting an online search if you’ve misplaced or lost it.
Cleaning A Ceiling Fan
1. Switch the power off.
Make sure your ceiling fan is off and the blades are not moving before continuing. After that, place a ladder underneath the fan. Make sure you have any necessary tools (screwdriver, oil, cloth, etc.) before climbing the ladder, either on your person or, if your ladder has one, on the project tray.
2. Take off the fan’s blades.
The fan’s blades can be removed using a screwdriver, and they should then be placed on the ground. The fan’s motor should next be removed from the canopy by unscrewing it (if the fan is flush-mounted, you must first remove the cover). Set the motor down on a workbench. Put on a pair of electrician’s gloves before removing the motor wires from the electrical socket in the ceiling to prevent an electric shock from handling a wire incorrectly.
3. Verify the motor’s parts.
Open the motor housing and wipe out any visible dust or dirt using a moist cloth (be sure to dry the area afterward). You can use a toothbrush to assist remove any dirt or grime from older fans that may have a substantial amount of it (or WD-40). Make sure you wipe the components down after applying WD-40 to clean them.
4. Put the lubricant on.
Find the ball bearings (typically there are two of them) inside the motor. Clear the bearings of any dirt or caked-on grime. If necessary, work around them with a small, pointed tool to access the motor’s tiny gaps. Then, a few drops of motor oil should be applied to each bearing, being sure to coat both the inner and outer borders. Reinstall the bearings inside the motor after applying the oil.
5. Rebuild the fan.
Reassemble the motor and affix it to the ceiling or canopy once more. The fan blade brackets should then be reinstalled into the motor housing before the fan blades. Make sure that the motor assembly and blade iron brackets are securely screwed back on.
6. Turn on and check.
Restart the fan and test it to see if it makes any rattling, squeaking, or other noises while it is running. You ought to be good to go if the fan’s blades appear to be rotating smoothly and make no odd noises.
Which Oil Should I Use In A Ceiling Fan?
You can quickly identify the kind of oil required to lubricate your ceiling fan by consulting your owner’s manual. The majority of oil-required ceiling fans will need non-detergent motor oil with a weight of 10, 15, or 20. Use of lubricants that may contain detergents, such as those used in automobiles, should be avoided because they can damage the electric motor in your fan. Fan motor oil costs less than $10 and is available at your neighborhood hardware shop or online. (Note: Since ceiling fans only require a little amount of oil to lubricate them, fan motor oil often comes in small canisters.)
Will WD-40 Work On A Ceiling Fan?
It isn’t quite thick enough to adequately lubricate the motor bearings or other moving parts of a ceiling fan. However, WD-40 can absolutely be used to clean the fan’s motor’s parts. Be careful to follow up by applying fan motor oil to the bearings in the fan motor to prevent them from drying out.
How Can A Ceiling Fan Be Oiled Without Taking It Down?
If your ceiling fan has an oil hole, you may lubricate it without taking it down from the ceiling. Let’s examine the proper method for lubricating these ceiling fans.
1. Gather your tools and set your ladder down.
Place a ladder immediately beneath the ceiling fan after grabbing one. Ensure that your ladder’s legs are securely fastened to the ground and are level. Make sure you have your supplies (fan oil, a cloth, all-purpose cleanser, a tiny cleaning tool, etc.) before climbing the ladder.
2. Switch the power off.
Wait for the ceiling fan’s blades to finish spinning before turning it off. Make careful to turn off any lights that are attached to your fan to prevent burning yourself on the hot bulbs. Use a work light if there isn’t any other light in the space.
3. Clean the vicinity of the fan’s motor.
Wipe the region surrounding the oil hole with a clean cloth. If necessary, use an all-purpose cleaner to clean the fan’s motor and blades of any dust or debris that has amassed there. For optimum fan performance, cleaning the fan before use assures that no debris will enter the oil hole during the application.
4. Track down the oil hole.
On your ceiling fan, locate the oil hole. This hole will probably be near the downrod on top of the fan’s motor (a narrow tube connecting the fan to your ceiling). You can simply consult your fan’s instruction booklet to find the hole if you’re having difficulties finding it.
5. Check the oil levels.
By putting a pipe cleaner (about 5 inches long) into the oil hole on your ceiling fan, you can check the oil level there. For the task, a pipe cleaner will serve as a rudimentary dipstick. You need to refuel the motor’s oil if, after dipping the pipe cleaner in the hole, it comes out completely dry. Your fan does not need oil replenishing at this time if it is covered in oil when you take it from the hole, about an inch high. Therefore, if it is creating noise, the motor’s lack of oil is not the problem.
6. Use the oil.
A few drips of oil should be applied using your oil applicator into the oil hole. Dip your pipe cleaner into the hole to check the amount of oil there after every few drips. When the pipe cleaner emerges from the hole covered in about half an inch of oil, stop adding more oil. The ceiling fan shouldn’t require more oil than one or two ounces.
7. Purge the area.
Clean up any oil that has spilt on the motor or light fixture. Afterward, turn on your fan and select the slowest speed. As it runs, pay attention for any grinding or squeaky noises. Allow the ceiling fan to run for two to five minutes so that the oil can circulate, lubricating the motor’s bearings.
8. Connect and test.
You might need to get in touch with a qualified contractor to solve the issue if you continue to notice any clicking, grinding, or rattling sounds coming from your fan.
To Sum It Up
In general, ceiling fans need little upkeep to function well every day. The manufacturer’s recommended maintenance procedures, which may or may not call for oil replacements, will help you prolong the life of your ceiling fan.