If your ceiling fan's light is flickering, whether it's a periodic strobe-like effect or intermittent, the problem is almost always an electrical one. Thankfully, it's usually easy to resolve the issue. In order to understand the reasons why your ceiling fan's light can flicker and learn how to fix it, read on.
1. You're Using the Wrong Light Bulb for Your Fan
Most ceiling fans have a limiter switch. If the light bulb in the fan is drawing too much power, the limiter switch will open and cut off electricity to the bulb. After a few seconds, the limiter switch will close and the bulb will receive power again, so this process results in persistent strobe-like flickering.
The limiter switch is an important safety feature, since it prevents the wires in the fan and in your walls from overheating due to the fact that too much electrical current is passing through them. Using an older incandescent bulb in a fan that's designed for CFL or halogen bulbs will cause this issue immediately, as the newer bulbs consume less power.
In order to fix this problem, you'll need to switch to a lower-wattage bulb. You can find out which light bulbs your ceiling fan supports by looking up the owner's manual online.
2. Your Fan's Vibrations Are Causing the Connection to Come Loose
If the light in your ceiling fan only flickers when the fan is spinning, the flickering is likely caused by excessive vibration. In order to fix this problem, you can try tightening the bulb connection along with reducing vibration.
To tighten the bulb connection, you'll first need to turn off the wall switch in order to cut power to the fan. Remove the light bulb from your fan and inspect the two tabs in the socket. If they're not parallel, use a pair of pliers to make them parallel with each other again. Once they're parallel, the connection between the bulb and the socket will be improved.
In order to reduce fan vibration, you'll need to balance the fan blades. You'll be able to find a fan balancing kit at most home improvement stores. The balancing kits contain weights that attach to your fan blades, and distributing weight across them more evenly will reduce vibrations.
Applying the weights to your fan's blades in order to balance it is a trial-and-error process. You start by putting one weight on the center of one fan blade. If this doesn't reduce the level of vibration, move it to the center of an adjacent fan blade. If placing the weights on the center of the fan blades doesn't work, try placing them at the base or on the tip of the blade. After repeating this process enough times, you'll eventually find a weight configuration that minimizes vibration.
3. Your Fan or Wall Switch Has Loose Wiring
Sometimes the wiring in a ceiling fan becomes loose. You can check the wiring with a voltmeter, which you can buy at a home improvement store. Connect the voltmeter to the light bulb socket while the fan is running, then check the reading on the voltmeter. If the readings are fluctuating, you likely have loose wiring in either the ceiling fan or in the walls.
If loose wiring is the culprit behind your flickering ceiling fan light, you'll need to call a local electrician. Working with the electrical wiring in your home needs to be performed by a professional. Your local electrician inspect the wiring within your fan and in your light switch to find any loose connections. After tightening the loose connections, your ceiling fan's problem with flickering lights will be resolved. Contact a company like Palmer Electric Inc. to learn more.