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How do I Replace a Ceiling Fan Capacitor?

By T. L. Childree
Updated: May 16, 2024

In order to replace a ceiling fan capacitor, you will need to follow a few basic steps. First, make sure you have the correct type of replacement capacitor and know its exact location. Next, make certain that you have the power supply completely disconnected. Then disassemble the fan until you gain access to the ceiling fan capacitor. Finally, replace the faulty part, reassemble the fan, and turn on the power supply.

Before you can replace a ceiling fan capacitor, you must know what replacement part to use. It may be necessary to consult the fan manufacturer to obtain this information. Once you have the correct part, determine its exact location in the unit. In most cases, the capacitor is in a metal housing located between the light fixture and the fan motor. This housing typically contains the fan’s speed control mechanism as well.

It is important to disconnect the electrical current going to the fan before you begin working. The current should be turned off at the electrical circuit panel to be completely safe. If you do not know which circuit breaker or fuse is connected to the ceiling fan, turn the unit on and disconnect each circuit until the fan loses power. After disconnecting the electricity, wait several minutes for the ceiling fan capacitor to discharge any stored electricity before proceeding with the work.

Disassemble the light fixture and remove it from the fan. It is important to mark each wire that you disconnect in order to correctly reassemble the fan. Keep all screws and wiring hardware in a safe location for reassembly. Remove the screws securing the bottom plate of the metal housing. Locate the ceiling fan capacitor and cut the wires as close to the component as possible.

Use a wire stripping tool to remove a small amount of insulation from the wires. Attach the wires from the new ceiling fan capacitor to the old wires using a screw-on or crimp-type wire nut. It may be necessary to rearrange some of the wiring to make room for the new capacitor. Make sure that none of the wiring is caught between the bottom plate and the housing. Reattach the bottom plate of the metal housing.

Reconnect the wiring from the light fixture to the fan in the correct order. Reattach the light fixture to the fan and check that it is securely screwed in to the metal housing. Turn on the power supply to the unit. Check the ceiling fan and light fixture for proper function.

HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By anon303336 — On Nov 14, 2012

Yes, it's a very easy job to replace the fan capacitor

and it's easier to replace the wall switch ones.

By bagley79 — On Sep 20, 2011

I wouldn't even try to replace a ceiling fan capacitor by myself. Since I know nothing about ceiling fan wiring or lighting, it is probably best that I don't attempt this myself.

When the ceiling fan in my bedroom quit working I found it was cheaper to get a new fan than it was to replace the part. This was a cheaper, small ceiling fan so it wasn't that big of a deal.

I am sure with some of the more expensive fans, you would be much better off just replacing the broken part than buying a new fan.

By Mykol — On Sep 19, 2011

When we had to replace a ceiling fan capacitor in one of our ceiling fans it became a long process.

We have very high ceilings and we had to use some scaffolding to even reach the fan. Once my husband got up there he was able to read the part number off the fan.

These were Hunter ceiling fans and when we called customer service they said there was a lifetime warranty on this part. They shipped us a new part and all we had to do was return the old part to them.

I had to go for a week with this scaffolding set up in my living room, but at least we didn't have to go out and buy a whole new ceiling fan.

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