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Turning off ceiling fan without string or switch?


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19 replies to this topic

#1 of 20 OFFLINE   Keith_R

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Posted May 22 2007 - 12:23 AM

Hey all, the string to our living room ceiling fan broke last night and now the fan is continuously running.

Unfortunately, this fan is controlled only by a string and does not have its own switch on the wall by which to turn it off. I've looked briefly in our circuit breaker box and did not see a separate circuit for the fan, I've also checked the actual fan to see if there may be a switch on there to turn it off but no luck.

We do not need this fan on all the time, it is simply going to waste energy. Is there anyway that can shut this thing off until we fix it or replace it?
-Keith-       


#2 of 20 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted May 22 2007 - 01:22 AM

It should be on the same circuit as its light (and the rest of the room, likely).

Any chance this fan has a remote control, like many recent fans? But with the fan off and unpowered, you can hopefully replace the pull chain / string.

#3 of 20 OFFLINE   drobbins

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Posted May 22 2007 - 01:24 AM

Does the fan have a light controlled with a light switch? If you are handy with electrical wiring, you could connect the fan power wire with the light power wire and they will both be controlled by the light switch. If there is no light and/or you are not handy, enjoy the breeze.
I leave ceiling fans running all the time at the house. If they are on low, they actually help even out the house temperature and work with your heat and AC. I don't think they use that much energy.

#4 of 20 OFFLINE   Henry Gale

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Posted May 22 2007 - 01:32 AM

You'll just have to flip breakers until you find the one that controls the fan.
Where exactly did the string break?
Typically the fans have a pull chain switch; high, medium, low, off.
If you end up having to replace that switch (Home Depot or Lowes) you will certainly want to assure that the juice is off to that ceiling fixture.
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#5 of 20 OFFLINE   Mary M S

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Posted May 22 2007 - 01:34 AM

Throw your breaker (off.)
Unscrew the bottom cap (housing) where the pull chain exits.
If your lucky a bit will remain inside the housing.
Pull it with tweasers to cycle the fan permantely 'off' till it can be repaired or replaced.
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#6 of 20 OFFLINE   Keith_R

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Posted May 22 2007 - 04:34 AM

Thanks for the help. I was able to track down the circuit breaker for the fan and shut it off as a tem porary solution until we either fix it or replace it. Apparently the circuit was there the entire time except that it was crudely written in poor handwriting. How hard would this thing be to fix?
-Keith-       


#7 of 20 OFFLINE   mylan

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Posted May 22 2007 - 05:45 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith_R
How hard would this thing be to fix?

The pull chain? Not hard at all, first try to pull what chain you have out of the hole with a pair of pliers or tweezers (with the breaker off) and buy a longer chain and re-attach. It is the same chain used for dog tags with the beads. If it is behind the housing, remove the screws to get to it. If there is a light kit attached you may need a second person to hold that up because the light will weigh down the housing.
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#8 of 20 OFFLINE   betooz

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Posted May 22 2007 - 09:59 AM

Another alternative would be turning it into a remote controlled fan. This would require installing a control module inside the fan and some basic rewiring. Lowes carries a kit for about $50. I believe they are brand specific. I don't think you need to install the wall mount control to use the remote. Just add in the www dot

lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId=103189-1811-RCD103L&lpage=none

#9 of 20 OFFLINE   BrianW

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Posted May 22 2007 - 03:12 PM

If the remaining length of chain on the existing switch is too short to attach anything to, the switch itself is replaceable. You can get them at Lowe's and Home Depot. They come with instructions and aren't difficult to replace.

Just be sure the breaker is off when you do it.
-Brian
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#10 of 20 OFFLINE   Henry Gale

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Posted May 22 2007 - 04:15 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianW
If the remaining length of chain on the existing switch is too short to attach anything to, the switch itself is replaceable. You can get them at Lowe's and Home Depot. They come with instructions and aren't difficult to replace.

Just be sure the breaker is off when you do it.

Great idea!
Another great idea would be to read post #4.
"I was born to ramble, born to rove
Some men are searchin for the Holy Grail
But there ain't nothin sweeter 
Than riden' the rails."
-Tom Waits-

#11 of 20 OFFLINE   BrianW

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Posted May 22 2007 - 11:25 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Henry Gale
Great idea!
Another great idea would be to read post #4.
Sorry, Henry. I thought that was me who posted that while I was caught in a time warp for a whole month one day last week.

In a parallel universe.


Or something like that. Posted Image
-Brian
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#12 of 20 OFFLINE   Marko Berg

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Posted May 23 2007 - 06:55 AM

I see the problem has been solved, but for future reference...

Quote:
Is there anyway that can shut this thing off

According to the Mythbusters episode featuring the Ceiling Fan of Death, it should be perfectly safe to stick your head between the blades and let that stop their movement. Posted Image

#13 of 20 ONLINE   Jay H

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Posted May 23 2007 - 07:15 AM

Plan B: if you rotate your house at the same RPM as the fan, it would be either be equivalent to shutting the fan off OR would make the ceiling fan spin faster (Theory of relativity and all that fun science stuff).

Did you try silica?

Jay
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#14 of 20 OFFLINE   Eric_L

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Posted May 25 2007 - 11:22 AM

You can turn it off with some elbow grease and a baseball bat. Turning it back on might prove problematic....

#15 of 20 OFFLINE   jams002

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Posted November 19 2008 - 07:29 PM

Turning off ceiling fan without string or switch this cool topic thanks for the info
www .ceilingfantasia.com

#16 of 20 OFFLINE   Jassen M. West

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Posted November 19 2008 - 10:56 PM

Why not go all out...

Clap on, Clap off

Posted Image

#17 of 20 OFFLINE   Bob McLaughlin

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Posted November 20 2008 - 02:12 AM

I just replaced the string switch in one of my ceiling fans a few months ago, and it was a very easy fix. The switch replacement kit cost a couple bucks. As long as you have that circuit turned off you have nothing to fear. Just pay attention to how the existing string switch is hooked up, and then hook up the new one the same way.
"I'LL SHOW YOU THE LIFE OF THE MIND!!!" - Barton Fink

#18 of 20 OFFLINE   Joseph DeMartino

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Posted November 20 2008 - 05:38 AM

Or you can use one of these:


Posted Image


Oh. You wanted to be able to turn it back on again?

Posted Image

Joe

#19 of 20 OFFLINE   drobbins

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Posted November 20 2008 - 05:42 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by jams002
Turning off ceiling fan without string or switch this cool topic thanks for the info
www .ceilingfantasia.com
Funny, this "old post" was dug up by a first time poster that just happens to have a link to a ceiling fan website. Posted Image

#20 of 20 OFFLINE   Russell G

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Posted November 21 2008 - 03:38 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marko Berg
According to the Mythbusters episode featuring the Ceiling Fan of Death, it should be perfectly safe to stick your head between the blades and let that stop their movement. Posted Image

funny you mention ceiling fan death. I have a friend who recently moved to South Korea, and she's been warned countless times to turn her fans off at night so as not to suffer from fan death in her sleep. First time she heard it, she thought it was a joke, but she now realizes they are quite serious. funny ol' world we live in.

I know from experience that reeling out yards of VHS tape and throwing it at a ceiling fan will jam it up and make it stop, as opposed to being "hilarious" while drunk with friends. Posted Image


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