How to Disconnect a Ceiling Fan


Disconnecting a ceiling fan can be confusing if you were not the one who originally installed the ceiling fan and are unfamiliar with the way the ceiling fan mounts to the ceiling. Electrical knowledge is not necessary to disconnect the ceiling fan, but taking proper electrical safety precautions is recommended. After you remove the ceiling fan from the ceiling, take care not to damage the fan blades. Damaged fan blades could cause the ceiling fan to become unbalanced, straining the ceiling fan motor should you decide to reinstall it.

Things You'll Need

  • Phillips or slotted screwdriver
  • Two-prong electrical tester
  • Electrical tape
  • Turn off the breaker inside the main service panel that supplies electricity to the ceiling fan circuit.

  • Using the screwdriver, remove the ceiling fan canopy from the bracket that holds the fan to the ceiling. The canopy covers the bracket, wiring and electrical box and is held by two or more screws.

  • Test to confirm the disconnection of the current. Locate the black wires inside the ceiling electrical box and place one prong of a two-prong electrical tester inside the wire connector holding the two black wires together. Touch the other prong to any metal on the fan. The tester should not light or register any wattage if the disconnection of the circuit was done properly.

  • Untwist the wire connectors holding the black wires, white wires and ground wires together. Remove the connectors and pull the wires apart. Lift the ceiling fan from the hanging bracket, removing it from the ceiling.

  • Remove the hanging bracket from the ceiling electrical box by removing the screws holding it in place. Twist the wire connectors onto the black and white wires in the electrical box, securing them with electrical tape. Push these wires into the electrical box until you need to install a new fixture.

  • Turn the circuit breaker on inside the service panel only if the circuit operates other devices or lights. If the circuit powers no other devices or lights, leave it off until you install a new ceiling fan or light fixture.

Tips & Warnings

  • Test to verify that you have disconnected the electricity in the area that you are working to avoid electrical shock.

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  • Photo Credit Ceiling Fan image by AJ Sellas from
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