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This is How You Fix Noisy Ceiling Fan Bearings

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Noisy ceiling fan bearings can be really annoying, especially if you’re trying to sleep or relax in a room.

The most common cause of a noisy ceiling fan is worn-out ball bearings. If it is starting to make noise, the bearings likely need to be replaced.

The good news is that most ceiling fan noise problems can be easily fixed with a little troubleshooting and some basic repairs.

In this article, I will explain all the possible reasons for noise and how to fix them yourself.

What Are Ceiling Fan Bearings?

What Are Ceiling Fan Bearings?

They are the small, metal balls that rotate around the base of the fan’s blades. Ball bearings help to circulate air and provide stability to the fan. You will notice that over time, they usually wear down and will start to make noise.

How Do I Know if My Fan’s Bearings Need to Be Replaced?

If your fan is making a loud, screeching noise, the bearings likely need to be replaced. Other common noises that can indicate a problem with them include: humming, grinding and clicking. If your fan is making any of these noises, it’s best to have the bearings replaced.

Reasons Why Your Ceiling Fan Is Making Noises | How To Fix Them

There can be several reasons for a noisy ceiling fan. The most common ones are:

1. Worn Out Ball Bearings

A ball bearing can be the part in a fan that makes it go around. When they are worn out, can cause the fan to make noise. This is because they may not be able to rotate as smoothly as used to when new, which will eventually lead the fan blades to make a noise.

How To Fix

The best way is to replace them. You can do this by following the steps below:

  • Step 1: Turn off the power and remove the fan from your ceiling.
  • Step 2: Next detach blades, unscrew the iron cage, remove the wires and bolt until you reach the bearings.
  • Step 3: Add a few drops of lubricant and start removing the bearings.
  • Step 4: Install the new ones and put everything back together.

2. Loose Blades

Another reason why your ceiling fan might be making noise is that the blades are loose. Over time, this can happen as the screws that hold the blades in place become loose.

How To Fix

Here is how you check if the blades of your fan are loose:

  • Step 1: First, turn off the power to the fan by turning off the circuit breaker.
  • Step 2: Next inspect which blades need your attention
  • Step 3: Tighten the screws that are loose
  • Step 4: Finally, turn on the power to the fan and check to see if it is still making noise.

3. Lack of Lubrication

Lack of lubrication can also cause a fan to make noise. This is because the bearings and other moving parts in the fan will start to grind and wear down. Nowadays many fans are pre-lubricated from the factory, however, over time this lubricant can also wear off.

How Do You Lubricate Ceiling Fan Bearings?

You can do this by adding a few drops of lubricant to the bearings. A dry lubricant is a good option if the fan is located in a damp environment, such as a bathroom. On the other hand, a wet lubricant is a good option if the fan is located in a dry environment, such as a room with air conditioning.

Lubricating an older model fan is a little different than a new one. With an older model, you will need to remove the entire motor to get to the bearings. On the other hand, with a newer model, you can usually lubricate the bearings from the outside without having to take them apart.

NOTE: Many newer models have a self-lubricating feature and lubricating them might be difficult. In this case, it is best to contact a professional to get your fan serviced.

Which Grease Is Best for Fan Bearings?

The right selection of a lubricant is vital for the longevity and overall functioning of your fan. Below is the best grease oil, trusted and recommended by many:

3-IN-ONE Multiple Purpose Oil
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3-IN-ONE has been serving its customers for more than 100 years now. So whether you’re a professional or a home handyman, this oil is sure to meet your needs. It cleans off grime, penetrates rust, and protects metal tools such as fan bearings – it even has a fill level indicator strip so you never run out unexpectedly.


  • Versatile – can be used to lubricate many types of equipment
  • Removes grease from metal and protects against corrosion
  • Reduces friction and removes squeaky noise
  • Weak odor – can hardly notice it
  • Long-lasting – can stay on your shelf for years


  • Comes in a plastic bottle which might be not very convenient
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4. Loose Light Fixtures

A light fixture is the part of a fan that provides light. It is typically attached to the fan with a metal cage. It is usually made up of a light bulb, a socket, a switch and wires. If your fan is making noise, the problem may not be with the fan itself, but with the light fixture that is attached to it.

How To Fix

  • Step 1: Turn off the power to the fan by turning off the fuse.
  • Step 2: Remove light covers, and light bulbs and determine where the screws are loose on the mount.
  • Step 3: tighten the loose screws.
  • Step 4: Finally, put back the light bulbs and globes and check to see if the problem is fixed.
TIP: Take this opportunity to fix or replace the light fixture kit. Additionally, clean the light globes by washing them to remove any dirt.

Watch the below video for detailed visual instructions on how to repair or replace light fixtures.

5. Unbalanced blades

When the blades are unbalanced, they will not rotate at the same speed and this can cause the fan to wobble and make annoying noises.

How To Fix

You can fix an unbalanced fan blade by using a balancing kit. It usually comes with two or more blades that you can add to the fan to help balance it out.

The video below shows how to use a balancing kit.

6. Unsecure Fan Canopy

A fan canopy is the part of the fan that covers the electric motor. If this canopy is loose, it will vibrate and hence causing the fan to make a noise.

How To Fix

  • Step 1: Turn off the power to the fan by turning off the fuse.
  • Step 2: Check for loose screws in the canopy.
  • Step 3: Tighten the screws with a screwdriver.

7. Dirty Fan Blades

When dirt and dust build-up on the fan blades, it can cause them to vibrate and make a noise. This can usually be fixed by cleaning the blades.

How To Fix

To clean your fan blades, you will need a ladder, dust cloth, feather duster and cleaning solution.

  • Step 1: Climb up the ladder.
  • Step 2: Use a feather duster to dust off.
  • Step 3: Make a cleaning solution by mixing water and vinegar
  • Step 4: Use a cloth soaked in the cleaning solution to wipe down the fan blades.

9. Damaged motor mount

When the mount is damaged, it can no longer hold the motor in place and this can cause it to move around and make a noise.

How To Fix

  • Step 1: Turn off the power and remove the canopy by unscrewing it.
  • Step 2: Locate the motor mount and remove the remaining screws.
  • Step 3: Inspect the motor mount and replace it with a new one.
  • Step 4: Reattach the canopy and turn on the fan to see if the problem is fixed.

10. Defective Capacitor

A capacitor is a device that helps to regulate the flow of electricity. If the capacitor on your fan is defective, it can cause the fan to make a noise. This is because it can no longer control the flow of electricity and hence causing the problem.

How To Fix

You can fix a defective capacitor by replacing it with a new one.

11. Dimmer Switch

A fan dimmer switch is a device that allows you the ability to adjust the speed to create the perfect level of airflow.

Sometimes the noise can be from the faulty dimmer switch. To troubleshoot it, turn off the power of the fan at the breaker and turn on only the dimmer switch. If the noise goes away when you turn it on, then it is likely that the dimmer switch is the problem.

How To Fix

To fix a noisy dimmer switch, you will need to replace it with a new one.

The following video explains the process.

Types of Noises from Ceiling Fans 

  • Humming – This type of noise could be due to several different factors. One possibility is that the blades are unbalanced. Another possibility is that the capacitor is defective. It can also be caused due to a faulty dimmer switch or remote controller.
  • Clicking – These sounds are often produced due to the loose screws jiggling in the canopy or motor mount. It is usually caused by the vibrations of these screws against the metal. To fix it, you can either tighten the screws or replace the faulty part.
  • Rattling – It is caused by improper installation, loose screws or parts, or damage to the blades or motor. Check to see if any screws have fallen into the wrong place such as the glass globe.
  • Grinding – Also called scraping noise is usually caused by a problem with the motor bearings. Over time, the lubricant in the bearings can dry out and cause them to seize up. This will cause a grinding noise when the fan is turned on. Additionally, dust and debris can build up in the bearings and cause them to make noise.

Is a Noisy Ceiling Fan Dangerous?

Often a noisy ceiling fan is not dangerous. However, it can be annoying plus it can also indicate that there is a problem with the fan.

Can You Use WD 40 on Ceiling Fan Bearings?

A good lubricant has excellent oxidation resistance and high viscosity. However, WD 40 does not have these properties and it can damage the bearings in your ceiling fan. Additionally, WD 40 does not contain any wear additives.

Can I Use Cooking Oil for the Electric Fan?

No, you should not use cooking oil for the electric fan. Since it is vegetable oil and is not designed to be used as a lubricant. Additionally, it can cause the fan to smell bad and can also affect its overall functionality.

Can I Put Coconut Oil on the Ceiling Fan?

Yes, you can put coconut oil on your ceiling fan. It is a good lubricant. It has excellent oxidation resistance and can help to prevent the fan from making noise. Additionally, it is a natural product and does not contain any harsh chemicals.

Why Is It Called a Needle Roller Bearing?

A needle roller bearing is a type of rolling-element bearing that uses small cylindrical rollers. They are typically between 1 and 10 mm in diameter and are used to support higher loads than ball bearings. The name “needle roller bearing” comes from the fact that the rollers are very thin and they look just like needles.

My Ceiling Gives a Small Jerk and Stops. How Could I Fix It?

If your ceiling fan stopped working but it gives a small jerk and stops, then it is likely that the capacitor is defective. To fix this, you will need to replace it with a new one.

Can I Use Silicone Spray on My Electric Fan?

No, you should not use silicone spray on your electric fan as it can damage it. Furthermore, it is not a good lubricant and can actually make the noise worse.

What Is the Price of Ceiling Fan Bearing?

The price for a replacement bearing generally ranges from $5-$15, depending on the brand and size of the fan. You can easily find them at home improvement stores such as Home Depot or Lowe’s.

Which Size of the Bearing Is Used in a Ceiling Fan?

There are two standard sizes for ceiling fan bearings, 4 inches and 5 inches. However, 4 inches is the most common size.

How Many Bearings Are There in a Ceiling Fan?

Typically, a ceiling fan has two ball bearings which are located at the base of the blades. However, some fans have three or four bearings as well.