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nellie_haddad

do i need an electrician to replace a ceiling fan?

6 years ago

How complicated is it to take a ceiling fan down and replace it with another? Do I really need an electrician?

Comments (22)

  • 6 years ago

    Nope. You need a ladder and you need to know how to shut off the power (preferably at the actual circuit breaker and not the wall switch).

    They're designed to be one-person hangable with little thingies to dangle the fan body on while you fiddle with wires, but a second person would not be a bad idea.

    Nellie Haddad thanked Fori
  • 6 years ago

    I'm not being fresh, but if you have to ask, maybe you do need someone at least familiar with electrical work (not necessarily a licensed electrician).

    Nellie Haddad thanked sdello
  • 6 years ago

    I will echo what sdello said. This is no different than asking do I really need to hire someone to change the oil in my car? Or,do I really need to hire someone to do my income tax? People don't educate themselves on the net,they learn by helping with the job a few times or going to hands on class.

    Nellie Haddad thanked klem1
  • 6 years ago

    I should have specified that I wasn't thinking of doing it myself. Because I agree, if you have to ask, maybe you need to ask for help. I called an electrician and he wanted $65 just to give me an estimate. On the other hand, we have a guy that I'm sure could do, but my husband thinks the house will burn down if we don't have an electrician. So perhaps I need marital advice too?

  • 6 years ago

    a handyman shouldn't have any problems with swapping out an existing ceiling fan. If it requires new wiring/switches etc. them I'd probably go with an electrician. $65 charge to provide an estimate for a small job like this is ridiculous. this guy must be busy and he doesn't really want to do it. Try another electrician.

    Nellie Haddad thanked sdello
  • 6 years ago

    Believe it or not, some cities have such restrictive building codes that replacing a ceiling fan requires a permit and licensed personnel. I have no idea how codes like that can be enforced(unless the purchaser is followed home and monitored), but situations like that exist.

    Most handypersons can replace a ceiling fan. Ladder, screwdriver, wire strippers, and the ability to read instructions make most installs simple.

    Nellie Haddad thanked User
  • 6 years ago

    Thanks HandyMac and sdello. We live in a state that has pretty lax building codes (for better and worse), so I don't think that's a problem. I'll represent my case to my husband and cross my fingers! :)

  • 6 years ago

    Since you're replacing, it'll probably be easier because you know you have an electrical box that can handle a fan. If it's a stright replacement and you aren't adding switches (I forgot about those "new" features!) it's very handymanable.

    If the new fan does require new switches, then I'd go with an electrician. So forget what I said before. :)


    Nellie Haddad thanked Fori
  • 6 years ago

    For goodness sake is there no job too small to deserve free estimate? I wager the electrician would apply the $65 to installation if you have him do it while there. I don't find fault in having a minium charge for small jobs like fan installations. Call the same electrician and he will give you free bids to completly wire a new home.

    Nellie Haddad thanked klem1
  • 6 years ago

    No, klem1, I questioned the fee, and there was no compromise and no chance it would be applied to the total cost (which I expected, but alas was disappointed in). I do hope to talk my husband into letting our handyman do it.

  • 6 years ago

    I've never heard of such but I'll take you at your word. Highly unusual when it come's to established electricians but maybe the guy is a scammer.

    Nellie Haddad thanked klem1
  • 6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Probably a business cost for a small job. My electrician has a minimum 1 hr charge at $125. Driving there and back, gas, time. Also depends on where she lives and where the electrician is based at we dont know that. If its an hour drive then yea I see that. Although I am not sure why he doesnt just quote the minimum 1 hr charge for the fan, with the caveat if complications arise it would be more. I guess we dont know how high this fan is, if this is a cathedral ceiling and very high with a long extension on the fan it would be a lot harder, but he could ask that. Lots of variables.

    Nellie Haddad thanked Vith
  • 6 years ago

    Hi Vith, it really is a small job. The ceiling is standard 8 feet (I'm quite short, and it's lower than I'd like). I would be happy to be charged by the hour. I appreciate expertise and believe it's worth paying for. But, for this? And the woman I talked to didn't ask any questions, and they're right around the corner from me. Oh well.

  • 6 years ago

    I suspect you called a good-sized electrical contractor outfit that doesn't need the work. I'll bet the process is that they send an estimator to the site, write up a work order with a cost, and then schedule a "tech" to go out and do it. The estimating fee is a fixed part of the process. I'd see if there's a smaller independent guy.

    Nellie Haddad thanked sdello
  • 6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Yea, find someone smaller. When I was a new homeowner and was looking for an electrician, I called some bigger companies about a small job they didnt even return the voicemail I left.

    Nellie Haddad thanked Vith
  • 6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    @Fori is not pleased - "Since you're replacing, it'll probably be easier because you know you have an electrical box that can handle a fan."

    Not really. As a licensed electrician, about 50% of the fans I replace are mounted to a box that is not code approved for a fan. Some of them were being replaced because they were starting to fall down. If you own the home, you are usually allowed to do your own electrical work, or hire a licensed electrician. Hiring a person that is not a licensed electrician to do the work is never a "legal" option no matter how "lax" your state may be in enforcement.

    Nellie Haddad thanked User
  • PRO
    6 years ago

    Just call a local Handyman.....

    Nellie Haddad thanked Avanti Tile & Stone / Stonetech
  • 6 years ago

    Thanks all for your knowledge and advice. My husband decided he was adamant about an electrician. I found one that was happy to do the job ("no job too small). The upside is that I can also have him switch the place of the fan in the bedroom to where the light is (something about having a big, heavy fan above me while I sleep is unsettling). There is so much to learn! What a pleasure to find so many who are willing to help me do that!

  • 6 years ago

    Here's an update: We went with an electrician, which turned out to be a very good thing. The wiring in the bedroom where I wanted to switch the place of the lamp with the fan was apparently configured very poorly. The two ceiling fans in the dining room and kitchen were straightforward. It took a long time to fix the wiring, though after that, the fans and light fixtures went in quickly. We'll definitely be using RVG Electrical in Vermont again.

  • 6 years ago

    Glad you got it all taken care of, thanks for the update.

    Nellie Haddad thanked Vith
  • 4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Say what? Are you sure you're in the right thread?