Homeowners often buy a ceiling fan, bring it home, and install it themselves. This can be a relatively simple task if you already have the right type of powered junction box at that location, and it isn’t in a difficult place to reach.
However, sometimes the fan will be located on a vaulted or cathedral ceiling and the height makes it too difficult for a homeowner; sometimes there is no power box in that location; sometimes a switch needs to be added. Any of those complications might make it too tough for a simple DIY job.
If you decide to add the fan yourself and there is an existing light fixture there, remember that the light may have been attached to a simple plastic ceiling box which is not strong enough. This is especially likely in older homes. Fans can be fairly heavy, up to 50 pounds, especially with a light kit, and fans sometimes vibrate when they run. Both of these factors reinforce the need for a strong junction box.
If you have access to the location of the ceiling box from above, you should be able to see how the box is mounted. If it is solidly connected to a joist or is on a metal crossbar between two joists, it is probably strong enough for most ceiling fans. If you cannot verify that the box is strong enough for the fan, you should call a professional for help. You either need to change the existing box to a stronger model or reinforce it. A professional electrician will either use a specially rated hanger and box to mount the fan between joists or, will add a fan-rated pancake box directly to the ceiling joist.
If you still want to do this job yourself, there are many step by step videos on the internet explaining the process, and many homeowners will be able to mount a ceiling fan successfully by themselves. However, if you decide you need a professional, Frye Electric is always available to do it for you. Just contact us and we’ll get it done quickly and safely. With over 40 years of experience and thousands of satisfied customers, you can count on us!