Outdoor Ceiling Fan: Step-By-Step Installation
If you’re doing the outdoor fan installation yourself, remember that outdoor fans are either wet-rated or damp-rated, which makes a big difference when choosing where to hang the fan. Wet-rated fans are meant for patios, porches, gazebos, or any outside applications that may not even have a covering. Damp-rated fans can also be installed outdoors, but they must have much less exposure to the elements. For instance, damp-rated fans are perfect for covered patios where direct rain cannot reach the fan, a screened-in sunroom or porch, a semi-covered gazebo, an outdoors shower or bathroom, and even indoor bathrooms and laundry rooms.
The list of outdoor fan applications goes on and on, as do the types and styles of ceiling fans to install. You can choose from a wide selection of wet-rated and damp-rated tropical, modern, traditional, decorative, small room, large room, and outdoor fans with lights, to name a few.
Here are the basic steps for installing an outdoor ceiling fan:
- Install the outlet boxes, electrical wiring, and base plate according to the National Electrical Code and your local codes for installing fans (this is the step where you may want to hire an electrician).
- Assemble the fan blades according to the manufacturer’s directions. Remove and discard any motor blocks attached to the motor. You will typically want to assemble the blades to the mounting brackets first.
- Prepare the fan motor assembly according to the instructions provided by the manufacturer. This will include prepping the base plate for a direct mount or connecting the down rods for a dropped mount.
- Turn off the electricity. Then hang the motor assembly to the base plate and wire the fan to the electrical system.
- Attach the blades to the motor and make sure to tighten all of the screws. Depending on your brand of outdoor ceiling fan, you may be prompted to perform this step earlier in the installation process (but usually not), so be sure to follow the manufacturer’s step-by-step instructions.
- Connect the switch-housing to the fan. If you have a light kit, assemble and install it onto the switch-housing, as well as any glass light covers and the appropriate light bulbs.
- Make sure the fan is completely assembled before turning the electricity back on and testing all of the connections to make sure they are functioning properly.