Ceiling fan that wobbles and makes noise

Gay Storm
by Gay Storm

I have a ceiling fan in my mobile home that is 4-1/2 years old. It was professionally installed. Lately, it has started to wobble a lot when it is on, especially at low speed. It also makes noise. The ceiling is at an angle, and the fan has a rod that swivels. I have these types of fans in 2 other bedrooms and also in the living room and they do not wobble or make any noise. What is making this happen and does anyone know how to fix a wobbly ceiling fan? This is a good fan - not a cheapie. P.S. Please, DIY preferred - Sr. on a fixed income. Thanks for any help.

  20 answers
  • HomeSpot HQ HomeSpot HQ on Aug 16, 2013
    The fasteners are probably coming loose where the fan attaches to the ceiling. The base cover will need to be removed to access the bolts. There is most likely a little setscrew on the side of the base that needs to be removed or the base will spin off. Also, it's wobbling more at a slow speed because what is called the natural frequency. It should all be fixed by tightening everything up.
  • Home Spot HQ is correct, It sounds as though things are becoming loose. Also a build up of dust on the top of the blades will throw it out of balance quick. A lot of those fans have reversible blades with a rattan style on one side and a flat side on the other. The rattan side picks up and holds dust quickly. You may need to remove the blades and wash them well in sudsy water then rinse clean. It only takes one blade that has a build up to make the entire fan wobble.
    • See 1 previous
    • Joyce C. Johnson Joyce C. Johnson on Feb 12, 2016
      @Woodbridge Environmental Tiptophouse.com After cleaning them, use polish on them, the dust is easier to remove.
  • LandlightS LandlightS on Aug 17, 2013
    Both HomeSpot and Woodbridge are correct in terms of the wobble. However, if the noise is more than a vibration noise (because of the loose blades or ceiling attachment) but a grinding noise.....the bearings are bad and there is no fix.....(no lubricant ..ig WD40 etc) can fix that problem. Time for a new fan......I suggest you check with the retailer (if you remember who it is) as to the warranty. You may get a new one at no charge. Gary
    • Gay Storm Gay Storm on Aug 19, 2013
      @LandlightS It's not really a grinding noise. I do have the original paper that came with the fan, so I'll check to see what the warranty is on it. Just can't afford to buy a new fan now.
  • Karon Nelson Roberts Karon Nelson Roberts on Aug 18, 2013
    Try tightening the screws. If that not the problem then tape pennies or nickles to the blades to balance the blades. Good luck
  • Louis Lieberman Louis Lieberman on Aug 18, 2013
    your fan is unbalanced. generally, they come with a couple of glue-on weights &you have to experiment a bit/
  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Aug 18, 2013
    "good" fans are in the $300 range...the basic $100 to $150 Hampton Bay stuff is the cheap stuff. I have a "hunter" fan in my living room that is over 40 years old and going strong. When I installed a fan in the master addition 12 years ago I also selected a Hunter in the $300 range...that unit also has performed flawlessly. One thing that can affect some fans is whether they are set up on "dimmers". If a dimmer is used it needs to be one rated for "fan or motor" use. I would start with pulling the blades, cleaning them and then re-installing them.
    • Patti Patti on Aug 19, 2013
      @KMS Woodworks I also have Hunter fans in my home and absolutely Love them!! I recommend them to my friends, family, and Even my Enemies! ;)
  • Gay Storm Gay Storm on Aug 18, 2013
    When I said "cheap", I meant that it didn't come from K-Mart or Wal-Mart. This one was from Home Depot. Couldn't afford $300 when we bought it.
    • Gwen Gwen on Aug 19, 2013
      @Gay Storm Mine was from Home Depot. It was not expensive. I think fans seem better in last few years. In a way I wish I'd taken the other back for no matter what, it rattled. But it's Harbor Breeze so could be Lowes. I had expensive fans that wore out quickly.
  • Mikell Paulson Mikell Paulson on Aug 18, 2013
    I have a home depot fan that runs 24 7 Turned it on 8 years ago and it has never been turned off! Going strong! I do know that in some places like AZ. if you don't keep your house cool and it gets really hot the blades will warp down and make a funny noise. Lots of snow birds leave the air conditioner on or take the blades off so they don't warp !
  • Ladynred Ladynred on Aug 18, 2013
    The fan blade screws may need tightening. Very easy...I would try that first.
  • Carol Carol on Aug 18, 2013
    My dad has worked on many of these. He tapes a penny to a blade and moves it until he finds the one that's off-balanced. Then he leaves the penny there. No one can see it.
    • Gwen Gwen on Aug 19, 2013
      @Carol I've tried that too but it just didn't work.
  • Cathleen Matelli Cathleen Matelli on Aug 18, 2013
    Try cleaning the blades and get a balancing kit. The noise is it a motor noise or a mechanical noise? My husband is a licensed electrician :)
  • Gwen Gwen on Aug 18, 2013
    I say buy new. The newer models are more stable. I had one that never sounded right and got another a few years later Harbor Breeze--not expensive--and it's perfect. I feel badly I waited so long.
  • Bret M Bret M on Aug 18, 2013
    Try to check the screws and how the fan attaches to the ceiling- they do vibrate loose. Also, check the actual blades of the fan for damage or warpage. There is a small balancing kit that usually comes with most new fans or can be bought for a few dollars at your local big box store. This should fix your issue. www.bdmassociates.net
  • Gay Storm Gay Storm on Aug 19, 2013
    thanks for the suggestion, but I cannot afford to buy a new one and pay for the installation as well.
  • Gay Storm Gay Storm on Aug 19, 2013
    Thanks - I'll try that.
  • Gay Storm Gay Storm on Aug 19, 2013
    We keep the house pretty cool,usually have the A/C on as well as the fans. Only use this one when we are in the room. Thanks for the input.
  • Gwen Gwen on Aug 19, 2013
    have you checked You Tube for instructions on how to trouble shoot and balance a fan??
  • Gay Storm Gay Storm on Aug 19, 2013
    No, I haven't, but thanks for the heads up.
  • Sophia Sophia on Oct 31, 2023

    Need to replace a new motor to solve the noise problem.

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  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Nov 01, 2023

    Start with cleaning the blades and see if that helps. Then if no better, tighten up the blades, it is possible due to use they came loose. After that, take off the base cover and make sure it is tight to the ceiling.