Asked on Apr 28, 2014

When I turned on the ceiling fan I smelled something burning.

by San
I turned it off to make sure the smell was from turning on the ceiling fan. How do I find out what is happening?
  6 answers
  • Brendalee Perryman Brendalee Perryman on Apr 28, 2014
    turn off fan ..then turn off circuit breaker..check the smell.. check that you don't see flames..of course..i would air out area turn back on for a moment just to make sure,..then the moment you can smell it ... turn off and turn off circuit breaker again ..take down fan ..inspect...go online with customer support if you need to....go to (what ever brand fan) .com they should even have diagram and parts list.... but usually for me it is just a loose wire ,and its fixable in a flash!
  • have you cleaned out the motor? Once a year I take compressed air and blow out the ceiling fans. I did not do one fan for the 5 years we have owned this house because it is 16 ft up but when we had to clean fans before turning on I made hubby climb 12' ladder and compressed air for dust and WOW a critter came out. Dust can cause fires in fans and cleaning out your bathroom exhaust fans and ceiling fans is very important! 3 cans of compressed air is less than $15 at Walmart and you need to use 2 cans and rotate because they freeze up and you do not use them when they start to get really cold. After you clean the fan really well, then I would turn it on and see what happens. Actually had a fire in our subdivision because people never cleaned bathroom fan out and spark caught dust on fire. good luck
  • San San on Apr 28, 2014
    no smell at circuit breaker. no flames didn't leave it on long enough to find out if there would be any . Where did you find loose wire at
  • Rustic & Refined Rustic & Refined on Apr 29, 2014
    If something is burning it is most likely either the fan motor or the electrical wiring in the ceiling. If your still smelling it and your comfortable doing some electrical DIY I'd turn off the breaker to the fan and pull it down and check the wiring connections. but I strongly suggest you don't turn it on until you figure it out or call an electrician. $100 charge for them is better then a fire or you getting hurt :-)
  • Vickie Speight Vickie Speight on Apr 29, 2014
    Check your light bulbs also. Some of the newer ones have been known to cause fires!
  • HandCraft Solutions HandCraft Solutions on Apr 30, 2014
    If the smell is in fact coming from the fan, it is most likly a ruptured start capacitor. Depending on the fan, it will be located in one of two places. A. In the hub beneath the fan motor where all the electronics, reverse switch and pull chain switches are located or B. Inside the motor housing itself if it is a remote only fan ( No pull chains ). In some cases the capacitor can be replaced if you can find a replacement. If not it's time to go shopping for a new fan. Hope this helps. All the best.