Ceiling Fans in Mobile Homes

Manufactured Home ceiling fans

Some of the newer homes come pre-wired for ceiling fans and if that is the case you will see a plate in the ceiling covering the box the fan can be attached to. Removing the plate, there should be wires for supplying power to the fan. New fans often come with some way to modify the distance of the fan from the ceiling. Especially in the case of a fan with a light kit, it is nice to mount it closer to the ceiling so that the globe (and blades depending on your height) are too high to hit with your head.

Mounting the fan goes best with a second person. At some point during installation, there comes a time where you need three hands to make it happen. Trying to keep wires in tubes, holding the fan up, and screwing the bracket into the junction box is very difficult for a single person. With some practice it gets easier, but with a helper you can avoid a lot of frustration. Using fish tape may also simplify the process by letting you physically mount the fan before pulling the wires through the mounting tube.

In an older home the trick is to make absolutely sure you get the electrical box for the fan securely attached to a truss. The panel itself will not support the weight no matter what kind of anchor you use.

The other challange in an older home is how to connect to power. Given the way mobile homes are constructed there is no easy way to pull a wire up through the wall from a wall outlet and then above the ceiling to the fixture. The best way I found was to use one of the “Wire Mould” products. They hide the wire and hold it to the wall/ceiling.

The good news about ceiling fans is that finding replacement parts is simplicity itself. Unless the fan is a fancy specialty fan (not likely), the design has changed little in appearance in many years. I replaced the light kit on a fan that was 20 years old (the switch had failed). There was no discernable difference between the original fan and the new light kit, except perhaps for some dust. The same goes for globes on the fan. There are generally several styles to choose from at any hardware store. If the fan has multiple lights, you might have to change all of the globes or shades to have a consistent look, but you will be able to find workable hardware.

As the fan ages, it may start to wobble, hum, click, or do other annoying things. Many times, the wobble can be reduced or eliminated by removing dust from the fan blades. Use a damp cloth or paper towel for this. You may also want to cover the area below the fan to catch any fleeing dust bunnies. Many of the other issues on an old fan (including wobble) are caused by wear on the motor. In these cases, it’s easiest to just replace the fan.

It is now possible to buy remote controls for fans. This can be very convenient if you only have power to the junction box without any external speed controls (or if you are installing a new junction box and want to keep the installation simple). Some remote controls mount like light switches in wall junction boxes, others are hand held. There is usually a controller box that gets wedged into the ceiling junction box, which is sometimes hard. Pay attention to the wiring diagram given with the remote unit. It can be a little complicated, particularly when the wire colors don’t match the instructions.

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