Ceiling Fans – Part 3

Two weeks ago I conceded defeat to the ceiling fan gods.  Mainly because in order to reach the wiring in the bedroom [cathedral ceiling] I’d have to stand on my tip toes at the top of my Little Giant ladder.  But today I decided “F*ck it – I’m doing it!  Even if I have to stand on my tip toes, it’s going UP!”

Knowing that I COULD do it, but was opting to hire the job out, hasn’t been sitting well with me.  For the past two weeks my brain has been giving me a pep talk:  So what if it causes you some discomfort – you can handle it!   So what if you have to perch at the top of a 11′ ladder!  What’s the worst that can happen?  If you fall, just fall towards the bed!  You can DO THIS!  And if for some reason you can’t do this?  Then hire it out knowing you gave it your best shot.

So today I did it, and I feel awesome!  My calves are on fire from standing on my tip toes for the past 2 hours.  My upper arms are screaming from holding things up over my head.  But I did it!!!  And it was totally WORTH IT!

I wasn’t planning to blog about this fan, because I figured it would be more of a learning curve for me.  I was planning to just sneak this one in, then blog about the girl cave and/or living room fans.  I did take some pictures throughout today’s install, mostly for personal reference.  But I decided I had to post about my victory over the bedroom fan, because, well it’s just awesome 🙂

Here’s the fan after I put it together, a reminder of how far up the wiring is [the top of the ladder is 11 feet up, and the wiring is about 4 feet higher than that], and a view of how far down the ground is [that’s a Queen sized bed to the right of the ladder]:

73a        ceiling electrical box after removing the bedroom ceiling fan


First step:  shutting off power to the fan at the breaker box, and using a voltage tester to make sure everything is off.  After scampering down to the basement and shutting off the breaker for the fan, I ran back up to the bedroom with my voltage tester, climbed to the top of the ladder, and held it up to the wires.  They all tested blue [no power].  Just for kicks, I shoved the voltage tester up into the ceiling box and it beeped red.  Yikes.  Back to the basement to shut off the breakers for the entire room.  Back up the ladder to do a retest.  Everything was blue the 2nd time around – all clear!

The wiring was a bitch because it’s old, stiff, brittle copper.  Not to mention there were 2 black wires and 2 white wires sticking out of the ceiling box, which confused me briefly [I’m used to one black and one white]:

73d        73e

After doing some Google research I learned the extra set is there in case the fan is connected to a wall switch, which ours isn’t [ours is remote control].  Google suggested I splice all 3 whites together and all 3 blacks together.  I had already spliced the 2 whites and 2 blacks together when I removed the old fan, so it was just a matter of splicing in the new wires [black to black & white to white], wire nutting them, and taping them.  I have never taped wire nuts before, but the new wires kept pulling out of the wire nuts when I pushed the bundles back into the ceiling box [the old copper wires are SO stiff].  So after 3 tries, and lots of frustration, I went the tape route which held the spliced wires and nuts together despite the intense shoving required to get them bent back up into the ceiling box.  *WHEW*

73f        73g

Final step [and moment of truth]:  switch the power back on in the basement, run back upstairs and see if the fan turns on.  And… WE HAZ NEW BEDROOM CEILING FAN!!!  WOOHOO!!!

73h        73i

It works perfectly, and has great airflow.  Way better airflow than the old fan!  Which is a total bonus.  PS – I’m blonde temporarily…


I love this pic hubby took of me giving the thumbs up after testing the fan and having it work:


PS – my amazing hubby stood on the other side of the ladder and held the fan up while I wired it.  He also maneuvered the ceiling cap into place and screwed it in.  I could never have done this project without his help!  Thank you amazing hubby!  I love you!

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