Wobbly ceiling fan? Balance it for $4!

How to use a balancing kit to solve that wobble

If your ceiling fan is wobbling and shaking, try using a balancing kit to make the blades spin evenly.

We purchased:

Step 1

Separating fantasy from reality. What this means is ask yourself honestly — was your fan damaged? Did you set up a ladder and accidentally whack the blades?

In Diane’s case, her grandkids used her living room ceiling fan as target practice for their Nerf guns and soccer balls. If the fan blades are warped or lost their shape and have started sagging, your fan may be beyond repair and it may be time to buy a new one. If the damage is minor and the blades look ok, or if your fan is newer but has never been balanced, then I say spend the $4 on the balancing kit and give it a shot!

Step 2

Finding the bad blade(s). The fan balancing kit comes with stick-on weights (2) and a clip that simulates a weight. The idea behind the clip is it helps you figure out which blade needs the most help before you attach the weight to it. Turn off your fan, stick the clip on the end of one of the blades, and start the fan.

See if the wobble improves. Turn off your fan again and move the clip to the next blade. Do this for all five blades and see where the clip improved the wobble the most.

Step 3

Finding the sweet spot on the bad blade. After you’ve identified the blade that eliminates the wobble the most with the clip attached, focus on that blade. Move the clip up and down the front of the blade and back of the blade a few inches at a time — turning on and off the fan in between each move of course — and see where the wobble improves the most. When you’ve found the sweet spot, peel off the paper backing on the weight and stick the weight on the top side of the blade as close to the clip as possible.

Note, you’ll probably want to clean the tops of your fan blades with a wet paper towel to get the dust off and make the weight stick properly. Also, sometimes it’s really tough to tell where the wobble has improved the most, or even at all. That’s OK, take your best guess, even if you just see a tiny bit of improvement. We’re not done yet!

Step 4

Repeat. We ended up installing four weights on two different blades in total. One weight may not do the trick, depending on how bad the wobble is. If you install the first weight and the wobble continues, go through the entire process again starting with the clip and moving it to all five blades.

You may find the wobble improves even more when placing the clip on the same blade where you installed the first weight (we put three weights on one fan blade!). This is a tedious process, each time starting and stopping the fan to move the clip. But don’t give up, if you see even a slight improvement in the wobble that means there’s hope, and adding more weights should mean more improvement!

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About the Author:

Erik von Ancken anchors and reports for News 6 and is a two-time Emmy award-winning journalist in the prestigious and coveted "On-Camera Talent" categories for both anchoring and reporting.