Some home improvement projects are fine for the average handy homeowner, but a new ceiling fan needs the attention of an electrician. There’s so much that can go wrong, it’s just not worth the risk.
Aside from the amount of time that it takes to install a fan properly when you’ve never done it before, there are a number of safety hazards that you could encounter or introduce. Here are just a few reasons why you should play it safe and hire a pro.
You Never Know What You’re Going to Get
Life isn’t the only thing that’s like a box of chocolates. So are ceiling fans. You might get lucky and find wires that match up perfectly with the ones that run to the old ceiling fixture that you want to replace. But do you know how to proceed if they don’t?
Ceiling fan wiring can be complicated. If the location for the fan has never had wiring before, you’ll need to branch off an existing circuit, at least as long as the nearest one can support it. If the fixture has a light and fan, the complications mount. Add in a wall switch for the fan and light, and you’re definitely in unfamiliar territory. If you want a three-way switch, which lets you control the fan and light from opposite sides of the room, you’ll probably spend a whole weekend sorting it out.
Fans Need a Lot of Support
Have you ever wondered why the weight and movement of a ceiling fan doesn’t make it come crashing down? Install one without the proper ceiling support, and you’ll find out how quickly it can. Fans require a special supporting bracket, plate or another device to help distribute and support the weight.
The support device that you need might come with the fan. But in many cases, it won’t. That’s because the structure of your ceiling partly determines the type of bracing that you’ll need. Choosing the right one, and then installing it the right way, determines whether your ceiling fan will perform like it should or come loose and pose a hazard.
Electrical Wiring is Dangerous for a Novice
Most people know to switch off the breaker before handling household electrical wiring. But more than a few have gotten a blistering shock because they switched off the wrong one. Combine a hot wire with standing on a ladder, probably with at least one metal tool in your hand, and you’ve got a perfect recipe for serious injury.
Unless you already have plenty of experience or want to commit the time to learning more than just the step-by-step instructions for installing one fan, the safest approach is to let a professional do the work. The risks are greater than the potential injury to yourself. An improper wiring job is also a fire hazard that lurks inside your ceiling 24 hours of every day. According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International, 140,000 fires are caused by electricity each year. When you hand the job off to an electrician, you don’t have to worry about your safety or that of your family.
With warmer weather arriving, a ceiling fan can make your home more comfortable and help you save some energy on central air conditioning. But no matter what you’ve seen on a DIY home improvement show, electricity is always best handled by someone who has been professionally trained and is licensed to do so.
Play it safe and hire a pro like Rodenhiser Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning. Set up an appointment online today so your new ceiling fan can serve you well and worry-free.
Ceiling Fan With Light, via Wikimedia Commons, public domain.