The fan blades move freely when you push them

This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

If the blades move freely then the motor bearings aren’t frozen. There is probably something wrong with the motor.

If it is the motor it can be replaced but it is very expensive (at least $50, usually $100+) and in many cases makes just as much sense to replace the entire fan, especially under warranty.

Check the capacitor: First you can look at and test the capacitor to see if it is the issue. If you look at the capacitor (it is a little black box inside of the fan housing with several wires coming out of it connected to the pull chain) and it is melted at all then it needs replaced and that will probably solve your problem. Similarly, if you hear a humming noise when your fan is on but no movement in the blades, then the motor is running but the capacitor is not allowing it to work correctly. If you don’t notice any of this, then you can also test the capacitor with a multimeter as shown in this video:


If it isn’t the capacitor and the blades move freely, it is probably the motor and you will have to pay all of the money to replace it or get a new fan.

If you have to replace the capacitor, do the following:

  1. The first and most difficult step is getting a replacement capacitor. You are best off contacting the place that sold the fan or produces the fans to find where you can buy the capacitor you need. You’ll need the model number and UPC number to get the replacement.
  2. You have to remove the old capacitor. To do so, cut the wires attaching it to the rest of the fan, doing it close to the capacitor.
  3. Strip about 5/8 of an inch of insulation off of both the wires now hanging from the fan that went to your old capacitor, and the wires coming out of your old capacitor.
  4. Twist the wires coming out of the fan and capacitor together, matching insulation color.
  5. Use wire nuts to connect them (you’re probably going to want nuts that are the same size as Ideal 72B Blue wire nuts).
  6. Reassemble the fan housing.

Check the flywheel: The flywheel is a rubber in ceiling fans that attaches the shaft of a ceiling fan’s motor to its blades. They are used to reduce vibrations in the fan and make them run more smoothly. But it is common for them to crack and break over time, so they may need to be replaced. This is how you check them and replace them if need be.

  1. The first and most obvious indicator that the flywheel is the issue is that you will hear a humming coming from the fan but the blades won’t be rotating. This is very similar to the issue experienced with a blown capacitor.
  2. To visually inspect the flywheel before removing it you must first remove the fan blades and open up the housing.
  3. Disconnect all of the switches and controls, noting their original position.
  4. Disconnect the wires going to the motor and remove the switch housing. You may want to take a picture of this so you can remember where they all were originally connected. You may also need a wrench or pliers for this step.
  5. Now you can clearly inspect the flywheel to see if it is broken.
  6. If it isn’t broken, reassemble the fan. If it is broken, remove the broken flywheel and replace it with a new one. Then reassemble the fan.

This video illustrates the process

Need Help With Your Ceiling Fan?

We can connect you with a vetted professional for free with no obligation!

electrician fixing a ceiling fan

Like this article?

Share on facebook
Share on Facebook
Share on twitter
Share on Twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on Linkdin
Share on pinterest
Share on Pinterest

Leave a comment

Scroll to Top