How to Test a Ceiling Fan Capacitor

Are you having trouble with your ceiling fan? Are you frustrated that no matter how much you tweak the settings, it’s just not working as it should? Well, don’t despair because loud, uncontrollable wobbling could be a sign of something very repairable – your capacitor may just need testing. If this is true for you, then look no further!

How to Test a Ceiling Fan Capacitor

In this post, we’ll discuss what a ceiling fan capacitor does and why it needs to be tested in order for your fan to work properly. We’ll also provide step-by-step instructions on exactly how to test a ceiling fan capacitor and tell you everything else you will need so as to get it running again in no time at all! So let’s get started by taking an up-close look at what makes a ceiling fan run smoothly – its capacitor.

Needed Materials

To test your ceiling fan capacitor, you will need the following materials:

  • A Multimeter
  • Wire Cutter/stripper
  • Phillips Screwdriver
  • Safety Glasses

What is a Ceiling Fan Capacitor?

A ceiling fan capacitor is an essential component of any ceiling fan. It is responsible for regulating the speed of your motor by providing the right amount of power when needed. This means that if there’s a problem with your capacitor, your ceiling fan won’t work as it should.

You can identify whether it’s a faulty capacitor or some other issue by testing it. Testing the capacitor is not difficult, but it does require the right materials and careful attention to safety protocols.

11 Step-by-step Guidelines on How to Test a Ceiling Fan Capacitor

Step 1: Turn Off the Power

Before beginning any ceiling fan troubleshooting, turn off the power to your fan at the main circuit breaker or fuse box. You don’t want any electricity running through your fan while you’re working on its wiring! If in doubt, check with a professional electrician. But for our purposes, just make sure the power is off.

Step 2: Unscrew the Fan Cover

Unscrew and remove the ceiling fan cover. Once you have the fan cover off, locate the capacitor (it should be on the side of the motor). It will look like a small cylinder with two wires coming out of it. This is the capacitor. If you are unsure, consult the fan’s manual for more information. But, in most cases, it will be the cylinder with two wires.

Remove the Ceiling Fan Cover

Step 3: Disconnect the Wires

Once you have located the capacitor, carefully disconnect both of the wires that are connected to it. Do this by gently twisting the wire or pushing in on the connector and pulling it off (whichever is easier).

You should be able to see the voltage rating stamped on the side of the capacitor – if not, consult your manual. This is the voltage rating of the capacitor and will be important when it comes time to test it.

Step 4: Test Using an Ohmmeter

Using your ohmmeter, check both ends of the capacitor to make sure that there is no continuity between them. To do this, set your ohmmeter to the highest resistance range and then touch one probe to each end of the capacitor. If you see a reading on your meter (no matter how small), this means that the capacitor needs to be replaced. it has gone bad.

Step 5: Replace the Capacitor

Once you have determined that the capacitor needs to be replaced, find a new one with the same specifications as your old one (voltage and capacitance). Then reconnect the two wires to the new capacitor. Although it may be tempting, do not try to repair the old capacitor, as this is a dangerous practice.

Step 6: Reassemble the Fan Cover

Next, you’ll need to reassemble your fan cover by screwing it back into place. This is a very important step, as any open wiring can cause your fan to short out and become damaged. But, if you took the time to make sure that all of your wiring was properly reconnected, then this should not be an issue. However, it is always best to double-check your work.

Check Your Ohmmeter See the Voltage

Step 7: Make Sure the Fan Motor Runs

At this point, you should check to make sure that the motor runs correctly when you turn it on. If it does not, there could be other issues at play and you should consult a professional electrician for further assistance. If the motor does run correctly, then you are almost done! This means that the capacitor was the culprit and it has been fixed.

Step 8: Check the Wobble of the Fan Blade

After making sure that your fan motor is running properly, check to see if there is still any wobbling in the blades. A capacitor can help reduce blade wobble significantly, so make sure that yours is doing its job. You may also need to make adjustments by tightening the screws on the blade holders.

Step 9: Adjust the Pitch of the Blades

If the wobbling has been reduced but is still present, try to adjust the pitch of your fan blades by using a blade pitch gauge. The best way to do this is to loosen and then tighten each blade individually until you find the perfect balance between air movement and noise levels.

Step 10: Ensure Proper Air Flow

Once you have adjusted the blade pitch, check to make sure that the air is flowing properly. Place your hand in front of the fan and feel the flow of air coming out – it should be a steady outflow and not choppy or weak. If it is, then try adjusting the blades again until you find the sweet spot.

Step 11: Sit Back and Enjoy!

Finally, sit back and enjoy your newly repaired ceiling fan! With a little bit of patience and know-how, you can easily repair your own ceiling fan and get it running like new again. Always remember to stay safe and unplug the fan before beginning any repairs. With that said, you should now be well on your way to a cooler summer season!

Adjust the Pitch of Your Fan Blades

By following these simple steps on how to test a ceiling fan capacitor, you should have no problem testing any ceiling fan capacitor and getting the most out of your fan. If you have any further questions or need any additional help, feel free to consult an electrician who specializes in home wiring and ceiling fan repair. Good luck!

Do You Need to Use Professionals?

Although testing and replacing a ceiling fan capacitor can be done as a DIY project, it’s always best to consult with an electrician if you are unsure about anything or feel that the task is too complicated. This way, you can rest assured that your job will be done correctly and safely.

Even if you don’t require professional help, make sure to read up on the safety measures you should take when dealing with ceiling fan wiring. Following these guidelines will help ensure that your capacitor testing or replacement is done properly and without causing any damage to your fan.

So go ahead and get your ceiling fan running smoothly again – all it takes is a few simple steps! With the right tools and knowledge, you can easily repair your own fan and save yourself some time and money.


  • If You Are Having Trouble Locating the Capacitor, Consult Your Fan’s User Manual for Help.
  • Make Sure to Use Safety Gloves and Goggles When Working With Electricity or Wiring.
  • Prior to Testing a Ceiling Fan Capacitor, Always Turn Off the Power to the Fan at the Main Circuit Breaker or Fuse Box.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What Are the Benefits of Testing a Ceiling Fan Capacitor?

A: There are several benefits to testing your ceiling fan capacitor. First, testing ensures that the fans run smoothly and quietly, as a faulty capacitor can cause your fan to make loud noises or potentially even stop working altogether.

Testing Your Ceiling Fan Capacitor

Additionally, it becomes easier to adjust the pitch of your fan blades and the airflow of air when you know that the capacitor is functioning properly. Finally, testing your ceiling fan capacitor is a great way to save money as it’s much cheaper than replacing an entire fan!

Q: How Often Should I Test My Ceiling Fan Capacitor?

A: Most experts recommend testing your ceiling fan capacitor at least once a year, but it’s always best to check on it more regularly if you notice any issues with your fan (e.g., excessive noise or blade wobbling). Additionally, if you move into an older home, it’s a good idea to test the capacitor of all fans before using them.

Q: Is It Safe to Test a Ceiling Fan Capacitor?

A: Yes, it is safe to test a ceiling fan capacitor as long as you take the proper safety precautions. Make sure to turn off the power at the main circuit breaker or fuse box, and use safety gloves and goggles when handling wires. Additionally, if you are uncertain of what you are doing or feel uncomfortable with the process, consult a professional electrician for help.

Q: What Should I Do If My Ceiling Fan Capacitor Needs to Be Replaced?

A: If your ceiling fan capacitor needs to be replaced, it’s important to find a new one that has the same specifications as your old one (voltage and capacitance). You can then disconnect the two wires from your old capacitor and reconnect them to the new one.

Capacitor Needs to Be Replaced

Once you have reassembled the fan cover, check to make sure that the motor is running properly and that there’s no wobbling in the blades before enjoying your newly repaired ceiling fan!


Now that you know how to hang two curtains on one rod and test a ceiling fan capacitor, you can tackle these two common DIY tasks with confidence. Whether you’re looking to spruce up your living room or make sure your new fan is running as efficiently as possible, the steps outlined in this post on how to test a ceiling fan capacitor should get you where you need to go.

By breaking down hanging curtains and testing fans into achievable steps, hopefully, this post has been a useful guide for tackling the challenge of home improvement projects. As always, it’s important to take safety precautions while pursuing these types of DIY activities – if needed, reach out to a professional electrician or handyman if necessary.

Photo of author

Jennifer Branett

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