How To Install A Ceiling Fan On A Vaulted Ceiling

how to install a ceiling fan on a vaulted ceiling

Vaulted ceilings are attractive, beautiful and usually quite grand in their own right. They usually lend a certain level of class and elegance to a room. This is because the tall ceiling also creates the illusion of a much larger room. 

The only downside to having this type of ceiling is the fact that they usually require a unique ceiling fan installation. This is because ceiling fans are designed generally to hang off level surfaces. This can present a problem if your ceiling is vaulted or sloped. An example of this is a cathedral ceiling. 

Installing a ceiling fan on a vaulted ceiling requires one or two special parts which can easily be found at your local electrical shop. A sloped mounting bracket will connect to the electrical box giving you a flat surface from which to work. It also provides an extension rod which will lower the level of the fan so the blades will be clear from the ceiling. 

One of the challenges involved with installing a ceiling fan on a vaulted ceiling is that various lengths of downrods will be needed. This is especially true when multiple ceiling fans need to be installed. This is as a result of the varying height of a vaulted ceiling. 

In this article, we’ll explain step by step how to install a ceiling fan on a vaulted ceiling.

How To Install A Ceiling Fan On A Vaulted Ceiling

Ceiling fans are a great way to improve the cooling effect in your house during hot and sometimes uncomfortable summer months. They help you feel comfortable and cool and also help you save on utility bills. 

Installing a ceiling fan yourself is much easier these days thanks to newer, stronger hanging systems and electronic controls. We’ve provided a step by step guide on installing a ceiling fan on a vaulted ceiling below but first here are some equipment you’d need.

Equipment You Will Need For The Installation 

  1. Ladder.
  2. Noncontact circuit tester.
  3. Screwdriver.
  4. Drywall saw.
  5. Electrical pancake box. 
  6. Eye protection.
  7. Urethane based adhesive. 
  8. Power screwdriver.
  9. Measuring tape.
  10. Ceiling fan assembly. 
  11. Down rod.

Steps To Installing A Ceiling Fan On A Vaulted Ceiling 

Step 1: Turn Off The Circuit Breaker 

The circuit breaker provides power to the lighting fixture. This can be done at the main electrical panel. Use a noncontact circuit tester device to ensure the power has been turned off effectively. 

Step 2: Access The Light Fixture Using A Ladder 

If you need the help of a friend, get one to help you hold the ladder’s leg while you work. This is to ensure utmost safety while you complete the task. 

Step 3: Remove The Screws Holding The Light Fixture

Pull down the fixture from the ceiling. Untwist the wires from the fixture to the electrical wiring of your home. Place the fixture away. Now allow the electrical wiring of the ceiling to hang down temporarily.

Step 4: Unmount The Electrical Box

Locate the electrical box. Unscrew the box from its position using a screwdriver. You can now take the box away.

Step 5: Locate The Ceiling Joist

The joist may be adjacent to the old hole of the fixture.

Step 6: Place An Electrical Pancake Box Against The Ceiling 

This is so that it’s beneath the previously located ceiling joist. Draw a circle around the box on the ceiling. You can use a pencil to do this. Place the box away on the side.

Step 7: Cut The Hole You’ve Drawn Out Using A Drywall Saw 

Make sure you wear eye protection while you do this. This is because you will definitely let off some dust during the sawing process. 

Step 8: Place The Wires Neatly In The Hole

Wrap the hanging electrical wires into the pancake box’s knockout hole. Then push the box up into the hole you cut and screw it into the ceiling joist. You can do this using a power screwdriver and the boxes supplied screws. Ensure that the electrical wires are not pinched during this attachment procedure.

Step 9: Fix The Medallion

Squeeze some urethane-based adhesive into the back of the ceiling fan’s medallion piece. Place the fan’s medallion over the pancake box by twisting the hanging wires into the medallion’s open middle. Push the medallion alongside the ceiling. Secure the medallion a screwdriver and the supplied screws.

Step 10: Place The Fan’s Metal Ceiling Plate 

Place the fan’s ceiling plate against the pancake box in the center of the medallion. Secure it using a screwdriver and screws. Make sure that the electrical wires of the ceiling project through the plate’s open hole.

Step 11: Ensure Blades Aren’t Touching The Vaulted Ceiling Sides

Hold the complete fan assembly below the center of the medallion. Do this until its blades are clear of the vaulted ceiling sides. Mark the height you desire on the sloping ceiling using a pencil.

Step 12: Measure The Distance Between The Marked Height And The Pancake Box Using A Measuring Tape

Don’t measure against the vaulted ceiling instead measure vertically from the pancake box to the marked point. This is to done to find the down rod length which will be needed to clear the sides of the ceiling. 

Step 13: Fix The Downrod

Place a downrod of the measured vertical length on the completed fan assembly. Now, wind the fan’s electrical wiring up the down rod as it is being pressed into the fan assembly. Secure the down rod using a screwdriver and screws. 

Step 14: Configure The Electrical Wires

Hold the downrod and the fan combination up to the pancake box. Now, hand-twist the electrical wires coming out from the ceiling box and down rod. Consult the manual for your fan for the specific wiring configurations. This is because each fan manufacturer has a different wire orientation.

Step 15: Secure The Fan 

Secure the fan to the pancake box using a screwdriver and some screws. Switch the circuit breaker back on at the main electrical panel. Turn the ceiling fan on and verify it is working properly.

Check out this video on how to install a ceiling fan on a vaulted ceiling. It’s a bit long but it’s thorough, in case you still need some visual aid.

Watch Out For Your Fan Blades And The Sloped Ceiling Sides!

Before you install a ceiling fan on a vaulted ceiling make sure that certain fan blades will not come into contact with any ceiling angles. In most cases, the blades should be approximately 18 inches from any particular sloped side of the ceiling. 

This is an important factor because this will assist in making sure that proper airflow is always maintained. Improper fan installation can easily cause poor airflow. It is also a wasted effort in trying to reduce the use of energy around the home.

(Here’s an article that explains how to measure ceiling fan blades: How Do You Measure A Ceiling Fan? Click here to read it.)

Tip: It may be easier to install the fan on its own without the blades. The blades can be easily removed using a screwdriver. It will be necessary to have the blades on the fan assembly when you’re estimating the length of the down rod in order to clear the vaulted ceiling sides. 

Manufacturers generally require that fan blades be a minimum of 7 feet. above the floor. Since most motor and fan assemblies are less than 12 inches high, they tend to fit under a standard 8-foot ceiling which has the proper clearance. 

Angled/vaulted ceilings require that you install a down rod. They are also referred to as extension tubes or down tubes. They are needed to lower the fan blades and the motor so they can clear a sloped ceiling surface. 

The more space you have between the fan and the ceiling, the better it is. This is because the fan will have more air to draw from which means you and your guests will feel more air movement since the blades are closer to you. 

A number of fans come with a short down rod that has been designed for mounting on 8-foot ceilings. 

Buying A Ceiling Fan

If you visit a ceiling fan store, you may get overwhelmed by the large display of various styles, colors, and accessories. If you intend to use your fan frequently, it is advisable to invest in a high-quality model. It is also advisable to buy a quieter, more durable and efficient unit. 

If you spend beyond your budget it’s probably because you’re paying for additional features such as light packages, wall and radio actuated controls, and the likes. You’re also paying for a more finished and detailed design which probably has a fancier motor casing, in addition to inlays, glasswork or blade ornaments. 

If you spend less than your budget, you’re probably paying for a less durable and efficient, nosier unit. It also most likely has fewer blades, color, and electronic choices. 

Most ceiling fans are designed to be installed inside enclosed and heated spaces. If you’re planning on installing a fan in a screen room, a gazebo or a damp area, it’s advisable you purchase a “damp-rated fan.” These types of fans have corrosion-resistant, plastic or stainless steel parts that can withstand condensation and high humidity. 

If you live in a coastal area that blows corrosive sea air, it’s advisable you purchase a “wet rated fan.” If you’ll be installing the fan in a wet environment such as a greenhouse, it’s also advisable you purchase a “wet-rated fan.”

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