What Is A Wet-Rated Ceiling Fan?

what is a wet-rated ceiling fan
Image by alvinmatt from Pixabay

If you need to purchase a new ceiling fan to keep your outdoor area cool but you want to make sure you purchase the right rating of fan, then you’ve come to the right article. Everything we will be talking about today will center around the question: what is a wet-rated ceiling fan?

Ceiling fans are a great addition to any space whether it’s located indoors or outdoors. They keep you cool on a hot day and they also save many homeowners from accumulating high energy bills.

Whether you plan to install your wet-rated ceiling fan indoors or outdoors, these fans were designed to be the best in terms of durability.

These fans can handle any type of moisture they come in contact with, whether you need to wash it with a hose or it comes in contact with direct rainfall. They can even withstand snow if you live in an area with a lot of snowfall.

It’s good news for owners looking to purchase a fan like this because fans designed for indoor use or damp-rated fans don’t have this capacity.

Wet-rated fans are ideal to be used in porches, gazebos or outdoor patios. In such environments, your ceiling fan will be coming in contact with a high level of moisture. So, you need to make sure you have the right type of fan.

Outdoor ceiling fans are fans installed overhead and they are typically designed to endure the natural elements. This is especially true when they are installed in the exterior part of a home.

Wet-rated ceiling fans are also referred to as waterproof cooling fixtures and they are ideal for use in any damp area or patio. They are available in various beautiful finishes ranging from brushed nickel to oil-rubbed bronze, to rust, and graphite finishes. Homeowners are spoilt for choice when it comes to selecting a finish for their fan. (Click here to learn how to select the best color of ceiling fan for your living space).

These types of fan are a wonderful addition to a number of homes whether they will be installed outdoors or indoors.

In this article, we’ll explain what a wet-rated ceiling fan is and also include additional information to assist your final buying decision.

How Wet-Rated Ceiling Fans Work

Wet-rated ceiling fans are made up of mechanisms that come with better sealing features than damp-rated fans. These fans are also suitable for outdoor use. Typically, wet-rated fans are designed so they can be placed in an environment where rain falls e.g. the outdoor patio or a pergola.

Wet-rated ceiling fans can withstand any rainfall beating on them directly from above.

These types of fans can also be installed in any structure that does not have any roof overhead to stop water from entering into the space e.g. a pergola.

The most important factor which categorizes a ceiling fan as wet-rated is the method used in making sure the components of the fan are sealed. This is important because it prevents water from getting into the parts housing electrical components which are very important.

As an example, most wet-rated ceiling fans do not come with remote control. Instead, these fans use more traditional 3-speed pull chain switches as well as manual electronic reverse switches. In these cases, the switches are usually watertight. Watertightness is achieved with the help of a rubber shield in order to stop water from entering and coming in contact with the electrical machinery.

Most wet-rated ceiling fans usually have silicone inside the part directly on top of the motor. This is the part the wiring goes up from the motor. It leads to the electrical connection of the overall structure.

It’s the electrical connection which is present at the overhead which your electrician will use. This is so he can take the wiring straight from the power source directly to your ceiling fan. This area itself needs to be watertight in order to stop water from trickling down into your ceiling fan.

If this is not the case, don’t worry because the silicone installed here will stop it from happening. The silicone assists in guarding the motor in the off chance the person who installed the fan did not do a decent job on his part in terms of making sure the connection area is properly sealed.

A lot of waterproof ceiling fans tend to use ABS type of plastic blades as opposed to using wooden blades. 

ABS plastic is quite durable and tends to resist most things. These include contact from water and very high temperatures all without it changing its form or shape.

Like every other regular ceiling fan, wet-rated fans also have blades included and some of them also come with built-in lighting. This is important to note so you don’t need to buy an additional light fixture when shopping for a wet-rated ceiling fan.

If you go for a wet-rated ceiling fan which has a light fixture installed then you need to make sure it has extra protection from wet environments. It has to be rated as a wet-rated light fixture. It also has to be completely watertight and sealed.

It’s also important to note that these extra inclusions will mean you have to spend more money when purchasing your ceiling fan.

These fans also are available in, efficient and energy star variations.  Wet-rated ceiling fans suitable for outdoor use are designed with rust-resistant materials. They also include blades that can endure all types of weather including ocean spray, snow, and rain.

Due to the materials used in making the blades of wet-rated fans, they usually don’t tend to droop. In addition, the hardware used to make the fan tends to be stainless steel and resistant to rust. Furthermore, all the metal works are treated so they can endure any exposure to moisture and sun.

Buy on Amazon

Check out the video below for a detailed guide on how to buy a wet-rated ceiling fan.

Best Places To Install A Wet-Rated Ceiling Fan

1.   A porch, a patio or any outdoor living space which has a screened covering or a lattice or absolutely no covering.

2.   A partially covered Gazebo or a pergola

3.  A lanai or a narrow porch where the ceiling fan is located close to the edge where rain can come in contact with it.

4. Any outdoor or indoor location that is near the ocean or located close to the sea or any humid climate.

Can I Install A Wet-Rated Ceiling Fan Indoors?

The short answer is, “yes you can.” This type of fan is not only suitable for outdoor use but indoor use as well. Even though it’s not usually recommended, a fan designed to be used outside can be used indoors.

This is due to the fact that outdoor fans tend to, in most cases, provide pretty much the same features as an indoor ceiling fan. They also can be used in a winter setting, and so they are quite versatile.

These types of fans are usually tougher in durability. They are also much easier to maintain and clean when compared to fans designed for indoor use. The major reason it’s easier to get them cleaned is that owners don’t have to be too cautious about the products they use in cleaning their fans.

In some instances where owners need to get a ceiling fan installed in either the bathroom or kitchen, it can be beneficial to install an outdoor rated ceiling fan. This is because they are resistant to moisture and owners won’t need to be concerned about the blades getting warped.

They also don’t need to worry about any pitted finishes which any dampness in these areas may result in while using an indoor ceiling fan typically designed for use indoors.

Buy on Amazon

Tips For Maintaining A Wet-Rated Ceiling Fan

Cleaning a wet-rated ceiling fan is relatively easy. One of the ways you can achieve this is by cleaning it using a hose. Yes, it’s that simple so if you don’t have a hose, we suggest you buy one.

You cannot do this if you have an indoor fan, though. So, keep this in mind when purchasing your ceiling fan.

Wet-Rated Fans For Environments With Salty Air

If you live close to an environment that is near the ocean or has a body of salty water, making the air around there salty, we’ve provided some tips below for you:

Buy on Amazon
  • Select a wet-rated ceiling fan suitable to be used both outdoors and in indoor areas that are open to salty air.
  • Look out for ceiling fans made with marine-grade stainless steel or cast poly resin. These types of materials are capable of withstanding salty air surroundings.
  • If you don’t like the fans listed above then make sure you select a ceiling fan that comes with a powder coat finish. It should also have a UV coating instead of a polished metal finish.
  • It is recommended that owners go for darker, more rustic finishes as they tend to perform the best. They naturally will start to display signs of rust as the years go by. However, this would only serve to make the fan more appealing.
  • If you prefer to choose a fan that comes in a white or off-white color, then it’s recommended you choose a higher-priced model. This is because they normally include a special UV coating. This assists in preventing the fan from having a yellowish color after a while. It also prevents it from flaking.
  • If a metallic finish is more suited to your taste, then it’s advisable you go for a high-quality fan. This is regardless of whether it will be placed in a damp location or not.
  • Don’t be too surprised if you notice the fan displays a few rust signs as the years progress even though it’s of high quality. This is natural. The only exceptions are fans made of Cast Poly Resin or Marine Grade Stainless Steel.
  • It’s advisable that you stay away from cheap brands typically sold at home centers. They just won’t be able to withstand salty air. Yes, this is even if they are categorized as wet-rated ceiling fans.

Leave a Comment