Is there a room in your mobile home that feels stuffy and stale?
Installing a mobile home ceiling fan can bring down the temperature, reduce your power bill and circulate fresh air throughout the room.
It's always essential to use an electrical box rated for use with ceiling fans.
Light fixture electrical boxes are only meant to support up to 25-lbs and must be replaced with a ceiling fan rated electrical box. A ceiling fan rated box will support the additional weight and movement of the fan and will be attached to a ceiling joist for support.
In this Home Inspector Secrets guide, I will go over...
- The eight steps in hanging a ceiling fan for mobile homes
- What type of braces and electrical boxes you may need
- How to hang a mobile home ceiling fans on a slanted ceiling or at the peak of a vaulted ceiling
- How to safely remove an existing light and wire up your new ceiling fan
Keep reading to learn the 8 steps of installing a ceiling fan in a manufactured home.
What You Need To Know About Installing A Ceiling Fan In A Mobile Home?
Hanging a ceiling fan for a mobile home is basically the same process as installing one in a stick-built home. The major difference is that the light fixture support box holding your light in place may not be attached to a joist.
A single light fixture electrical box and your ceiling panels may support the weight of a simple light fixture but a ceiling fan is much heavier and creates vibrations.
Ceiling Fan Box & T-Brace
Attaching a ceiling fan to the light fixture electrical box can end up with your fan on the floor and a hole in your ceiling. You'll need to install a ceiling fan box first that is rated for ceiling fan use.
For lights not installed near a ceiling joist, you will need to install a ceiling fan T-brace before mounting an electrical box.
These expanding metal braces can extend up to 24 inches to secure itself between floor joists and allow you to attach a ceiling fan box that will support the weight of the fan and can handle the vibrations created by a spinning fan.
Flat Vs. Sloped Ceiling
Most ceiling fans for mobile homes are designed to be hung from a flat ceiling but you can hang one from nearly any slanted ceiling or even from the peak of a vaulted ceiling.
The majority of mobile home ceiling fans are already equipped for slanted ceilings up to 28 degrees. Ceilings with a higher grade than that will require an adapter box or kit, as will hanging a ceiling fan from the peak of a vaulted ceiling.
Supplies You'll Need To Hang Ceiling Fans For Mobile Homes
- Measuring Tape - use a tape measure to measure the room and choose an appropriately sized fan for the space.
- Ceiling Fan Box - Will replace the light fixture electrical box and support the weight of the ceiling fan
- Ceiling Fan T-Brace - a threaded metal tube and large rod that can be inserted into the ceiling without sawing or drilling a new hole and then can be expanded to bear weight if a ceiling joist is not nearby to attach the mobile home ceiling fan box
- Wire strippers - Wire strippers are used to cut wire and remove the insulation cleanly without damaging the wire
- Wire Nuts - small plastic connectors used to join two wires together safely. Your light will be wired with them already but you may need to replace or supplement what is already there.
- A Phillips Head Screwdriver - vital for most DIY jobs
- A Flathead Screwdriver and Mallet - You'll be using it like a chisel so pick a sturdy screwdriver
- Needle Nose Pliers - Working with stiff electrical wire inside electrical boxes can be difficult and a pair of pliers can help
How To Install Mobile Home Ceiling Fans? (8 Steps)
- Turn Off All Power to the Room You Are Working In
- Remove the Existing Light Fixture
- Remove the Existing Electrical Box
- Install Ceiling Fan Box (If Joist Attached)
- Install Ceiling Fan T-Brace And Box (If Not Joist Attached)
- Connect Ceiling Fan To Ceiling Fan Box
- Identify Electrical Wiring
- Connect Wiring Using Wire Nuts
Step 1: Turn Off All Power to Room Where You Are Working In
Working with electricity can be very dangerous, so step 1 for any project is to turn off the power, but that means more than just flipping off the light switch.
The electrical panel in your mobile home, often called a breaker box, can be used to disable the power to the entire room. Breaker switches when flipped away from the center of the breaker panel are in the off position.
A non-contact voltage tester is a small and inexpensive device that can be held up to any wire, socket or outlet to see if electricity is being supplied.
Read Also: What Are Top Rated High CFM Ceiling Fans?
Step 2: Remove the Existing Light Fixture
If your light fixture has a glass shade attached, loosen the thumbscrews while supporting the shade with your hand and set aside when removed.
The next step will require you to support the light fixture while removing the wire nuts connecting the light to your home's wiring. Next, unscrew any regular or thumb screws that attach the light fixture to the light fixture electrical box above.
The light fixture will now be attached to the ceiling by only the electrical wiring. Unscrew the wire nuts and if necessary use a pair of needle nose pliers will help separate the wires.
If one of the wires is connected to a green screw, that is the ground wire and you'll need to remove that screw to detach the wire.
Step 3: Remove the Existing Electrical Box
Once your light fixture is removed and set aside you will need to remove the electrical box which may be nailed to a joist in the ceiling. If you can't push the box into the ceiling by hand, you will need to remove any screws or nails holding it in place. For tight spaces and stubborn electrical boxes, you can use a sturdy screwdriver and a mallet to knock the electrical box free.
If the electrical box won't come out without ceiling damage, you may be able to just push it aside after removing the wiring.
Step 4: Install Ceiling Fan Support Box (If Joist Attached)
If the light fixture electrical box was attached to a joist, you can follow ceiling fan box instructions and attach it directly to the joist.
A ceiling fan rated box is designed to hang ceiling fans weighing as much as 35lbs and withstand a spinning fan's strong vibrations and movement.
Your new ceiling fan box will screw or nail directly into the joist and include a rubber wire protector to be installed in the knockout to protect your wiring from the sharp metal edges.
Step 5: Install Ceiling Fan T-Brace And Box (If Not Joist Attached)
If there is not a joist at the location you will be hanging the ceiling fan, then you will need to install a ceiling fan T-brace.
Place the expanding tube of your ceiling fan brace into the ceiling and align it perpendicular to the joists. Turn the tube until it is secure and can no longer be turned by hand.
Avoid over-tightening the tube as it could put too much pressure on your ceiling joists. The ceiling joists are designed to support the weight from the top and not pressure from the sides.
Read Also: What Are The Best Low Profile Ceiling Fans?
Step 6: Connect Ceiling Fan To Ceiling Fan Box
Your new ceiling fan will come with a mounting bracket that is connected screwed directly into the ceiling fan box you just installed. Tighten the bracket to the box very well, as it going to have to withstand a lot of vibration and movement. Then, hang the ceiling fan from its mounting bracket to support its weight while you complete the install.
Step 7: Identify Electrical Wiring
Your ceiling fan will come with instructions and a wiring diagram but the standard installation follows the same steps.
The wires hanging from your ceiling should be 3 different colors.
- A black wire - The Live Wire supplies electricity to the ceiling fan, it is directly connected to the light switch on your home.
- A white wire - The Neutral Wire that travels back to your electric panel to complete the circuit
- A bare copper or green wire - The Ground Wire redirects electricity away from the outlets in a power surge.
If your wires are not this color, it's time to call an electrician to sort out why. The electrical codes require the wire's insulation to be these specific colors. A licensed electrician will need to look at your electrical system and find out the state of your wiring.
Step 8: Connect Wiring Using Wire Nuts
If the ends of the wires from your ceiling are damaged, a pair of wire strippers can be used to cut away any damaged wiring.
Make sure you remove the insulation from the ends of the wire, but only as much as you will be insert into the wire nut.
Place the two wires of the same color insulation inside the wire nut and twist until the wires below the wire nut begin to twist as well.
If there is no ground wire in your ceiling, you can attach the ground wire from your ceiling fan to the ground screw, a small green screw somewhere on the ceiling fan brace or sometimes on the mounting bracket. Use your needle nose pliers to wrap the wire around the screw and then tighten until the wire is secure.
Final Thoughts On How To Hang A Ceiling Fan In A Manufactured Home
This simple home upgrade can benefit your mobile home in so many ways. You'll get reduced temperatures in the summer, that allows you to use less energy running the air conditioner. And you will get better air circulation will help reduce humidity in the kitchen.
You should only do electrical repairs and remodels if you feel completely comfortable and knowledgeable about doing so. Improper electrical wiring could cause someone to receive a shock or even start a fire in your mobile home. Always err on the side of caution and if you're not sure about something, find a professional.