If you want to know all about ceiling fan weights, you are in the right place!
In this guide, you will learn:
- Typical weight ratings of ceiling fan boxes
- How much weight you can hang from a ceiling fan
- How to pick the right box for your ceiling fan
- And more!
When I inspect homes, my clients sometimes ask me about ceiling fans and weight ratings.
It is important to know that ceiling fans need to be attached to special 'fan-rated' electrical boxes — otherwise it may break and fall down. And home inspectors and other home professionals do not recommend hanging anything from ceiling fans, unless perhaps lightweight paper decorations.
We recommend only purchasing UL-rated electrical boxes specifically for ceiling fans.
Keep reading to learn all about ceiling fan weight ratings, electrical boxes, and more!
How Much Weight Can A Ceiling Fan Hold?
The weight that a ceiling fan can hold is greatly dependent on the ceiling fan box.
The ceiling fan box is the electrical box that is attached to a ceiling joist with wood screws. These special 'fan-rated electrical boxes' will typically hold 50-70 pounds but certain ones like L-shaped brackets, bar brackets, and saddle boxes can even hold up to 150-200 pounds.
It isn't recommended to hang anything with substantial weight from a ceiling fan.
If a homeowner wants to hang lightweight decorations like a paper product, it should be fine. But there is no way to know how much weight the ceiling fan itself can hold since it isn't rated to carry any additional weight.
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How To Know If The Box Will Hold The Ceiling Fan? (3 Easy Steps)
The electrical box that you plan on installing (or if it's already there) and how it's installed will determine if it can hold your ceiling fan in place.
Electrical boxes are round enclosures that hold all of the electrical wires of the ceiling fan (or light fixture) and are attached to the ceiling joist with wood screws. The ceiling fan then gets attached to the electrical box and wired up.
The average electrical box for a light fixture isn't rated to carry the weight of ceiling fans and frequently isn't even attached to the ceiling joist.
Step 1: Verify The Box Rating
Always verify that the electrical box is actually rated for ceiling fans and find out the actual weight limit.
If you have an existing fixture, you will need to carefully shutoff the power at the electrical panel and remove the light fixture. Simply find the model number and brand stamped on the box, and find out the weight rating from the manufacturer.
Installing a ceiling fan on a regular light fixture box is more common than you think!
And ceiling fans do sometimes fall as a result of poor installations.
Step 2: The Box Should Be Attached To A Joist
The electrical 'fan rated' box needs to be securely attached to at least one ceiling joist. The easiest way to check it is to tug on the box and make sure that it doesn't move.
It is also important to verify that it is installed correctly with wood screws (and not drywall screws!). An easy way to check which side of the box is connected to a joist is to use a flat head screwdriver to pole in between the box and the drywall.
Step 3: Find Out The Weight Of The Ceiling Fan
Homeowners will need to determine the weight of the ceiling fan.
You can put the ceiling fan on a weight scale or simply look up the product specs from the manufacturer.
Read Also >> How To Balance A Ceiling Fan Using Coins?
How Much Does A Ceiling Fan Weigh?
The average residential ceiling fan weighs in the range of 10-lbs to 50-lbs.
Industrial or commercial ceiling fans can weigh significantly more in the range of 100-lbs to 400-lbs.
A regular light fixture electrical box will not be able to withstand the vibrations, momentum, and forces exerted when a ceiling fan is rotating even if it can hold the static fan weight. A ceiling fan needs plenty of support and the fan-rated box should at least hold 50-lbs.
How Much Weight Can I Hang From My Ceiling?
Homeowners should never hang anything with substantial weight from a ceiling.
Drywall by itself will not carry a heavy load which is why ceiling fans need weight-rated electrical boxes that are attached to the joist — and not just drywall!
How Much Weight Can A Ceiling Beam Hold?
A ceiling wood beam can typically hold on the order of 4,000 to 6000 pounds of weight.
If it is a true wood beam (and not just a faux beam), it will easily be able to hold the weight of a ceiling fan.
How Common Are Ceiling Fan Falling Deaths?
There isn't any official data on ceiling fan falling deaths, but it is estimated that there are over 19,000 injuries each year from ceiling fans falling onto occupants.
Read Also >> How To Hang A Ceiling Fan In A Mobile Home?
Final Thought On Weight For Ceiling Fans
The weight of a ceiling fan is mostly dependent on the pound rating of the electrical box, and on the weight of the fan itself.
Always verify the plastic junction box weight limit before installing any ceiling fan.
If you want to find the weight rating of the existing box, homeowners will need to look up the model # and the brand of that particular electrical box. It is essential to make sure that the ceiling fan rough-in box is securely attached to a ceiling joist and fastened with wood screws (not drywall screws).
And we don't ever recommend hanging anything from ceiling fans! Lightweight decorations may be fine if it is just a few ounces.