Why Your Ceiling Fan Stopped Working But Light Still Works

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Ceiling Fan Troubleshooting

Has your ceiling fan stopped working but the light still works? Troubleshooting your ceiling fan problem should be no issue. Since ceiling fans are composed of few parts, it’s relatively easy to determine a cause. 


The first step in diagnosing a ceiling fan issue is making sure the fan is receiving adequate power. However, if the fan has a light fixture on it that’s working, this indicates that the issue is with the fan itself, not the power source.

Here’s what to do if your ceiling fan is malfunctioning:

Check the Wiring

Since ceiling fans are constantly in motion, a common culprit of malfunction is a loose connection.


To check the fan’s wiring, you’ll need to turn off power at the source. This will prevent any potential injury. Then, you must determine how to access the motor housing. Some models of ceiling fans have a mounting bracket that allows you to hang the fan while you inspect it. If your ceiling fan does not have a mounting bracket, a second person will need to hold the fan for you. 


Look for any disconnected or loose wires. If you notice any flaws, contact an electrician to determine the right solution — some wiring issues can be solved with a simple fix, while others require more extensive repair work. 

Test the Connections

This step only works if you have a voltmeter on hand, which many homeowners may not. If you have access to a voltmeter, you can test the connections while inspecting the wiring to determine if current is actually flowing to the ceiling fan’s motor.


 If the connections are receiving current but the motor isn’t running, that means the motor is dead and will need to be replaced entirely. 

Listen for Humming

If your ceiling fan stopped working but the light still works, check for a humming sound. This could be indicative of a blown motor capacitor, which is often caused by overheating. 


While inspecting the motor housing, look for a small black box connected to the pull cord. Damage to this part is often easy to spot —melting, discoloration or any other signs of heat damage will be visible.


A motor capacitor can be replaced rather easily, you just need to make sure the replacement part matches the blown capacitor’s electrical requirements. 

Spin the Blades

If the motor is running but the blades won’t turn, you may be dealing with a broken flywheel. Flywheel replacement is relatively easy and inexpensive for most fan models.


If the motor isn’t running, are you able to turn the ceiling fan blades manually? If not, the bearings in the fan’s motor are likely frozen. Bearings can be expensive to replace, so it often makes sense to replace the ceiling fan entirely if you find this is the issue at hand.

What electrical services does CroppMetcalfe provide?

If your ceiling fan stopped working but the light still works, it’s time to call CroppMetcalfe. Our licensed 5-Star Electricians are equipped to handle any electrical issue you may need assistance with, including ceiling fan repair and replacement. 


In addition to ceiling fan troubleshooting, CroppMetcalfe offers a variety of services for any electrical need, including:


Why should I get my electrical repairs done by CroppMetCalfe?

CroppMetcalfe’s Electrical Service Agreements grant homeowners peace of mind knowing they’ll be taken care of should an electrical issue ever arise. All residential homeowners may be eligible for coverage under our electrical Preferred Service Plan. Benefits include:


  • Annual Inspection
  • Priority Service
  • 10% Discount on Repairs
  • 50% Discount on Diagnostics

Our annual electrical inspection covers the following checklist: 


  • Inspect, clean and torque all terminations in main electrical panel
  • Verify proper operation and installation of Whole House Surge Protector
  • Test all (GFCI) ground fault circuit interrupter outlets in kitchen, bathroom, garage, utility room, unfinished area and exterior
  • Confirm and test all smoke detectors for current code compliance
  • Inspect all accessible standard wall switches and receptacles for proper wiring conditions
  • Test electrical operation of bathroom, ceiling and exhaust fans

Call to speak with one of our electrical experts or contact us online to schedule electrical service. 

Where does CroppMetcalfe provide electrical services?

CroppMetcalfe provides electrical services to the entire D.C. metro area including:


...and more!


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What Our Customers Say...

"I've been a CroppMetcalfe customer for 9 years and you have always provided outstanding service. I just had my semi-annual maintenance done, and I wanted to thank George for the truly outstanding service, professionalism, and excellent advice. He is definitely one of the best 5-Star Technicians I've had! Thank you CroppMetcalfe!"

Bill H