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How to Replace a Ceiling Fan Capacitor – 3 Ways

How to Install and Connect a Capacitor in a Ceiling Fan?

If you ever face a problem with the ceiling fan such as humming noise, slow speed, not running the fan or fan light kit is working but fan has been stopped even with proper power supply, then you are the right forum as one of the most common reason is a bad or blown capacitor instead of faulty internal windings, power supply failure or jam bearings. You may check and test the capacitor by 6 methods if is faulty or in good condition.

Simply to the point, there is a single phase (split phase induction) motor in ceiling fan where we need a starting capacitor to split the phase angle between starting and running windings to produce a magnetic field. A capacitor just do it as it provide leading phase shift by 90° (as some current flow through the staring winding). This way, voltage across staring and running windings have difference phase which provide rotating magnetic filed leading to the rotation of motor rotor.

As mentioned above and shown in fig below, there are two winding in a ceiling fan motor which known as Main Winding (Running) and Auxiliary (Starting) Winding. We need to connect the capacitor to the starting winding (auxiliary) in series. The neutral should be connected to the neutral. Don’t forget to connect the earth wire to the proper grounding and earthing.

wiring diagram of split phase single phase induction motor in a ceiling fan

Note: The wiring colors in this tutorials are for illustration and clarification only i.e. these colors used in this guide is only for guidance and do not necessarily represent regional variance. See the bottom notes for US and EU Wiring color codes (NEC and IEC). In addition, some manufactures may use different wire colors, this way follow the regional color coding or check the user manual guide for clear explanation. If still not sure, contact a licensed electrician for proper installation.

Disclaimer: This diagrams(s) are to be used as a guide only. Use of this guide is at the installer risk. We Electrical Technology and the author of this guide accept no liability for injury, loss or damage resulting from use of this guide. For proper installation, you may contact the licensed electrical. Read carefully the safety precaution at end of this guide.

Now, If we got a faulty capacitor, we may change it by three different ways as follow.

  • Replacing a faulty capacitor in a ceiling fan.
  • Wiring a Starting capacitor with Ceiling fan.
  • Connecting a 3-in-1 capacitor with ceiling fan, reverse switch and pull chain string.

Related Post: How to Size and Find the Numbers of Ceiling Fan in a Room?

Replacing a Faulty Capacitor in a Ceiling Fan

Suppose a simple fan without light kit need to be replaced with a new working capacitor having the same rating, follow the instruction below:

  • First off all, switch off the main circuit breaker in the home distribution board to disconnect the power supply.
  • Now, remove the faulty capacitor by cutting the exact wires connected to faulty capacitor.
  • Replace a new capacitor by connecting the Red (live) wire (from ceiling fan) to the first terminal of capacitor and connect the blue wire to the second terminal of capacitor.
  • Connect the red and blue wire and put a wire nut and electric tap and insert it in the wire connector as shown in fig below.
  • Connect the black (neutral) from the ceiling fan to the second slot of wire connector.
  • Now connect the live and neutral to the power supply. Switch ON the main circuit breaker to test the ceiling fan.

How to Replace a Ceiling Fan Capacitor

Good to Know: Don’t connect the capacitor on Neutral Wire i.e. only connect the capacitor the red and black (or blue and black which depends on the manufacturer and user manual), otherwise, Instead of anti clock wise direction, the fan will start to rotate in reverse direction i.e backward direction (clockwise).

How to Connect and Install a Capacitor in a Ceiling Fan

 

Related Post:

Wiring a Starting Capacitor in a Ceiling Fan

If you got a problem with ceiling fan starting capacitor, follow the step below to install and connect a new capacitor.

  • Disconnect the main power supply be switching off the circuit breaker in DB.
  • Remove the blown / bad capacitor from the fan by cutting their related wires.
  • Connect the red wire to the first terminal of new capacitor and the second terminal should be joint with blue wire with wire nut (don’t forget to use electric tap as well) and connect to the first slot of the wire connector as shown in fig.
  • Now connect the red (live) from wire connector to the fan speed control regulator or fan dimmer switch and SPST (single pole single through or single way switch) in series.
  • Connect the gournd wire and neutral from the fan to the earth and neutral wires from the main distribution board.
  • Switch on the main breaker to check the fan it it working properly as expected.

 

Wiring Connection of Starting Capacitor in Ceiling Fan

Related Posts:

Wiring a 3-in-1 Ceiling Fan Capacitor with Reverse Switch & Pull Chain

This method is little bit complex due to different wires in 3-in-1 capacitor and one must follow the wiring color codes used in the wiring diagram (NEC and IEC wiring color codes are given below). To replace and change a three-in-one capacitor with a ceiling fan with builtin light kit and reverse switch, follow the instructions below.

  • First of all, switch of the main breaker in the household DB to cut off the main power supply.
  • Connect the green/yellow ground wire to the household grounding system
  • Now, remove the previously installed capacitor in the ceiling fan by cutting red and grey wires.
  • Do the same for pull chain switch i.e. disconnect the (grey, brown, purple and black) wires from capacitor to the pull chain switch and ceiling fan reverse switch.
  • Now connect a new 3-in-1 capacitor by connecting the gray wire to the slot 1 in the pull chain switch, the second grey from capacitor to the middle terminal of reverse switch.
  • Connect the the brown and purple wire to the slot 2 and slot 3 respectively in pull chain switch.
  • Connect the orange and pink wires from the fan to the reverse switch slot 1 and 3 as shown in fig.
  • Connect the white wire as neutral from the main board to the fan, middle slot of reverse switch and light kit.
  • Connect the black wire as live (phase or line) to the L slot of pull chain switch. An additional joint through wire nut to the blue wire from the fan to the builtin light kit as shown in fig.
  • Now switch on the main distribution board to check the ceiling fan through reverse switch (which is used to change the fan direction of rotation), pull chain switch for different speeds and ON/OFF control.

Wiring a 3-in-1 Capacitor with Ceiling Fan, Reverse Switch & Pull Chain

Related Post: How to Control One Lamp From Two or Three Places?

NEC and IEC Wiring Color Codes:

We have used Red for Live or Phase , Black for Neutral and Green/Yellow for Earth Wire. You may use the specific area codes i.e. IEC – International Electrotechnical Commission (UK, EU etc) or NEC (National Electrical Code [US & Canada] where;

NEC:

Single Phase 120V AC:

  • Black = Phase or Line
  • White = Neutral
  • Green/Yellow Earth Conductor

IEC:

Single Phase 230V AC:

  • Brown Phase or Line
  • Blue Neutral
  • Green Earth Conductor

Related Post: How to Wire Auto & Manual Changeover / Transfer Switch (1 & 3 Phase)

General Safety Precautions

  • Electricity is our enemy, if you give it a chance to kill you, Remember, they will never miss it. Please read all caution and instruction while doing this tutorial in practical.
  • Disconnect the power source before servicing, repairing or installing electrical equipment.
  • Use the proper cable in size with this simple calculation method ( How to determine the suitable size of cable for Electrical Wiring Installation)
  • Never try to work on electricity without proper guidance and care.
  • Work with electricity only in presence of those persons who has good knowledge and practical work and experience who know how to deal with electricity.
  • Read all the instruction and cautions and follow them strictly.
  • Doing your own electrical work is dangerous as well as illegal in some areas. Contact the licensed electrician or the power supply company before practicing any change in electrical wiring connection.
  • The author will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information or if you try any circuit in wrong format. So please! Be careful because it’s all about electricity and electricity is too dangerous.

In the above ceiling fan capacitor replacing tutorial, we showed three methods to change and replace a faulty ceiling fan capacitor and will add more wiring tutorials in the future. If you know a specific method to do so, let us know in the comment box below.

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17 Comments

  1. Wat happens if we connect a capacitor to a fan?

    1. Rama Krishna Thumu says:

      Since we are using single phase supply which is not a self starting machine so in order to initially to provide some torque by changing the supply phase shift by 90 degrees.

      1. Mukesh Chawla says:

        how changing phase angle will produce magnetic field ?

        1. Amir Khan says:

          I think, he said phase angle will produce rotating magnetic field. He meant Rotating Magnetic Field not only Magnetic Field.

  2. Javid Raza says:

    I got a nice help from that and can change the capacitor myself now. thanks

  3. Anna Mark says:

    Great post! Generally the capacitor is there for POWER FACTOR CORRECTION. If we provide a capacitor then phase angle will change which will produce rotating magnetic field due to which fan rotates. It is really easy to install capacitor or you can take help of experienced electricians.

    1. Jathendhar says:

      how changing phase angle will produce magnetic field ? >can u explain?

  4. Shahid Iqbal says:

    what happen when two capacitor are connected in fan?

  5. How can i check that my main winding is not short circuited

  6. Bud Bitetti says:

    I have a Minka Aire F510 ceiling fan and I am using a RCS212 hand held to control it. By using the remote instead of the wall control I lose the low speed. I was told that if I replace the capacitor in the receiver with a lower one that I could get the low speed back is this something you can help with. Thank you.

  7. How can i calculate no. of turns of the ceiling fan . what is stator . is there any connection with turns pls help me.

  8. Zahoor Prince says:

    What does power factor mean?

    1. Power factor as per the theory is – Resistance / Impedance (R/Z) where resistance is the value of hinderance or opposition provided to the current when d.c. voltage is applied acrross the winding and impedance is the term used in the a.c voltage for the same opposition. (impedance will take account of the hinderance provided by the inductors and capacitors also inaddition to the circuit resistance where as the resistance will take only the hinderance only on the resistive parts may be the part of resistance of the inductore / capacitor as no material is pure) Impedance varies according to the frequency of the ac. voltage but the resistance will not change as it is insensitive to the frequency variations. coming to the point of improving the power factor to unity when R/Z =1 (will not be every case as Z will be more than the R due to all inductive loads such as motors and other electrical appliance) so to nullify the inductive reactance we add capacitors so that the capactive reactance is in the negative force of the inductive reactance so when in a circuit Z=R+L-C when L and C are equal then Z=R , so power factor p.f =R/Z which in turn Z= R R/R=1 so we can have total effective power be used rather wasted. so in single word p.f = efficiency of the power system , power utilized /power fed

  9. Veena Sodha says:

    Why capacitor is connected in series in ceiling fan?

    1. Why capacitor is connected in series in ceiling fan ? Ans:- As the Ceiling fan has two windings one is starting winding and the other is running winding. which are in parallel connection and capacitor is connected in series with the starting winding because , as per theory it produces 90 degrees lag in voltage compared to the running winding, so that there will be difference in the phase of each winding i.e running winding current and starting winding current in turn have the respective difference in the phase of the produced magnetic field, resulting in the rotating field around the rotor of the fan motor, which help the stator to follow the magnetic field results in fan stator to rotate.

  10. How to install capacitor of Taj fans . The have three wires i connect already but its running slowly. Please help me ..

  11. Wesley Hughes says:

    Ceiling fan motors don’t have start windings or start capacitors. They have auxillary windings and run capacitors. The run cap is not there to start the motor.

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