Troubleshooting Ceiling Fan Problem – Fan Works But Only On One Speed Low
Live serves up its lessons in funny ways sometimes.
In the master bedroom there is a ceiling fan. It has a rotating fan switch that allows you to select multiple speed for the fan from the wall switch, High, Medium, and Low. There is no need to pull the chain.
It worked when we moved in and worked for years afterwards. Shortly after having our kitchen and bathroom remodeled it started acting a little funny. The ceiling fan would turn on by using the wall switch, but it would only work on one speed, Low speed. Turning the knob to High or Medium did nothing.
Because it occurred within a few months of the remodel and because our house’s wiring has always been a little bit flakey anyway, I figured that there must be some sort of electrical problem.
I checked the wiring in the switch box. All good.
I checked the wiring in the ceiling fan box. All good.
I checked the fuse box (which is actually a circuit breaker box, who knew?). Good as far as I could tell.
I boned up on electricity and how home electrical systems work. I did Internet research. I read books. I checked out more books from the library. I read How To websites. I read forums for electricians, homeowners, contractors, and do it yourselfers.
I bought a Voltmeter to test with. All good.
I bought an electrical outlet tester to make sure no outlets were miswired, or missing their ground connection, or whatever.
Finally, for whatever reason, I bought a new ceiling fan switch. I knew it wouldn’t work, but it was cheap and I figured what the heck.
I changed the ceiling fan switch out, and rewired it exactly like it was before.
I fixed the ceiling fan by doing the most obvious thing there was. I would have started there in our last house which was a new construction house in the suburbs, but because our house was older, with some quirks and because we had recently remodeled, I assumed it was something to do with the house, not something obvious.
Today’s Life Lesson
Don’t make things harder than they are.
The simplest answer is usually the right one.
Everyone already knows this. Don’t let the circumstances or current situation distract you from this truth. Whether it’s a problem at work, at home, with your car, or with your house, always start at the easiest possible thing to try and then work your way up to the harder stuff. It will save you a lot of trouble.
Talk to your boss or your spouse. Fill up your car’s gas tank and check the oil and other fluids. Do these things before moving on to elaborate schemes, carefully crafted letters or emails, or changing things like the serpentine belt.
Start easy. It will work most of the time, and that means that more of your problems will be easier to solve instead of more of your problems being harder to solve.