How To Look At A House

McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of  

site-built, mobile/manfuactured and modular homes

Why are my ceiling fan blades drooping?

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

It’s likely because you have an indoor fan that is installed at at damp, outdoor location like a screen porch. Because indoor fan blades typically are a composite wood product that will not withstand the changes in humidity on a covered porch, they sag over time. Also, the metal components of an interior-rated fan installed outside will rust prematurely, and the motor will likely freeze-up or short-out, usually before the end of the second summer season. 

   So you need to replace it with a fan approved by UL (Underwriters Laboratories) for outdoor installation. Look for the UL-approval notice on the box and the small UL sticker on the fan itself. The UL certification is called “listed” in the building code and there are two types of listed outdoor fans:

  1. “UL Listed for Damp Locations” is the rating you need for a fan that will be installed in a covered outdoor location where rain cannot reach the fan. This rating is also correct for fans installed in a bathroom with a tub or shower, and in small enclosed laundry rooms. 
  2. “UL Listed for Wet Locations” is for fans that are installed completely outdoors (in a patio, for example) or close enough to the edge of a roofed area for rain to blow on it occasionally.  If you are replacing ceiling fans as part of a project that requires a building permit and inspections, the inspector will verify that the fans you install are correctly rated for where they are installed. But, even if there is no building inspector looking over your shoulder, getting a fan UL-approved for where you are installing it will save you from premature corrosion and failure later—not to mention, droopy blades.

    Also, see our blog post  What is the minimum height of a ceiling fan above the floor?

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Here’s links to a collection of some of our other blog posts about APPLIANCES: 

What are the building code requirements for installing an appliance (furnace, air handler, water heater) in the attic?

Which house appliances need a dedicated electrical circuit? 

Is a washing machine drain hose required to be secured at the standpipe?

When was GFCI-protection for kitchen dishwasher receptacle outlet first required? 

Why does venting a clothes dryer into a garage, attic, or crawl space cause problems?

Does a refrigerator water supply line require a shutoff valve behind it? 

My spa tub stopped working. What's wrong?

What is the maximum recommended height above the floor for an above-the-range microwave?

Why would a home have natural gas appliaces but no gas meter? 

Is a hot water faucet required at a washing machine?

Can I remove a 240-volt range receptacle and hard-wire the range? 

 Can a dishwasher be wired to a kitchen counter small appliance receptacle circuit?

Why is it bad to have a clothes dryer vent near an air conditioning condenser (outdoor unit)? 

Do home inspectors test the appliances?

What are the most common defects with over-the-range microwaves?

Are a range and refrigerator required kitchen appliances for a house to pass FHA inspection? 

What are the code requirements for an outdoor dryer vent cover?

What is the maximum length for a clothes dryer vent? 

How do you inspect a dryer vent? 

• Why is there a water hose connected to the back of the clothes dryer?

    Visit our APPLIANCES page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles. 

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