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Basic Ceiling Fan Remote Control Problems

How should I troubleshoot a problem with a ceiling fan remote control? The Most Common Causes of Ceiling Fan Remote Control Problems.

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Ceiling Fan Remote Control Problem
Electrical Question: How should I troubleshoot a problem with a ceiling fan remote control?

Any general info might help.
Additional Comments:
I’m encouraged to do this myself, Thanks.

This question came from Bill, a Handyman from Pantego, Texas.

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical question Bill.

Troubleshoot a Ceiling Fan Remote Control Problem

The Most Common Causes of Ceiling Fan Remote Control Problems

More about Ceiling Fans and Remote Controls and Ceiling Fan Wiring

For more information about Ceiling Fan Wiring
Ceiling Fan Wiring

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The Non-Contact Electrical Tester
This is a testing tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and is the first test tool I grab to help identify electrical wiring. It is a Non-contact tester that I use to easily Detect Voltage in Cables, Cords, Circuit Breakers, Lighting Fixtures, Switches, Outlets and Wires. Simply insert the end of the tester into an outlet, lamp socket, or hold the end of the tester against the wire you wish to test. Very handy and easy to use.

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The Plug-In Outlet Tester
This is the first tool I grab to troubleshoot a problem with outlet circuit wiring. This popular tester is also used by most inspectors to test for power and check the polarity of circuit wiring.
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The Wire Stripper and Wire Cutter
My absolute favorite wire stripping tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and this is the tool I use to safely strip electrical wires.
This handy tool has multiple uses:
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The wire stripper will work on both solid and stranded wire. This tool is Very Handy and Easy to Use.

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FAQs Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

13 Responses to “Basic Ceiling Fan Remote Control Problems”
  1. allan jones says:

    Energy efficient bulbs keep blinking or flashing all the time in the off position.

  2. Sannyu says:

    I have two side by side rooms with a ceiling fan in each. They both have remote controls and I cannot operate one without the other duplicating the command. Neither fan has a pull chin or wall switch. I have tried closing doors and moving away from the other room nothing helps. What could I do to change this? Thanks.

  3. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Sannyu,
    How to Control Two Ceiling Fans Separately with Remote Control Units
    The problem of two ceiling fans that operate at the same time from one remote control occurs because the remote control frequency for both ceiling fan remote control units is set to the same frequency.
    How to Change a Ceiling Fan Remote Control Frequency
    IMPORTANT: Two adjustments are required to change the Remote Control Frequency of one ceiling fan.
    Changing The Handheld Remote Control Frequency Setting
    Typical hand held remote control units have a set of small dip switches inside the battery compartment which may be adjusted. Use a toothpick to change one of the little switch settings.
    Changing The Frequency in the Ceiling Fan Remote Control Module
    Typical ceiling fan remote control modules are located above the ceiling fan support bracket in the ceiling. The remote module has a set of small dip switches on the side of the module. Change the switch setting to match the settings of the hand held remote control.
    For more information and pictures of this procedure visit the Ceiling Fan section located on this website as provided above in this main article.
    I hope this helps,

  4. Lana Gourley says:

    My ceiling fan with remote has worked great for years. Now when I turn on the switch at the wall, the light and fan pulse and are not getting a steady power input. I’m assuming the remote receiver is failing?

  5. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Lana,
    Yes, the ceiling fan remote control module may be faulty. One way to know for sure would be to remove the receiver module at the ceiling fan and wire it direct. If the ceiling fan and light works normally then the remote control module will need to be replaced.
    Be Safe,

  6. John says:

    I recently had a kitchen ceiling fan installed. I have a remote control operating it. I was changing the speeds of the fan. It was coming to a stop but still moving and I hit the reverse button and heard a “Pop”. The fan speeds now don’t work but I can turn the fan light on and off.

    How do I get my remote working again?

  7. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi John,
    The problem may not be with the remote control, but rather a component of the ceiling fan. The motor should be tested with special attention to the windings and the start capacitor. If this is a new ceiling fan you may consider returning it to where you purchased it from and explain the situation and hopefully they will give you a replacement. Although the motor should come to a stop before changing directions, this is the first time I have heard of such possible damage with the motor of a ceiling fan.

  8. Lindsay says:

    I control it with a blue faced Martec touch controller and the controller says the fan is running but the fan is stopped. If I touch the speed section on the controller it starts again. I live in a block of apartments and wonder if someone next door has the same dip switch settings and is turning off the fan, or is the fan faulty?

    Your advice would be appreciated.


  9. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Lindsay,
    Two ceiling fans in close proximity with the same dip switch settings can be a problem, but the simple fix is to change the dip switches. Before you change the dip switches make sure there are no other functions programmed into the controller which are limiting the operation, such as a time control, or a temperature setting.
    I hope this helps you,

  10. Paul says:

    Using a universal fan remote. All wires connected properly and controls appear to work. Only issue is with light control. When commanded ON, the light turns on full-bright. When commanded OFF, the light goes to a DIM setting. USING LED Bulb in fixture. Any thoughts on why it goes to a low setting instead of OFF?

  11. Paul says:

    Having same problem. In the off position the lights either flash, or go to really DIM setting. Did you ever find a cause/solution? Incandescent bulbs are a thing of the past here, so looking for a smart solution is tough!

  12. Dave Rongey says:

    Hi Paul,
    Make sure the remote control module is compatible with the LED light bulbs that are installed.

  13. Dave Rongey says:

    The remote control module and the LED bulbs must be compatible with each other.
    The same would be true with any Smart control devices, they all be compatible with each other, and the existing wiring must match the requirements of the Smart device(s) for the application to work.