Fitting a longer rod to a ceiling fan
Sometimes, when fitting a ceiling fan, you might need a longer drop down from the ceiling. Maybe you’re fitting the fan with a sloped roof and the blades need to clear the angles. Barn conversions and older homes with high ceilings often need ceiling fans to be dropped to improve their effectiveness. A lot of ceiling fans already come on a small drop rod. But what if you need a longer rod? Well this all depends upon where you bought the ceiling fan from. If it was purchased from a catalogue or DIY store, then there is little chance that they will supply longer rods for your fan. If you purchased a ceiling fan from a specialist retailer then there is every chance that longer drop rods exist & are available. The first thing to check is the diameter of the existing rod. This distance across the width of the rod is very important. Ceiling fan drop rods usually come in 2 diameters. Either 22mm or 27mm. If you did purchase your ceiling fan from a catalogue or DIY store & can’t find a longer rod then try measuring the diameter of the existing little rod as some drop rods made for other models will fit & are available. If you are unsure about this, you can give us a call at Lightahome to discuss your requirements. Our telephone number is 024 7671 7043.
At Lightahome we deal with Fantasia ceiling fans and it is their drop rods that we stock. Fantasia drop rods come in 2 diameters and 5 lengths. 22mm & 27mm fan rods are both available in 12”, 18”, 30”, 48” & 72” in a variety of colours to match their fans. If you are unsure on the length or diameter of rod you might require I recommend you speak with Lightahome on the number above or Fantasia.
So, when it comes to lowering your ceiling fan on a longer drop rod, the first thing to realise is that you don’t add a longer rod to your existing one, but you replace it. You also need to remember to turn off the electrical supply before doing any work & if you are at all unsure, you should contact a qualified electrician.
Assuming your ceiling fan is attached to the ceiling and with the power isolated, you would normally remove the dish-shaped cover that hides the attachment to the ceiling at the top of your existing rod. On Fantasia ceiling fans this is done normally be loosening a couple of side screws (sometimes underneath) with allows the cover to slightly rotate and clip off the attachment. This exposes the ceiling fan fixing bracket, which would be screwed in to the ceiling. You would also see all the wiring and the top of the existing drop rod, which should have a ball joint on the end and be hanging from a bracket. Make a note of the positions each cable is wired in to (I draw a simple diagram and even mark the cable covers with marker to identify them). Once you are comfortable with this, the cables can be disconnected and the entire fan unit can then be lifted up off & out of the bracket that the ball joint rested in.
Take a moment and look at the workings of the rod and fan to familiarise yourself with the concept of the ceiling fan drop rod as you will use some of the parts that you see on the new, longer fan drop rod. Rest the ceiling fan on a suitable surface. Maybe put down a towel first so as not to damage the fan or the work surface. If you look at the ball joint at the top of the rod you can see that it is held in place by a pin & a small screw. If you carefully remove the small screw you will see that the ball joint can freely drop down the rod itself. Retain the screw and remove the small metal bar that is positioned through the 2 holes at the top of the existing drop rod. Retain this small bar & the ball joint as well as the ceiling cover you earlier dropped down the rod, which can be slid off the rod, as well. With the top of the rod sorted you now need to sort the bottom of the drop rod which attaches to your ceiling fan motor. To access this there is usually a little cover at the bottom of the rod which needs to be removed. On some fans this cover literally just slides up the drop rod and off. On some you need to undo a few screws first before removing in the same manner. Once off you can see that the bottom of the rod is pushed in to a holder and another bar is positioned to hold it in place. A little ‘split-pin’ is pushed through the end of the little bar to stop it from moving and this can be removed and retained, along with the actual bar itself. The drop rod can now be removed from the fan. The new, longer drop rod, can now be pushed in to place after you have fed the cables protruding from the fan motor, through the middle of the new rod. (NB: if the cables aren’t long enough for the new, longer, rod then Fantasia & Lightahome both do extender packs).
With the new ceiling fan drop rod in position and the cables protruding from the top, you can feed the little bar you previously removed, through the holes in the drop rod holder & drop rod itself on top of the motor. The split pin can be pushed back through the end of the bar to keep the drop rod attached to the ceiling fan. Use the original little cover, feeding it down the rod, to cover up the base of the drop rod as it attaches to the fan. The ceiling fan fixing bracket cover (the first thing you removed) can now also be slid down the rod, in anticipation of fitting it later on.
Now is the time to reattach the original ball joint to the top of the new rod. With the ball joint piece slightly slid down the rod, push the little bar you removed earlier through the 2 holes at the top of the rod. The ball joint piece can then be slid back up the rod and over the protruding bar. With the small hole in the drop rod (at the top) aligned with the small hole on the ball joint piece, you can refit the screw which ensures the ball joint stays in place.
The fan is now ready to be hung back up on the ceiling fan fixing bracket at ceiling level. Lift the fan motor and slot the ball joint back in the holder and gently let go of the motor keeping an eye on the ball joint and bracket to ensure the fan is supported. You can now connect the wires back in to the relevant connector block positions (possibly using the diagram you made previously). Ensure each wire is screwed in tightly. The original ceiling fan cover can now be slid back up the new rod, over the ceiling attachments & the 2 screws can be tightened to hold it in place.
Essentially you are like for like replacing the original rod with a new longer drop rod, using the same parts. The only thing that changes is the drop rod itself which is longer.
This is based upon changing a shorter rod for a longer rod on a Fantasia ceiling fan however the principle should be very similar on other makes and models. If in any doubt I would suggest contacting your original retailer or Lightahome for more advice.