Adding a longer drop rod to a ceiling fan
Adding a longer drop rod to a ceiling fan
There are occasions when the drop rod that comes with your ceiling fan just isn’t long enough. Maybe you’re fitting your ceiling fan in to a conservatory and you need a greater depth than the fan already gives to stop the blades hitting the glass. Or you might have a very high ceiling and the fan needs to be that little bit lower. Most decent ceiling fan manufacturers offer longer drop rods as accessories. These rods can replace your existing drop rod and therefore change the height of your fan. That is the first thing to take note of. You don’t ever add a drop rod to an existing rod. You are always replacing the original rod. Most Fantasia fans come with 6 inch drop rods however Fantasia also make replacement fan rods at 12, 18, 30, 48 & 72 inch lengths, so your options are quite varied.
In this blog post I will describe how to change a short drop rod on a ceiling fan to a longer drop rod. There is also a link to our YouTube video on the subject below if you would like to watch the process. This change of rod was completed on a Fantasia ceiling fan, but the process is usually pretty similar on other manufacturers and models.
The first thing to do before attempting any work on your ceiling fan is to obviously turn all the power off to the unit. Some ceiling fans have components that can remain charged for an hour after power has been cut so it may be worth leaving the fan for a short time before attempting any work on it.
Once you are happy that the fan is now safe your first action is to remove the bowl/dish that sits at the top of the existing drop rod and covers up the attachment to the ceiling. This is done normally by unscrewing a couple of screws either side of this dish which holds it in place. You may need to twist the dish to move it out of its locking position after undoing the screws, which will then allow the dish to be slid down the drop rod out of the way.
You should now be able to see the attachment to the ceiling and all the wiring. I always find it good practice to draw a diagram of where the wires are currently being wired in to. I will sometimes mark the outside of the cables with a permanent marker to identify them. Once you are happy that you have noted where the cables go you can disconnect them. (Please always ensure that all power is cut to the fan and if you are not sure you should consult a qualified electrician).
With the fans cables now disconnected you should see that the existing drop rod has a ball joint fitted at the top and this is sitting in a hanging bracket. Holding the fan firmly you should be able to lift the whole unit up and away so the fan and rod comes away from the fixing bracket and you can take it all down to floor level. It may be a good idea to rest the unit on a table but be careful not to scratch the fan or the furniture. Resting the fan on a towel may be advisable.
I usually have a cup of tea about now and congratulate myself on getting this far! Once the biscuits are gone and the cup is empty it’s on to the next stage.
The ball joint sitting at the top of the existing rod needs to be removed. You do this by undoing the small screw in the side of the ball joint which holds it in place. The ball joint will become loose and can slip down the rod, leaving a pin exposed that is through 2 holes in the top of the rod. Remove this pin and keep it along with the small screw you undid a moment ago. Also keep the ball joint that can now be slid up and off the rod & also the original dish/cover that should be sitting at the bottom of the rod (which you put there at the very start of the procedure).
The bottom of the existing rod is sometimes covered up by a little cover dish which normally just slides up and off the rod, exposing where the rod attaches in to the ceiling fan itself. The bottom of the rod, in this instance, is sitting in a little holder and held in place by another pin that pushes through the holder and the rod. A small split-pin is pushed through the end of the main pin to hold it in place. This little split pin can be opened and removed allowing you to pull the main pin out of the holes running through the holder and the bottom of the drop rod.
With these removed and retained you can now lift of the original drop rod and pull it away from the fan. Note that the fans wiring will slip out of the original drop rod as it is withdrawn. It’s definitely time for another cup of tea! Now it’s time for the new drop rod.
Take the wires that come out of the fan motor and ease them up the new, longer drop rod until they protrude out of the top. The cables should be long enough however if they are not then Lightahome stock the cable connection kits by Fantasia to help). Slot the new rod in to the holder on the top of the fan and line up the holes in the holder and the new rod by peering through.
The pin you removed from the base of the older rod can now be carefully pushed through the holes so it passes through the holes in the holder and the base of the rod. This can be fiddly as you have to work the pin past the fan cables that sit inside the new rod but it can be done with a little patience. Once that pin is in place you can put the little split-pin back through the hole at the end of the pin you fitted a moment ago. This stops the main pin from ever coming out.
Congratulations! The first part of the new rod is complete. Maybe ring someone to tell them how amazing you are?! Now take the little cover you removed earlier from the bottom of the original rod and slide it back down the new rod, so it covers up that holder and pin. It’s important to remember at this point to then slide down the dish/cover that hides everything on the ceiling (the first task you completed!).
Now we need to attach the ball joint to the top of the new, longer rod. Put the ball joint over the top of the rod and slide it down. With it resting at the bottom on the other things, you can take the pin you removed from the ball joint earlier and push it through the 2 holes at the top of the rod. Pulling the ball joint back up the rod and twisting it until it lines up with that pin will allow the ball joint to sit at the top of the drop rod with the pin inside. Re-fit the original little screw in to the side of the ball joint so it bites on to the rod and thus holds the ball joint in place at the top. You can now carefully lift the whole unit and hang it back within the hanging bracket that is still on the ceiling. The ball joint slots in to the holder and the fans weight pulls the fan down locking it in place.
This is already starting to look like the best DIY job you have ever nearly completed. Before you post on Facebook how much of a genius you are though, it’s best to complete the final stages.
With the fan hanging back in place you can now reconnect the cables coming from the ceiling. Use you notes from earlier to ensure all the wires go back in to the correct places. Happy that you have got that correct, you can now slide the cover that is sitting at the bottom of the new drop rod back up in to place and lock it over the 2 original screws you undid and then tighten them. This now covers up the attachment to the ceiling and leaves the ceiling looking as it did at the start only on a longer drop rod!
Turn the power back on and test the fan. Everything should be working perfectly fine. If there are any issues you may need to kill the power again and relook at the wiring, but this can be avoided if you took decent notes at the start. Congratulations, you have now fitted a longer drop rod and can now bask in your own handy work before showering your social media with photos of your achievement.
If at any point along the way you feel like you need any advice you can always contact the retailer who sold you the ceiling fan or you can contact us here at Lightahome where we can attempt to give you further advice.
The author of this blogpost was Dave Riley. Ceiling fan expert of 16 years with Lightahome Ltd.