My ceiling fan has a burning smell coming from it. Where is the burning smell coming from and what should I do about it?
If you have a burning smell coming from the fan, it’s usually best to unplug the fan and not use it for now. A burning smell coming from the fan generally indicates that there is a fault within the wiring, or within the motor.
One thing you may notice about the fan is that it may be wobbling. Check to see if the burning smell is coming from the motor. If the smell is coming from the motor and the fan is wobbling or not running properly, it could be a fault within one of the motor coils. You may need to replace the motor. You can service the motor but be very careful, you have to know what you are doing. And the motor can hold some charge if there is capacitors in the motor as well, be sure not to touch these with your screwdriver as you can discharge them into your body.
Another place where the burning smell can be coming from, is the wiring in your wall itself. If the smell is coming from inside your wall, or from other components on your fan,be sure to shut down power to the fan immediately. If the smell is coming from inside the wall it could mean some of your wiring is getting too hot and lighting on fire. This can happen if there is too much power running along an old line. You might have really old wiring in your house which can also cause this to happen with any appliance – not just a fan. Sometimes houses can have old aluminum wiring or other.
Other times the burning smell might only come if you switch the ceiling fan into higher speeds, or if operating a certain light kit. This can happen as well. Your motor has different coils that run different things, so it’s possible one coil has gone out. This would cause the fan to operate incorrectly for some things but still work OK for others. Most of the time replacing the motor (if the smell is isolated to the motor) can resolve the issue.
It is generally not a good idea altogether to run the fan when it is emitting odors, so shut it off for now in any case until you have some time to look at it.