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Repair and support for ceiling-mounted bladed fans.

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Trouble finding celing fan capacitor replacement

I have a ceiling fan that will only run on one speed. After some research and testing, I’m fairly certain I need to replace the capacitor. I’m just having a hard time finding a matching one.

I know just enough about electrical to ask questions before it gets dangerous, so sorry for any incorrect terminology…

The markings on the old capacitor say 350v and 4uf. I know the replacement can be higher than 350v if needed, but should be exactly 4uf.

The problem I’m running into is that the old one has 3 wires (1 red, 2 white), and all of the 3-wire capacitors I’ve found so far have 3 different colored wires with 2 different uf values.

I’m assuming the red wire is the input or hot wire and the 2 white wires are the output and share the same 4uf rating. If so, can I just get a 2-wire 350v 4uf capacitor and connect the single output wire to both of the fan’s white connections? If not, is there somewhere you recommend for finding a 3-wire 350v 4uf capacitor?

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Hi @jargs ,

What is the make and model number of the fan?

Post an image of the capacitor in question showing the markings and the wiring etc.

Here's how to do this on iFixit Adding images to an existing question.

Are the two white wires joined together or even the terminals they're connected to, are they joined together? It may be that they are just in multiple connection for the supply in the fan.

Disconnect the wires from the capacitor and then use an Ohmmeter to test between the capacitor terminals where the two white wires were connected and check if they are short circuit.

Also some DMMs (digital multimeter) have a capacitance test function which you may be able to use to test the 4uF capacitor (if the meter’s capacitance test range is this high). Discharge the capacitor first before testing i.e. short out the red wire terminal to the white wire terminal (or both?) for a few seconds.

The 4uF is necessary to get the correct current (i.e. therefore speed) for the fan.

Also don’t assume that the red is the hot wire. In some places the white wire is the active wire in electrical appliance wiring. ;-)

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Agreed. Please post a pic of the old capacitor and we can help you source a new one. Just went through this with one of my ceiling fans as well.

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Thanks for the responses... unfortunately our weather heated up, so I had to put the fan back together just so we'd have something to move the air. It's at the top of a vaulted ceiling, so it may be a little while before I am able to take it all down again to get a photo. I'll update this post when I do.

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