Skip to content

Ceiling Fan Making Grinding, Rattling, Clicking, Buzzing or Scraping Noise (+How to Fix It)

Ceiling Fan Making Grinding Rattling noise

Ceiling fans are the cheaper alternatives to the use of air conditioners in keeping cool during the heat of summer. They are some situations in which the use of your fan can be unbearable. This includes situations where your ceiling fan makes grinding, rattling, clicking, buzzing, or scraping noise. In this article, you would know why do they become noisy and how to fix it.

In a hurry to find out what the best fixes for ceiling fan making weird noises? Here are some spoilers for you. Top on our list is the use of lubrication. Noisy ceiling fan motor can be due to the need for lubrication. Bent or unbalanced blades are also another cause for ceiling fan making a weird noise. Balancing the blades with a balancing kit,  or bending them back to normal shape solves the problem.

Alternatively, if you decide to get a specially designed quiet ceiling fan instead of fixing your old noisy one, go for the highly rated Hunter Dempsey Super Quiet Ceiling Fan or if you’re on a tight budget, get the Honeywell Ceiling Fan. You can also read our article about the quietest ceiling fans on the market in 2024.

Ceiling Fan Making Grinding, Rattling, Clicking, Buzzing or Scraping Noise: Why & How to Fix It

1. Lubrication Is Required

When your ceiling fan needs lubrication, you are most likely going to hear squeaky sounds, or grinding sounds from your fan’s motor.

This is an indication that the oil has dried up and the parts are scrubbing together. Immediate attention is required in this case to prevent the motor from burning up.

Running your fan without oil; the bearings will cause the fan to spin with difficulty. It won’t speed up and the squeaky and grinding bearing noise it makes will only get worse with time.

How to Fix This

Follow the steps below to get your motor well lubricated:

  • Turn off the power to the fan from the panel
  • Get your screwdriver ready to disassemble the fan
  • Take the fan down. When doing so, be careful to avoid causing any damage to the wiring
  • Remove the fan blades and also the lighting if your fan has one
  • Take out the motor from the fan’s interior
  • Locate the motor bearings and apply lubricating oil. 2 to 3 drops of general lubricating oil would do just fine
  • Rotate the bearings while applying lubrication to ensure it gets to every corner of the bearings
  • Reassemble your fan and mount it back once done
  • Mount the fan back with the power still off for safety

2. Bent and Unbalanced Blades

When your fan has bent blades, or one is unbalanced, it comes with noise once the fan starts spinning.

This happens as the bent or unbalanced blades cause your fan to wobble and create a rubbing noise in operation.

This may not be readily detected, so look closely if you have tried other tips and nothing works.

How to Fix This

You can fix this issue by following the easy steps below:

  • As usual, ensure the fan is shut down even from the control panel to prevent electric shock. When fixing bent or unbalanced blades you may come in contact with wires.
  • Unmount the fan and take out the blades using your screw driver
  • Lay all blades flat on a flat surface and check for any differences between them. If they are not unbalanced or bent, they all should be similar
  • If you notice a bent blade, simply fix it by applying pressure to it in the right direction. This would force it back to its normal shape
  • Look closely at all blades again to be sure that they are all in the right shape now
  • Reassemble the fan and mount it back

You can alternatively use a balancing kit to bring balance to the blades if they are not bent but just unbalanced.

3. Loose Components of Ceiling Fan Motor

With usage, some interior components of your fan motor could get loose. It could also get loose if it wasn’t properly screwed in place after previous maintenance was done.

With such loose components, your fan is bound to get noisy when in use. this isn’t a straight forward process as you would have to check multiple parts and be sure everything is tightly held together.

How to Fix This

You can fix this problem by following the easy steps below:

  • Take down the fan carefully after ensuring the power is off from the panel
  • Unscrew the motor cover
  • Check the interior for any loose parts and crew them back together
  • Screw back the motor cover and mount the fan

Note that loose motor parts could cause even bigger problems in a short while, and so it’s a problem to be handled quickly.

4. Loose Motor Cover

This is another problem that comes up with usage. The motor cover may become loose after several months of use. It could also get loose if you cleaned the fan recently. This is a very easy problem to detect and fix.

How to Fix This

You can easily fix this issue with the following steps:

  • Climb to the fan level with a ladder
  • Check that the cover is firmly in place. If it isn’t, screw it back tightly with your screw driver if it uses screws, or clip it back tightly.

5. Loose Ceiling Junction Box Mounting

When the junction box isn’t mounted securely, your fan wou9ld make a clicking or ticking sound as it revolves. This is a very irritating sound especially when all you want to do is kick back and relax.

How to Fix This

You can fix this issue with the following easy steps

  • With a ladder, climb unto the fan and unmount it from the ceiling. Ensure that the power is off first before you attempt this
  • Tug on the junction box in the ceiling to be sure that it is secured. If it’s loose, then fasten it using a screw driver to hold it firm in place
  • Mount your fan again

6. Loose Light Kit

Some ceiling fans have lighting with them. If yours is of this design, then you can expect noise if the light kit comes loose. The light components that could get loose and cause a noisy fan operation are the light cover, or even the socket. When either of them comes loose, it can make the bulb vibrate against the body of your fan or the motor.

How to Fix This Problem

Fix loose light kit with the following steps:

  • Climb to the fan on a ladder
  • Inspect the light cover and check that they are tightly held in place
  • If loose, screw on tightly to prevent the noise

7. Loose Mounting Bracket

Noise from your ceiling fan may be caused by serious conditions and this includes loose mounting bracket. If this is the cause of your ceiling fan being noisy, then you should fix it as soon as possible because it’s an accident that’s just waiting to happen.

With a loose mounting bracket, the blades would be wobbly. So after checking the blades, check the mount as well.

Check the ceiling fan rod as well if it’s the type that comes down with a rod. This is a thorough check that requires you to remove lighting, blades, as well as the motor.

How to Fix This

With the following steps, fix the problem of loose mounting bracket:

  • Climb with a ladder and confirm that your fan is held firmly by the mounting bracket
  • With a screwdriver, loosen the screws that hold the fan and bring it down
  • Access the damage on the rod or mount. Severe damage may have to be handled by a professional
fix ceiling fan Buzzing Scraping Noise

8. Loose Fan Component

When a component of the fan is loose, it causes a lot of clicking, rubbing, or humming sound. This is as a result of the parts rubbing together when the fan is in operation. It’s one of the easily fixed causes of a noisy ceiling fan.

How to Fix It

Fix loose fan components with the following easy steps:

  • Put off power to the fan
  • Unhang the fan
  • Check all fan components for any loose parts
  • Tighten all screws with a screwdriver, especially the loose parts
  • Mount the fan 

9. Dirty Blades

It may come to you as a surprise, but yes, dirty blades can make your fan noisy. Cleaning your fan is part of the maintenance that makes it function well, and the frequency of cleaning depends on your environment.

When working, fans can easily get dirt and when this builds up, it adds more weight to the fan.

How to Fix This

Fix this issue with the following steps:

  • Turn off the fan and if possible, do so from the control panel
  • Depending on the gravity of dirt your fan blades have accumulated, you can clean them while hanging or unmount the fan and wash the blades thoroughly. It would also be a good choice to take the fan down if you haven’t cleaned the blades in a long time
  • If you decide to bring the fan down, get on a ladder and unmount it by loosening the screws
  • If you decide to clean the fan while it’s hanging, use a sturdy ladder for safety. 
  • You can also remove the blades only for proper cleaning
  • Unscrew them from the body of the fan and wash them thoroughly with mild soap
  • After cleaning the blades, screw them back up and do it tightly and correctly

Final Thoughts About Ceiling Fan Making Grinding, Rattling, Bearing or Clicking Sound

The noise from ceiling fans has never been pleasant and can be a major issue when all you want to do is rest. Thankfully, we have here all the possible reasons why your ceiling fan is making grinding, rattling, clicking, buzzing or scraping noise and how to fix it.

If your fan is in need of lubrication, it will get noisy as the motor would work with friction. For this, all you need is to apply lubrication and it would be solved.

Unbalanced or bent blades are another cause of noisy ceiling fan. By balancing or bending the blades back in shape, this problem would be fixed.

Ceiling fan motor noise can also arise when there are loose motor components. This is easily fixed by fastening them back together using a screwdriver.