How To Fix Ceiling Fan That Won’t Turn Off (Quickly!)

Ceiling fans are extremely helpful. They can help cool a room and make a room warmer. However, there are times when you don’t want your fan on. If you go to turn it off and the ceiling fan won’t it can be quite frustrating. I’ve dealt with this situation before and know that the problem can be resolved quickly. 

Reasons that your ceiling fan won’t turn off are the batteries are dead, the fan receiver is broken, the circuit breaker tripped, the fuse is busted, the fan chain is disconnected, or an electric part has shorted. The best fixes are changing the batteries, replacing the fan receiver, fuse, or breaker, reconnecting the chain, or checking the electrical parts.

Drilling Ceiling

Finding the reason why your ceiling fan won’t turn off is an easy task. You should be able to self asses the problem and try out a few fixes on your own. These fixes are quick and will allow you to turn finally turn off your ceiling fan.

Common Reasons Your Ceiling Fan Won’t Turn Off 

There are several common reasons that the ceiling fan won’t turn off. The problem will be easy for you to diagnose. You should start by checking for dead batteries or a disconnected chain. If you find those are not the issues then check for a broken receiver, shorted electrical parts, a busted fuse, or if your breaker tripped.

The Batteries are Dead

The batteries in the remote control for your ceiling fan could be dead. With a dead remote, the ceiling fan will stay on. Some ceiling fans have remote controls and that is the only way to turn the fan on or off. Your fan could also be missing the chains so you need to use one. 

Dead Battery

To check for dead batteries you’ll need to open the remote. Some remotes have a backing that just pops open and some will are secured with a screwdriver. Open the backing and see if there is any battery residue on the ends. This is a sure sign that the batteries are dead.

The Receiver on the Fan is Broken

A broken fan receiver means that the fan will not take commands from the remote control. The fan receiver is what picks up signals from the remote control. When you go to turn the fan on, off, or change the speed, it is the fan receiver picks that up. It tells the fan what to do once you have clicked what you want.

Ceiling Fan Reciever

The receiver can break or stop working for a few reasons. The fan may be old and it could just be wear and tear. Wires could be old and disconnected. The connectivity of the receiver can stop working. You may also think it is the receiver when it is just the remote needing new batteries.

The Circuit Breaker is Tripped

A circuit breaker can trip because of an overload of power, excess current, or can have a faulty component. The circuit breaker is what discontinues electrical flow when it feels there is a problem. It keeps your electronics from possibly starting a fire. If it is tripped then it is likely that more than just your fan has been affected.

Tripped Circuit Breaker

Your circuit breaker is an electrical switch. They should be labeled so that you can easily reset the circuit. Generally, if the circuit breaker is tripped the fan would turn off and not continue to be on.

There is a Fuse Busted

A fuse is can be busted for similar reasons to that of a circuit breaker. The fuse could be overloaded and shorted. A fuse is another safety measure that is a part of the flowing electricity that goes to your fan. 

Busted Fuse

Fuses can be busted because the metal inside has melted. This is a sign of an overload of electricity. If you suspect a blown fuse then you should check your circuit breaker where fuses are located. Just like a tripped circuit breaker, the fan would most likely turn off and not stay on.

The Fan’s Chain is Disconnected

Your ceiling fan should have two pull chains. One chain is for turning the light on and off. The other is to turn the fan on and off. 

The pull chain of your fan is unique in that you can control the level of speed you want with the chain. For example, if you pull the chain once it will be set to the highest speed and if you pull it twice it will be on the lowest.


The chain can become disconnected because you may have pulled it too hard. It is possible that the chain is old and broken off. There could also be an internal issue with the chain. Meaning that you would have to take off the ceiling fan cover to see the issues.

If the chain of the fan has become disconnected and you do not have a remote for the ceiling fan it will be stuck on until you replace it.

An Electric Part Has Shorted

An electrical component within the fan can short itself when it has a low resistance but tries to send too much electricity through. Since it has a low resistance the electrical part will be short

A reason that an electrical part has low resistance is that it is old. Another reason is that something could have chewed on a wire making the wire weak.

Fan Electrical Part

If an electrical part has shorted it is likely that your fan is old. You may need to replace the ceiling fan or multiple parts in the fan. Parts of the fan that can short are usually the wiring. Wiring is the most common reason for shorts. The chains may short as well.

Best Fixes For a Ceiling Fan That Won’t Turn Off 

Now that you have accessed the issue it’s time to find the best fix. There are plenty of ways to fix your ceiling fan. Such fixes include changing the batteries in the remote, replacing the fan receiver, circuit breaker, or fuse, reconnecting the fan chain, or checking the electrical parts.

Change the Batteries in the Remote

To change the batteries in your ceiling fan remote you will need a new battery and a small screwdriver. The remote will have a screw that you can unscrew revealing the battery. Some remotes will not require a screwdriver. If not, just pop the back panel off.

Ceiling fan remote batteries may be different than your average AAA batteries. You should check the manual for what battery it needs. Certain remotes will need different ones than others. 

Once you get the back panel off then you can change the battery. Add in the new battery and close the back of the remote. You should see the remote flash or indicate in some way that it now has power. Test it out by trying to turn off your fan.

Replace the Fans Receiver

Replacing the fan’s receiver will require you to turn off the power to the fan. To do this you will need to cut the power from the circuit breaker. There should be a switch that cuts the power in the room the ceiling fan is in. Try to replace the receiver during the day so you have light.

The receiver is attached to the fan motor which is above the fan paddles or blades. You will need a new receiver, zip ties, wire cutters, and a screwdriver. You will have to disassemble the fan with a screwdriver and completely take it off of the ceiling.

Once you have the fan down you can take the old receiver off of the motor. Disconnect the wires and take the receiver off the motor. After you take the old receiver off then you can replace it with the new one. 

Secure the new receiver in place and connect all the wires. Then put everything back together the way you took it apart.

Replace the Circuit Breaker

Before you decide to replace the circuit breaker you should test it. The breaker may just be tripped and not need replacement. To test the circuit breaker flip the switch off and then on again. Wait a few minutes for the system to fully reset.

If for some reason the circuit breaker is completely broken it is likely that you don’t have any power. Your ceiling fan would be off. It is recommended to have an electrician replace a circuit breaker. It is an advanced task that requires expert experience. 

Replace the Fuse

To replace a fuse you should start by turning off the power to the ceiling fan. To do this you need to go to the circuit breaker and turn off the power. Once you have done that you will need a screwdriver or a drill. You have to disassemble the bottom of the ceiling fan part by part to get to a fuse. 

Start by taking off the light bulbs and unscrewing the bottom of the fan. This part is under the fan’s paddles. You will be able to disconnect the wires and take the part off. The fuse should be located on the side and looks like a clear part.

To replace the fuse you need a new fuse. Disconnect the wires from the old fuse and put them in the new fuse. Connect it to the same wires as the old fuse was connected to. Then reinstall the bottom of the fan and lights.

Reconnect the Fan’s Chain

The fan chain could have broken off inside the fan. You will have to take off the bottom of the fan to get to the broken part of the chain. You will need a new internal chain part, a screwdriver, and pliers. 

After you take off the bottom of the fan you can take out the broken internal chain part. Then put the new one in. Take a picture of the broken part inside of the fan so you can replicate how it looks. 

If your fan’s chain broke and there is still a small portion sticking out you can add to the chain instead of replacing it. You can get a ceiling fan chain extender or an ornament. These will clip to the chain and dangle down so you can reach it again. 

Double Check the Electric Parts Inside the Fan

To check the electrical parts of a fan you need a multimeter. It will check the connectivity of the wires or fuse in the fan. You will have to disassemble the fan to expose the wires.

Once the wires are exposed you can touch the multimeter to the wires or fuse. There should be connectivity when you touch the multimeter to the electrical parts. If the connectivity does not show then you may need to call an electrician for help.

When Should You Call an Electrician?

You should call an electrician if you do not feel comfortable working with your ceiling fan or don’t have the tools to fix it. A ceiling fan that won’t turn off can be dangerous so an electrician may be the safest option.

To get in touch with a professional you should call one in your area. Look at their reviews and choose which one you like the best. Most will offer free quotes so you can see what price you may have to pay. 

The cost of fixing a ceiling fan ranges from $90 for easy repairs to up to $350 for more difficult repairs. If your ceiling fan is a basic model you will likely pay a lot less than $350 for a repair.


When your ceiling fan won’t turn off there are plenty of common reasons you can diagnose. After you diagnose the issue you can quickly fix the problem. Call an electrician if you do not want to fix the fan yourself. If you decide to fix the fan remember to label parts and wires to make it easier to put back together. 

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