Troubleshoot and Fix an Off-Kilter Ceiling Fan

Updated: Mar. 20, 2024

Stop the wobble and make your fan run smoothly in 15 minutes.

Next Project

An hour or less




Less than $20


We show you how to adjust and balance your ceiling fan blades to stop the wobble and rattle. Get your fan running smoothly again in 15 minutes.

Tools Required

  • Yardstick or tape measure

Materials Required

  • Fan blade balancing kit

Balance the Ceiling Fan Blades

If you have a wobbly ceiling fan that makes more racket than an unbalanced washing machine load, read on; we’ve got the fix for you. It may be due to a low quality ceiling fan, but it could also be due to a balancing issue.

Ceiling fan wobble is caused by imbalances in the fan blades or blade holders, misalignment of blades, excess dust accumulation, or simply a poorly installed ceiling fan. Restore your fan to its smooth-running days of old before you wear down the moving parts.

Project step-by-step (3)

Step 1

Make Sure the Blades are Straight

  • First, check that the ceiling fan was installed correctly, with all the blades are tightly screwed into the blade holder, and the blade holder is firmly screwed into the fan flywheel.
  • Clean the ceiling fan blades with a household cleaner to remove dust and buildup.
  • Run the fan to check the wobble and to dry the fan blades.
  • If the wobble persists, one of the blades may be out of alignment.
  • Check blade alignment with a yardstick or tape measure by measuring the distance from the edge of any blade to the ceiling.
    • Pro Tip: Most blades are angled, so be sure to measure on the same side of all the blades and make a note of the distance.
  • Hold the yardstick still and rotate the blades around to measure the other blades.
  • If any blade is out of alignment, gently bend the blade holder up or down until the blade is in line with the others.

balance ceiling fan bladesFamily Handyman

Step 2

Slide on the Ceiling Fan Balancing Clip

  • Turn the fan on to see if it spins smoothly.
  • If it still wobbles, pick up a blade balancing kit from a hardware store or home center.
    • The balancing kit contains the blade clip plus several adhesive-backed weights.

balancing clips ceiling fansFamily Handyman

  • The ceiling fan balancing clip will balance the fan blades, eliminating the wobble.
  • Slide the balancing clip on the trailing edge of any blade, halfway between the holder and tip.
  • Run the fan to check the wobble.
  • Repeat with each blade, noting which one most reduced the wobble, then slide the clip in small increments away from the center of that blade.
  • Move the clip, operate the fan, then move it again until you eliminate as much wobble as possible.

slide on balancing clip ceiling fanFamily Handyman

Step 3

Set a Weight

  • Peel off the backing and stick the adhesive-backed balancing weight on the top center of the blade directly in line with the balancing clip.
  • Add more weight if needed to get a smooth-running fan.

Set weight to balance ceiling fanFamily Handyman