How to Add a Ceiling Fan Without Attic Access

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Things You'll Need

  • Ceiling fan

  • Ceiling fan mounting bracket with box

  • Screwdrivers

  • Wire strippers

  • Voltage tester

  • Ladder

  • Needle-nose pliers

  • Adjustable wrench

  • Nut driver set

  • Hammer

Installing a ceiling fan in an area where you have no attic access is a relatively easy task if you have the right materials and you take your time. It helps if there is a circuit already available in the place where you wish to install your fan, but it's important to note that you can't simply take down a light fixture and replace it with a fan. If the circuit is already there, installing a ceiling fan without attic access takes about an hour.


Step 1

Turn the power off to the circuit if you are replacing an existing ceiling light. Test the fixture with your voltage tester to ensure that the power is off.

Step 2

Remove the existing light fixture and inspect the wires to make sure they are still in good shape. If they are in poor condition, use the wire strippers to snip off the ends and then strip about 3/4 inch of fresh insulation from the tip of each wire.

Step 3

Remove the existing fixture box. Depending on how it was originally installed, you might have to break it apart with a hammer. Just be careful not to damage the wire.


Step 4

Take the ceiling fan mounting bracket and insert it into the access hole left behind by the old box. Set it down above the ceiling so that the bar is centered above the hole and the feet of the bracket are flat against the drywall.

Step 5

Start twisting the bracket so that it expands. On both ends, the bracket has teeth that will dig into the ceiling joists. Once you feel resistance, use the adjustable wrench to ensure the bracket is installed as tightly as possible.

Step 6

Remove a knockout on the mounting box and insert the grommet that comes prepackaged with it.


Step 7

Insert the wires through the grommet and into the box. Needle-nose pliers can make it easier to pull the wires through the grommet. Then, secure the box to the bracket according to the directions. Use nut drivers to make sure the nuts that are securing the box to the bracket are on as tightly as possible.

Step 8

Assemble the ceiling fan according to the instructions.

Step 9

Install the ceiling fan's mounting bracket to the ceiling box.

Step 10

Lift the fan and set its ball joint in the half-circle on the mounting bracket. This will take the weight off of you so you can make the wire connections.


Step 11

Connect the white fan wire to the white ceiling wire, the ground fan wire to the ground ceiling wire and the black and blue fan wires to the black ceiling wire. The blue wire is included if the fan has a light kit. If it doesn't, then the blue wire will not get connected.

Step 12

Make sure all of the wire connectors are on tight, wrap electrical tape around each connection and stuff them carefully into the ceiling box so they don't get caught between the canopy and the ceiling.

Step 13

Screw the canopy to the mounting bracket and turn the circuit back on.


Dave Donovan

Based in Atco, NJ, Dave Donovan has been a full-time writer for over five years. His articles are featured on hundreds of websites, and have landed him in two nationally published books "If I Had a Hammer: More Than 100 Easy Fixes and Weekend Projects" by Andrea Ridout and "How to Cheat at Home Repair" by Jeff Brendenberg.