Ceiling fan install (high ceiling)

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whodidntante
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Ceiling fan install (high ceiling)

Post by whodidntante » Tue Apr 09, 2019 8:40 pm

My ceiling fan croaked and it's in a room with high cathedral ceilings, with no walls nearby to lean a ladder against. What contraption can I rig to gain access to that thing?

Mike Scott
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Re: Ceiling fan install (high ceiling)

Post by Mike Scott » Tue Apr 09, 2019 8:46 pm

You can rent or buy tall ladders or even scaffold sections. Be safe.

Yooper16
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Re: Ceiling fan install (high ceiling)

Post by Yooper16 » Tue Apr 09, 2019 8:55 pm

rent a scaffold.

Guessing that the ceiling is probably 14-16 ft range, since high ceiling will extend to the sheetrock on the underside of the roof rafters. Quality ceiling fan for a large room can easily weigh 25#s or more. Wouldn't even consider a ladder.

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cheese_breath
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Re: Ceiling fan install (high ceiling)

Post by cheese_breath » Tue Apr 09, 2019 9:05 pm

Too risky for my blood. I'd hire someone.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

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whodidntante
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Re: Ceiling fan install (high ceiling)

Post by whodidntante » Tue Apr 09, 2019 9:18 pm

cheese_breath wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 9:05 pm
Too risky for my blood. I'd hire someone.
I'd love to. Easier said than done. :happy

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MP123
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Re: Ceiling fan install (high ceiling)

Post by MP123 » Tue Apr 09, 2019 9:28 pm

As mentioned above renting a scaffold is probably the way to go. Assuming you have a truck to pick it up with. If not then hiring someone might be cheapest.

How high is high?

Nearly A Moose
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Re: Ceiling fan install (high ceiling)

Post by Nearly A Moose » Tue Apr 09, 2019 9:54 pm

Is renting and transporting a scaffold really that much more expensive than hiring an electrician? Sure, it stinks to pay that much for someone to put two screws into a ceiling box and crimp a couple wires, but sounds like a hassle to DIY this if you don’t already have the parts (and i usually install my own fans).
Pardon typos, I'm probably using my fat thumbs on a tiny phone.

rgs92
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Re: Ceiling fan install (high ceiling)

Post by rgs92 » Tue Apr 09, 2019 10:09 pm

A good electrician can deal with this. (Just make sure he is insured and bonded.)
Can you just consider leaving it broken as long as there is no electrical hazard?

sport
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Re: Ceiling fan install (high ceiling)

Post by sport » Tue Apr 09, 2019 10:11 pm

We had a problem with a fan on our high ceiling. It turned out to be a bad switch. Just saying...

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whodidntante
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Re: Ceiling fan install (high ceiling)

Post by whodidntante » Tue Apr 09, 2019 10:14 pm

MP123 wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 9:28 pm
How high is high?
Approximately 16 feet.

ofckrupke
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Re: Ceiling fan install (high ceiling)

Post by ofckrupke » Tue Apr 09, 2019 11:07 pm

whodidntante wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 10:14 pm
MP123 wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 9:28 pm
How high is high?
Approximately 16 feet.
You need a son-in-law.

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MP123
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Re: Ceiling fan install (high ceiling)

Post by MP123 » Tue Apr 09, 2019 11:10 pm

whodidntante wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 10:14 pm
MP123 wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 9:28 pm
How high is high?
Approximately 16 feet.
An orchard or tripod ladder might work and be easier to deal with than a scaffold at that height. Still a bit of a pain to transport though.

quantAndHold
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Re: Ceiling fan install (high ceiling)

Post by quantAndHold » Tue Apr 09, 2019 11:24 pm

whodidntante wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 9:18 pm
cheese_breath wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 9:05 pm
Too risky for my blood. I'd hire someone.
I'd love to. Easier said than done. :happy
I found someone on TaskRabbit that got up on my 12 in 12 pitch roof to deal with a TV antenna problem. I wasn’t about to get up there myself...

abner kravitz
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Re: Ceiling fan install (high ceiling)

Post by abner kravitz » Wed Apr 10, 2019 8:34 am

You could rent/buy a 14 foot stepladder. They are heavy and hard to store though.

I had a similar issue, and I made enough calls whereby I finally found an electrician who came and did it.

bob60014
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Re: Ceiling fan install (high ceiling)

Post by bob60014 » Wed Apr 10, 2019 8:44 am

Home Depot rents a 14 foot fiberglass stepladder for $32 in my area. It had a wide base so it was stable, although having a helping hand wouldn't hurt. I used this to replace a fixture and for painting, worked well.
Last edited by bob60014 on Wed Apr 10, 2019 9:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

coalcracker
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Re: Ceiling fan install (high ceiling)

Post by coalcracker » Wed Apr 10, 2019 8:48 am

I've been doing a major remodel of my house, and the contractor had a mobile scaffolding rig (i.e. not attached to a wall) to access ~20 ft ceilings. I went up there once to check out something and I would not do it again. Too much wobble for my comfort. I would only consider using something like this if I could perform the entire installation laying on my back, sitting, or possibly on my knees. Standing would be too risky IMO.

Do you have any realtor or contractor favors you can call in? It can be much easier to secure an electrician's service through a professional network.

DetroitRick
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Re: Ceiling fan install (high ceiling)

Post by DetroitRick » Wed Apr 10, 2019 10:09 am

I've had a similar problem and dislike heights. What has worked for me (I'm 6', ceiling is around 15' at peak) - bought a 12 ft. contractor's grade (type 1a, rated to 300 lbs) wooden step ladder. At the time, all the other alternatives were too wobbly for my taste. This ladder is solid as a rock, heavy as a truck. I feel reasonably comfortable up there now. If the ceiling fan is really big, I can see the scaffold advantage, but this worked fine for me as mine fan isn't very big or heavy.

The downsides - storage (store horizontally on ladder brackets in my garage, so not too bad), weight (there are situations where I really need a second set of arms to maneuver it), delivery (we have a local ladder/scaffold company that delivered mine free), cost (I'm seeing prices near $300 now). Also, since I only use it every 3 or 4 years, I have to dust it off before bringing it inside :happy . When using, with 12' ladder and 15' peak, I have to be real careful in placing and raising ladder so as not to gouge nearby drywall (haven't yet, but...).

Maybe consider going to the local big box and trying one of their rentals in store to see how it feels.

adamthesmythe
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Re: Ceiling fan install (high ceiling)

Post by adamthesmythe » Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:18 am

BUY a 12 foot stepladder. You will need to get it delivered.

You will use it again when you paint and when you replace the batteries in the smoke detector.

Dottie57
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Re: Ceiling fan install (high ceiling)

Post by Dottie57 » Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:21 am

Hire electrician.

TravelGeek
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Re: Ceiling fan install (high ceiling)

Post by TravelGeek » Wed Apr 10, 2019 1:09 pm

adamthesmythe wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:18 am
You will use it again when you paint and when you replace the batteries in the smoke detector.
We asked on our neighborhood email list if anyone had a tall enough ladder to reach our smoke detectors. Sure enough, there was one we could pick up. Hopefully the batteries will last a while. That said, I wouldn’t want to use that ladder to deal with a heavy item such as a fan. I have found that as I get older, I really don’t like heights anymore. So a handyman or electrician would be my recommendation.

pkjr
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Re: Ceiling fan install (high ceiling)

Post by pkjr » Wed Apr 10, 2019 1:19 pm

My ceilings are 24 ft at the high point and I have replaced old ceiling fan with a very tall ladder plus stands. I got 2 stands from Home Depot (https://www.homedepot.com/p/Werner-39-1 ... /100662616) and I had https://www.homedepot.com/p/Werner-16-f ... /205322562. While doing that I have replaced all my recessed lights with LED because I have no intention doing it again unless I'm forced too. It was fun :-)

bampf
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Re: Ceiling fan install (high ceiling)

Post by bampf » Wed Apr 10, 2019 2:22 pm

Scissor lift from a rental company. Totally worth it.

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sunny_socal
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Re: Ceiling fan install (high ceiling)

Post by sunny_socal » Wed Apr 10, 2019 3:14 pm

cheese_breath wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 9:05 pm
Too risky for my blood. I'd hire someone.
I did this. Ceiling height at 20ft. Cost was $300 for two fans installed at that height, well worth it IMO.
(cost of fans separate)

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sunny_socal
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Re: Ceiling fan install (high ceiling)

Post by sunny_socal » Wed Apr 10, 2019 3:15 pm

bampf wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 2:22 pm
Scissor lift from a rental company. Totally worth it.
Our highest ceilings are probably 30ft up. I'd be freaking out at the top of a scissor lift! :shock:

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Sandtrap
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Re: Ceiling fan install (high ceiling)

Post by Sandtrap » Wed Apr 10, 2019 3:27 pm

whodidntante wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 8:40 pm
My ceiling fan croaked and it's in a room with high cathedral ceilings, with no walls nearby to lean a ladder against. What contraption can I rig to gain access to that thing?
Have a central ceiling 16-20 ft. plus. Used 2 tall extension ladders, ladder jacks, and a plank. For closer to the stairwell, I used a multi sectional ladder and then planks from that to the extension with the ladder jack. Wrap and tape towels on the top ends so the walls are not scratched. Make sure everything is very very secure. Go slow.
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whodidntante
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Re: Ceiling fan install (high ceiling)

Post by whodidntante » Wed Apr 10, 2019 6:31 pm

I appreciate the suggestions in this thread.

Electrum
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Re: Ceiling fan install (high ceiling)

Post by Electrum » Wed Apr 10, 2019 8:23 pm

We replaced a ceiling fan in our living room and rented scaffolding. Our ceiling is 20 ft at the peak. Scaffolding is much safer. Two tiers of scaffolding with rented platforms inside should do it. That should leave enough of the top tier to provide a railing. DH recommends getting a strong friend or two to help with the scaffolding instead of relying on DW :D

BobTexas
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Re: Ceiling fan install (high ceiling)

Post by BobTexas » Wed Apr 10, 2019 8:40 pm

bob60014 wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 8:44 am
Home Depot rents a 14 foot fiberglass stepladder for $32 in my area. It had a wide base so it was stable, although having a helping hand wouldn't hurt. I used this to replace a fixture and for painting, worked well.
This. These 14ft ladders are big and heavy, but stable. They’re really too big to own unless you have lots of storage room.

Mount a 2x2 ft piece of plywood to the top of it to set the fan on while you’re wiring

helloeveryone
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Re: Ceiling fan install (high ceiling)

Post by helloeveryone » Wed Apr 10, 2019 10:32 pm

whodidntante wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 8:40 pm
My ceiling fan croaked and it's in a room with high cathedral ceilings, with no walls nearby to lean a ladder against. What contraption can I rig to gain access to that thing?
Some things are not worth the savings. Unless you are routinely on ladders/scaffolds working that high I would recommend paying someone to do it. The $ spent paying a professional to do it is well worth it. Best case scenario - you do it, save x dollars. Worse case scenario - death... Every potential injury between those two extremes are not worth the $ saved by doing it yourself. Just google "injuries sustained in 16 foot fall".

Even if you have a full recovery from potential injury it can lead to life long back pain, etc....

coalcracker
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Re: Ceiling fan install (high ceiling)

Post by coalcracker » Thu Apr 11, 2019 8:14 am

helloeveryone wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 10:32 pm
whodidntante wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 8:40 pm
My ceiling fan croaked and it's in a room with high cathedral ceilings, with no walls nearby to lean a ladder against. What contraption can I rig to gain access to that thing?
Some things are not worth the savings. Unless you are routinely on ladders/scaffolds working that high I would recommend paying someone to do it. The $ spent paying a professional to do it is well worth it. Best case scenario - you do it, save x dollars. Worse case scenario - death... Every potential injury between those two extremes are not worth the $ saved by doing it yourself. Just google "injuries sustained in 16 foot fall".

Even if you have a full recovery from potential injury it can lead to life long back pain, etc....
An excellent point. I am a radiologist and see imaging studies resulting from "fall from ladder" or "fall from roof" a few times a month. These folks, often with shattered foot and ankle bones, are lucky their legs took the brunt of the fall. Don't underestimate the violence a fall from that height can inflict on your body.

Of course there are individuals who work on ladders their whole lives and never have an issue, but all it takes is one balance check.

NJdad6
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Re: Ceiling fan install (high ceiling)

Post by NJdad6 » Thu Apr 11, 2019 8:24 am

Had same issue last year. Hired an electrician. For $200 he took down old fan & rod and assembled and installed new fan & rod. He used a very tall free standing ladder. Took about an hour. Well worth the money.

fogalog
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Re: Ceiling fan install (high ceiling)

Post by fogalog » Thu Apr 11, 2019 8:02 pm

whodidntante wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 10:14 pm
MP123 wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 9:28 pm
How high is high?
Approximately 16 feet.
I too have 16' ceilings and after deciding that recently standing on a normal 12' ladder was getting old, I purchased a "platform" ladder (Werner PD6210) from Amazon for about $480 delivered. The large platform allows me to work comfortably at 16' and it was only a little more than the cost of renting a scaffold. That said, I do a lot of my own construction & maintenance; if it is not something you would use more than once or twice, I'd suggest getting someone else to do it.

3feetpete
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Re: Ceiling fan install (high ceiling)

Post by 3feetpete » Fri Apr 12, 2019 6:21 am

I did mine a few years ago. Rented a scaffold. Was very easy and felt safe while I did it. Much better than working off a ladder.

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