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Is It Safe To Remove Wattage Limiter In Ceiling Fan? Electric Ceiling Fans


Is It Safe to Remove Wattage Limiter in Ceiling Fan

A ceiling fan is a mechanically mounted fan that is electrically powered and uses hub-mounted rotating blades. They are placed on the ceiling of a home or office.

A house’s temperature is crucial in one’s life as this is where an average person spends most of the time. The need for a ceiling fan that can moderate the temperature adequately to suit the home user then comes in.

The wattage limiter was added to electric ceiling fans as part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 after the year 2005.

Electrically powered ceiling fans have been around since 1882. Philip Diehl first used a fan as he powered it using a sewing machine motor. Answering our question;

Is it safe to remove a wattage limiter in a ceiling fan?

Yes, it is safe, although the Department of energy does not recommend it.  Wattage limiters are used to conserve energy by regulating the number of watts used by fans. 

The Revised Energy Policy ACT

The policy act was not only for the fans themselves but also for the light fixtures attached to the fans. The Energy Protection Act (EPA) in the USA required that a new ceiling be taken for testing in an approved laboratory.

The Energy policy act of 2005 developed by the Department of Energy, the report said that any ceiling fan manufactured from 2007 should have the following light kits;

  • A reversible fan action
  • Speeding controls that can be adjusted
  • Fan speed controls should be separate
  • Each socket should be packaged with a bulb
  • The light kits should meet the Energy Star Program Requirements

Reasons Why You Would Want To Remove A Wattage Limiter In A Ceiling Fan

  1. The wattage limiter in the ceiling fan is making the lights stop working. This is mainly the reason why people decide to remove the limiter.
  2. The light produced by a ceiling fan is dim -Apart from making the lights go entirely off, the limiter also makes the light dim as watts of power are conserved; hence the amount of light energy given is quite limited.
  3. Faulty wattage limiter – This could be because the wattage limiter is set to a lower wattage power than it should be, making it faulty. This can be rectified using a limiter set to the correct wattage or simply buying a new limiter of the correct wattage.
  4. Ceiling fans are protected by a circuit or fuse – Circuits and fuses are fitted in ceiling fans. These two stop the lights from working by protecting them when you use too many watts of power.

Steps Involved In Removing A Wattage Limiter

Wattage limiters can either be removed by an ordinary home user or, in most cases, an electrician. The steps involved in removing a wattage limiter include;

1. Electrical current connecting to your fan should be turned off – This ensures that there is not going to be any electrical shock involved that would otherwise lead to the damaging of the fan. 

This should always be the first step when repairing any electrically powered equipment.

2. Gather all the tools required together – Removing a wattage limiter of a ceiling requires a pair of needle-nose pliers and a head screwdriver.

3. Take off the wiring box from the ceiling fan – To open the wiring box, use a head screwdriver to remove the screws opening up the lighting unit.

4. Detach the wires using the screwdriver – To detach the wattage limiter, open the caps on the blue and red wires. Other fans have screw caps instead of the primary wire caps normally used. 

Remove these caps found on the blue and red wires to detach the wattage limiter.

5. Open up the wattage limiter – The grey or black box attached to the blue and red wires is the wattage limiter. The wattage limiter is opened using the head screwdriver, which opens up the head tabs of the box. Opening it, remove the black wire.

6. Strip the black wire from the wattage limiter box – Strip the casing of the black wire by using pliers.

7.  Re-attaching the wires again using screw caps – Re-attach the blue and black wire together with the screw cap by twisting them against each other.

8. Clamp the cap – To clamp the cap shut, use the inside of the pliers. This is done when you have a clamping cap. When there is no clamping cap, twist the cap onto the blue and black wires and ensure no bare wires are showing.

9. Cap everything – Ensure that everything is capped by attaching the white wires to other white wires in the same way. Bare cables should not be showing to ensure that all the wires are well checked.

10. Put the wiring box back together – the housing should be put back on the wiring box by using the screws. Tightening the screws makes it free from the risk of fall off.

11. Turn on the electrical current on your fan again – Turn on the lights to ensure that lights are working efficiently. This will ascertain that the fan removal has not affected the lights. 

What Is The Required Amount Of Power Used In The Wattage Limiter?

When buying a ceiling fan, one is advised to check the maximum amount of wattage the bulbs can use in the light sockets. 

The wattage limiter can allow a maximum of 190 watts passed, which the light will shut down. The main disadvantage of using a wattage limiter is no matter how much power watts you are using; it shuts down the light. 

How To Remove A Ceiling Fan

 Steps involved in removing a ceiling fan include;

1. Turn off the switch of the circuit breaker connected to the ceiling fan motor – This ensures that the fan is completely off.

2. Lampshades and light bulbs should be removed first.

To prevent any possible breaking of the glass, remove both the lightbulb and lampshade. These also make it easier to lift the ceiling fan as the weight of the two has been removed.

3. Take off the ceiling fan blades.

Use a screwdriver to remove the screws found near the blade irons. These will make the process of removing the fan much simpler. One should keep the screws safe as the need to reinstalling the fan might arise in the present future.

4. Removing the fan housing

It should, however, be noted that some fans do not have housing. For this type of fan, remove the screws from the base unit to allow you to remove the fan unit from the base plate. For the fans having housing, take off the canopy trim on top of the base unit.

5. Disconnect the base plate from the ceiling

Free the base unit from the ceiling using a screwdriver to unscrew the screws mounting the base unit. When you plan to install a new ceiling fan, you may require to buy a new base unit as the previous one might not fit the new ceiling fan.

6. Disconnect the electrical wires

This step is unnecessary and only needed when you need to disconnect some wires.  Wire nuts are to be taken off from the base unit. Additionally, hooks should be removed from the electrical system. Caution should be taken when using electricity.

Why Use A Ceiling Fan When You Have an Air Conditioner?

As opposed to air conditioners, ceiling fans have a switching that allows the user to reverse the blade either in an anticlockwise or a clockwise way. These will enable a ceiling fan not only cool air but also warm the air.

The anticlockwise movement of the fan makes it favorable for cooling air during the summertime, while its clockwise direction makes it suitable for warming air during the cold season.

Ceiling fans are a bit cheaper than air conditioners which though pricey, gives much better cooling power. They also do not remove or reduce humidity from the as do air conditioners.

Any person who wants to build a house must include an air conditioner in the design as this will affect the type of materials used. Ceiling fans do not, however, need to be included while in the initial phase of the house design.


A wattage limiter is not necessary if you do not need it.  However, if you want to conserve the number of watts in your house, it is advisable to have a limiter.

Dim lights or even the lights shutting off ultimately make most people opt not to use them. Several ceiling fans have circuits and fuses which prevent the light from shutting down or diming. This eliminates the need for a wattage limiter.

 A ceiling fan can either cool a house or even warm it but cannot control the humidity of a room, making it to be used in a small area.

Jacob Lindsey

Jacob is a home remodeling guru having worked over 15 years in construction in Reno, NV, mainly focused on home renovations. He likes taking ideas from his clients and making them a reality.

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