A remote control ceiling fan is meant to be convenient. When it stops working as it should, that convenience can turn right onto its head and become a hassle instead, particularly if it means your fan is stuck on.
Ultimately, there are many possible problems that could be causing your issue. Thankfully, there are just as many solutions, and most of them are quite simple. We’re here to cover all the likely possibilities so that you can get your device up and running again.
If a remote-controlled ceiling fan is stuck on, try one of the following. If none work, replace/repair the receiver/transmitter, turning the fan off at the wall/breaker in the meantime.
- Replace the batteries
- Remove batteries and press all the buttons
- Sync the DIP switches
- Reset the remote
Check the Batteries
The simplest solution is to check the batteries, so this should be done first if it hasn’t been already.
This can be done by using a battery tester. However, If you don’t have one, you can also try putting the batteries from your ceiling’s remote into another device that uses the same type of batteries.
If that device doesn’t work with your remote’s batteries in it, it’s likely they were depleted.
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Alternatively, to spare yourself the trouble, you can try putting brand new or freshly charged batteries into the remote. If that fixes your problem, then again you’ll know that your batteries were the issue!
It might be beneficial to invest in a battery tester for next time.
Is It Just the on/off Button?
If it’s not the batteries, then you need to move on to the next check, which is also very simple; try the other buttons on your remote and see if they work.
If your fan’s on/off button is the only function that isn’t working or if only some buttons are not working, then the problem is likely the remote itself.
There are a few potential home fixes to try before seeking outside assistance.
The first fix to try is to remove the batteries from your remote. After this, press and hold the power button for one full minute, then go through and push all your other buttons (you don’t need to hold these down, too).
This might sound silly, but it will get rid of any remaining electrical charge in your remote that may be interfering with its function. Replace the batteries and try again. If your remote still isn’t working, repeat the process up to 4 more times before moving on.
If the above method fails, try opening up your remote and gently cleaning its insides with rubbing alcohol and a cotton swab. It’s possible the inside of your remote is dirty and gummed up, preventing your buttons from reading properly.
If neither of these methods works, your remote may be faulty, and you may need to seek replacement or repair if none of the following solutions solve the issue.
Check the DIP Switches
You may also want to try checking on your Dual In-line Package, or “DIP” switches. This is more likely to be your issue if you have multiple remote-controlled fans or other remote-controlled devices in close proximity, as they may be interfering with each other.
That’s because your DIP switches are devices that can change an electrical circuit. For your remote-controlled fan, this also changes its radio frequency.
You want the DIP switches in your fan receiver and your fan’s remote to match so that they are “connected.”
You don’t want your fan and its remote to be unmatched or have multiple devices on the same frequency—that’s just asking for trouble.
For most models, the DIP switches in your remote can be accessed by just removing the batteries, although some may require you to open the remote’s casing.
The DIP switches in your fan should be on a receiver box located in the canopy or the “base” of the fan that covers the point where it enters the ceiling, so you’ll need to unscrew your canopy to access it. (Before trying to access this, be sure to turn off the breaker to your fan!)
You can change the DIP switches on your fan’s receiver to a new, random setting using a small screwdriver, and then align the DIP switches inside your remote to match so that they are on the same new frequency.
Reassemble your fan and remote. If your DIP switches were the issue, your fan should work properly now!
If you’re a visual learner, this video will help you understand how to change your DIP switches.
Reset the Remote
If nothing has worked so far, try resetting your remote. This should re-sync your remote to your fan’s receiver.
The process of resetting your fan’s remote may differ slightly from model to model or brand to brand. Look at your device’s instruction manual if you still have it, or search online. You are likely to find a YouTube video tutorial or instructions on the manufacturer’s website.
If you can’t find any instructions for resetting your fan’s remote, try the steps below. Even though different fans may reset slightly differently, most of them follow a similar process, so this may work for you.
- Turn off your ceiling fan. (Use the wall switch or breaker since your remote isn’t working.)
- Wait for about 30 seconds. Some brands only require 10 seconds while others need up to 30, but since you don’t know, it’s better to do it “right” the first time!
- Turn the fan back on.
- Press and hold the “pair” or “reset” button on your remote. (If you cannot find one anywhere on the remote, try pressing and holding the power buttons for both your fan and your light simultaneously.)
You may see a flashing light on your remote. This should indicate a successful pairing.
If you cannot find reset instructions for your fan online, and this process did not work for you, try calling the manufacturer and asking. (You could technically do this first, too!) They may be able to provide more accurate reset instructions for you.
The Receiver/Transmitter is Broken
If all else fails, you will probably need to call the fan’s manufacturer or your supplier anyways. Since none of these fixes worked, it’s likely that either your receiver or transmitter (or both!) are broken.
This means your remote won’t work properly until the broken parts are replaced since the transmitter in your remote and the receiver in your fan’s canopy are how your remote and fan “communicate” with each other.
When you call, explain that you have tried all the previous fixes without success and ask what can be done/what your next steps should be.
If your fan is under warranty, you might receive a replacement fan or replacement part. Some companies will even send out one of their contractors to take a look at the problem for you.
Be sure to check the terms of your warranty so that you know what to expect.
If your fan is not under warranty, you should still be able to purchase a replacement part by calling, or at least figure out where you can.
Turn off at the Wall/Breaker as a Temporary Measure
If you are waiting on a replacement part or waiting to have someone sent out to repair your fan for you, you’ll have to rely on the wall switch to turn your fan off until then.
Thankfully this is only a temporary measure since it can be annoying to have to turn your light off anytime you want the fan itself to stop.
If your remote-controlled fan is not linked to a wall switch (it doesn’t have to be if it doesn’t have lights), then you will have to turn it off at the breaker, which is even more inconvenient.
Not only is the breaker likely to be far away from the room itself, but ceiling fans are not power guzzlers, so they are seldom on a dedicated circuit. This means whatever else is on that circuit also powers down when you need to turn the fan off.
Once your fan is repaired, you’ll be back to being able to enjoy the convenience of a remote control!