How to tell if ceiling fan remote or receiver is broken

So you’re having a problem with your ceiling fan remote. The very first thing you should always do is change the batteries. We can’t stress this enough. It’s kind of like turning something on and off that isn’t working properly. Make sure you replace the batteries with brand new ones, as using used batteries does not help to eliminate the variable where it could potentially be the batteries causing a problem.

The next step, once you’ve replaced the batteries is to contact the manufacturer. It does not matter whether you have a ceiling fan from one of the major manufacturers, or even if you have a completely different appliance altogether. Doing some online searches may help you to find a community forum to post a question, or you may come across customer support phone numbers to call to get assistance for your technical issue. It’s really a good idea to contact the manufacturer when you have a problem that seems out of the ordinary, too. Like for example, some functions of the remote will work, but others won’t (might be programming). Or the remote has stopped working altogether, and replacing the batteries does not solve the problem.

Before you go and buy another remote or spend money of any kind, always see what support you can obtain from the manufacturer as the remote is covered under warranty with the ceiling fan, or other appliance that you have purchased.

This remote kit says it is manufactured to work with Hampton Bay, Harbor Breeze and Hunter ceiling fans (above). It’s under $30 USD, so it’s not a bad price. Does it actually work with those fans? We don’t have an idea of just how many fans it is compatible with. We generally recommend that if you are looking for a universal remote, look for one produced by the same manufacturer. Therefore, if you need a Hunter remote control replacement and can’t find one, likely best to buy a universal remote which is also branded Hunter (assuming that you can’t find the original to purchase).

Troubleshooting Dip Switches

One thing to check with your ceiling fan remote and your fan, is the dip switches. There is a dip switch located inside of your fan, and one inside the remote. To access the dip switches inside the remote, open up the back of the remote. The dip switch settings inside of the fan and the ones on the remote need to match – this is how we determine what “frequency” the remote and the fan operate on. To locate the dip switches inside of the fan: this would be either on top of the motor, or inside the switch housing or ceiling canopy.

If the dip switch settings don’t line up, then the remote will never talk to the fan properly because they won’t be communicating on the same wavelength to each other. This is generally not a problem unless the remote or fan were recently opened and something changed, or if the remote experienced a heavy smash or drop (would need to be thrown or etc.)

Isolating the problem to the Ceiling Fan Receiver

If you’re able to get any other remote to work with your fan, then you know it’s a problem with the remote and not with the receiver. However, should no remote work with the fan at all despite programming, dip switches, frequency settings (through dipswitches), etc.¬† or trying other things like universal remotes, etc. you may eventually come to the conclusion the receiver needs to be replaced (if it will work with no remotes at all). Next step, you could consider replacing the remote and the receiver (in one go). So, the simplest way to accomplish this is to purchase a receiver and remote kit. You have the option to replace with a like receiver and continue to use a similar/same remote, or you could also convert the ceiling fan into one that is controllable by Smart WiFi apps like phone apps or other remotes. Generally as long as you have¬† your own Wi-Fi network broadcasted in the home, you’re good to go and you can try this if you like. Keep in mind any time you replace a receiver in the ceiling fan, it has to be removed from the ceiling and you need to open up the canopy to access the receiver. It’s difficult to do this with the ceiling fan still attached to the ceiling, and will likely have to come down for this maintenance. This can restore life to your ceiling fan and help to convert it, so that you’re able to control it easier both when you’re at home and also potentially remotely (not being at home).

The Bond will convert your fan, fireplace or other without needing to open up the fan at all:


The Bond – Control up to 30 fans, just plug it in – no installation required

The bond does not require you to open up your ceiling fan or replace the receiver inside. You just plug it in, aim your remote at your ceiling fan and done. The bond will pick up on the radio
frequency used, and program everything for you. Next thing you know, you can control the fan (and up to 30 fans actually) from your phone. Very handy and will also control fireplaces, too.

WHAT DO WE THINK ABOUT THE BOND: Amazing idea, if you find another product out there like this be sure to leave a comment and let us know! We haven’t come across anything yet that can do what the bond can do! The fact that you can control up to 30 fans and you don’t need to really do anything except aim the remote at the device is pure genius. This is the power of IoT devices in the digital age.


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