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How to install an outdoor ceiling fan on a pergola?

Are you wondering how to install an outdoor ceiling fan on a pergola? If so, you will find your answer in our post.

Pergolas are wonderous architectural elements that help keep the heat at bay. However, sometimes they aren’t enough to keep you cool.

If you’re looking to install a ceiling fan to keep yourself a tiny bit cooler, your outdoor pergola would be the ideal place to put it.

When you get down to it, installing it isn’t at all difficult. However, there are some steps that you have to take in order to get it working properly.

An outdoor ceiling fan installed in a pergola  #pergola #backyard #outdoor #ceilingFan #pavilion
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Why a ceiling fan?

Summer weather makes you want to spend most of your day outdoors.

The warmth and sunlight make for a great environment for reading or listening to music on your patio. It can get a little too hot at certain times of the day, even with the sun shade you installed on your pergola (if you are not sure whether you have a pergola or gazebo, read this post). Because of this, you may want to opt to install a ceiling fan in your outdoor oasis.

It can help keep you cool during those extreme summer days.

Installing one can seem a bit tricky, but it’s completely doable with a bit of plastic and some know-how.

Keep in mind that not every kind of fan is suitable for outdoor usage. The good news is that there are lots of outdoor models which are specifically designed to withstand temperature and moisture changes.

pergola next to an outdoor pavilion and near the pool

Take all the necessary measurements

Since you’re installing a ceiling fan, you will want it to cool everything below the pergola evenly.

For this, it has to be properly centered. Symmetry is the key to beauty, after all.

Take some measuring tape and find the center of the pergola ceiling. This is where you’re going to put the base of the fan.

You should take this time to also transfer the measurements to the PVC conduit. You don’t need any bits of pipe dangling from your pergola. You want it to look good while it’s keeping you cool. With a marker and a hacksaw, you’ll be able to cut it just fine with rough measurements.

Isolate the electrical material

Since it’s an outdoor ceiling fan, you’re going to need to protect it from the elements. Rain and water damage are the main risk factors.

Electrical equipment should always be properly isolated, especially if it’s located in an outdoor environment. Plastic is the ideal option for hydro-isolation and you might find a high-quality plastic sheet at places like Plastic Whol​​​​esale.

It’s important that you cover the fan with something that will last throughout heavy rain seasons. As long as the fan and wires are covered with plastic and PVC piping, you won’t have to worry about water damaging any electrical components.

Organize the wires

Any piece of electrical equipment is going to need wires to transfer power. Organizing them is extremely important to the function of the fan.

You will need to tighten the conduit that contains the wires using some wire ties. It has to fit snuggly below the pergola. Along with the wire ties, some glue might come in handy when you’re inserting the back end of the pipe into the box of the junction.

Once you have a good idea of how much wire you need to reach the ceiling fan, cut off the excess and start threading it. When done, glue them together so that they can’t untangle.

Connect the wiring

Once all the wires are properly set up and safe, you can start connecting them to the actual fan equipment. Strip the wires and remember to trim them well.

This would be a good time to remember which wires go where.

The black and blue wires connect to the black wire. If your fan has a light, connect it to the blue wire. Match the rest of the colors with each other.

Once you’re done, you can put the wires inside the electrical box and proceed with securing the whole fan.

Ceiling fan on a wood ceiling
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Secure the mounting brackets

You want your ceiling fan construction to be firmly attached to the pergola. Simple glue and screws won’t be enough to achieve this.

Luckily, you can attach the electrical box and secure it with some mounting brackets.

Get some sturdy bolts that won’t rust in a damp environment. A good lock washer should make them stay put for quite a long time. Due to the plastic covering, you shouldn’t worry about any electrical components or bolts getting wet.

Once that part’s finished, you can mount the actual ceiling fan on the box.

From this point on, your DIY project is complete and you have a functioning ceiling fan that will keep you cool whenever you need it.

Final words on how to install an outdoor ceiling fan on a pergola

Many homeowners hesitate to install anything that involves electricity on their own.

This is a good rule of thumb, but it needn’t apply to something as simple as a ceiling fan. You’re not dealing with very high voltages and the installation is pretty simple to do as a DIY project.

As long as you stick to the necessary precautions, you shouldn’t run into a lot of trouble. It’s well worth the hassle, considering the kind of comfort you’re going to introduce to your special outdoor area.

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About The Author

Ron Wolf

Ron is a hobby designer and a DIY enthusiast, and, above all, a very blessed father of two. Besides that, he has a strong passion for writing. If he is not working he enjoys being outside with his family. Hiking, bike riding, and BBQing are always a thing for him. In the evening, he likes to watch documentaries or build something with kids in their lego corner. Check out his Facebook.

3 thoughts on “How to install an outdoor ceiling fan on a pergola?”

  1. One of the pictures shows a fan with bare wires to it and another with wires in conduit. Are you required by code to use conduit in the roof of a covered patio area? Or does it depend on the ceiling height?

  2. You refer to plastic covering for the electrical components of the fan. Are you wrapping the mounting box and fan hood with plastic?


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