Troubleshooting Ceiling Fan Remote Controls

Remote control troubleshooting is one of the top items that homeowners look for, when looking for support or assistance with their Hampton Bay or Harbor Breeze ceiling fan. For whatever reason, the remote is one of the top things that just stops communicating, fails, requires new batteries, requires troubleshooting, etc. This article will walk you through how to troubleshoot your ceiling fan remote control.

Check the batteries

The most common issue, or first thing to check when you’re having a ceiling fan problem, is the batteries. If the remote stops communicating with the fan and you see no lights coming on, it’s a good idea to change the batteries as a primary troubleshooting step. Make sure you use batteries that are brand new. It’s possible if they’ve been sitting in a drawer for a while, they might be dead also. Once you’ve changed the batteries, and the remote is still not operating the fan at all, then move onto the next step which will be troubleshooting the dip switches and/or programming.

Check dip switches

Most fans communicate using an IR (infrared) frequency. In order to establish communication along the same channel, remotes use dip switches to set their broadcast and receiving frequencies. Inside of the remote, near where the batteries go in, you’ll find a set of dip switches. Similarily, you’ll find the same thing inside of the ceiling fan on the receiver also. Generally, when a ceiling fan arrives from the factory it has the same set of dip switches both inside the remote as well as inside of the ceiling fan.

Ceiling Fan Dip Switch Settings
Dip switches need to be set the same on the ceiling fan, as they are on the remote. This is how the two communicate – the dip switches control the frequency settings.

Most of the time, these dip switches won’t change – it takes someone messing around with them, in order for the dip switches to change. One way

Reset the Ceiling Fan Remote & Ceiling Fan

Resetting the ceiling fan and remote means unplugging the fan from the wall for about 15 seconds. This isn’t always as easy as it sounds though. It’s not just like you can simply pull the plug of the fan from the wall – there’s no plug, and the fan is hard wired into the ceiling. Rather then attempting this as some websites will tell you to do (which does not make sense), you can try instead to turn off the circuit breaker to the room that your fan is plugged in. Wait about 15-20 seconds, then turn the power back on.

Additionally, try holding the off button on the remote for about 30 seconds. Many ceiling fan remotes will reset in the span of approximately 15 seconds.

The manual for your ceiling fan is also important to refer back to; it may have additional information in terms of troubleshooting your remote.

Pair the Ceiling Fan with Remote

Switch off the ceiling fan (again, turn the power off at the panel unless you’re already working on the fan)
Wait for 60 seconds before turning the fan back on
Press and hold the light and fan button on the remote
The fan should start to rotate at a low speed, this means the pairing was successful.

How to access the ceiling fan receiver

Accessing the receiver is necessary, if you are trying to check the dip switch settings. Remember, the dip switch settings will control the frequency upon which the fan communicates with the remote. The dip switches are unlikely to change on the receiver, which is inside of the fan, unless something happens like the fan falling off the ceiling, or the fan is opened for maintenance purposes. With that being said, if you have reason to believe the dip switches have been changed or moved on the remote, checking inside the fan to look at the dip switch settings on the receiver is a good idea in order to ensure they’re the same on the remote.

Once you do that, and you’ve tried changing batteries, tried a reset, etc. then it may be time to replace the remote and receiver. A universal ceiling fan remote and receiver kit will come with a receiver, that you can use to replace the receiver inside of the fan. While the fan is open, it’s a good time to now go ahead with that replacement as needed.


  • Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *