Westinghouse ceiling fan repair and upgrade

by Updated: Oct 4, 2020diy-miscellaneous0 comments

Westinghouse ceiling fan
with light

How to fix, repair and upgrade by Avi

This post describes my Westinghouse Turbo-Swirl model 7814xx (30″ or 42”) repair and upgrade modification.

After many years of usage, my ceiling fan with light started to show signs of wear that begun with switches not functioning, dry switch’s plastic that fell apart and even causing short circuit.

This fan’s main component is a motor, which Westinghouse made as robust and long life (we are talking here of a fan manufactured in 2007).
Instead of trashing it and buying a new one,  why not keep our planet cleaner, so I have decided to repair and fix it, to upgrade its light source from E27 to COB LED element and to improve accessibility to its parts by replacing the wiring system from fixed wiring to detachable harness.

This upgrade will allow easy and fast detaching of the light fixture parts. This upgrade will help in future repairs and will allow off-fan repair work rather than working while standing on a ladder with raised hands or taking off the whole fan for a repair job.

Westinghouse ceiling fan model Turbo-Swirl general view

DISCLAIMER – Important!

A. Preparing for the repair and udgrade.

Suggested tools :

  • Screwdrivers / electric screwdriver
  • Electric wire cutter pliers
  • Wire stripper tool
  • Soldering iron + solder wire + solder flux/grease
  • Electric drill with small size drill bits for metal
  • Ladder

Suggested materials:

  • Connectors for 10 wires (that connects the light fixture plate to the base plate)
  • Switches for speed, direction and light
  • COB LED + heatsink + screws + thermal paste
  • Heat Shrink tubes
  • Nylon cable ties, short size
  • Electrical insulation tape

B. Disassembly

Note:

  • Please refer to your fan model user’s manual as it might be different from the shown model.
  • In order to make this repair and upgrade, take the fan off the ceiling and work on a table.
  1. exclaim2 First disconnect the fan from electricity supply!  exclaim2
    exclaim2 Turn OFF the room power switch AND the circuit breaker controlling the fan and light.
  2. Remove the fixture glass and the bulb.
  3. Remove the 6 blades.
    The recommended method by Westinghouse:
    Remove the blades by unscrewing the 2 screws holding each blade’s metal bracket to the motor.
    Make sure to keep the bracket’s pad that is attached to each bracket and the washer that comes with each screw.
    To reach those screws (following the removal of the light fixture glass and bulb) use a long screwdriver/bit, rotate the motor until you can reach those screws through the long arc like slot in the light fixture plate. (see it in the following image)
    To keep the fan balanced while disassembling it is recommended to remove a blade following the blade that is located in the same line.
  1. Loosen the 3 hex screws that tighten the black ball on the bottom of the ceiling cap. This will allow easier removal of the fan.
  2. Take off the ceiling cap. Unscrew half way the 2 screw, rotate it and take off the ceiling cap a bit and then hang in on the right angle pin.
  3. Disconnect the electric wires that connect the fan to the house electric supply.
  4. Take off the fan (that has no blades in this stage) and move it to a table where you can work on it.
  5. Separate the light fixture from its base plate by removing the 3 screws holding it and by gently puling it out.

    When done this will reveal the wires mess and the fan’s 3 switches.

Westinghouse ceiling fan main parts

C. Upgrade of the wiring system:

There are 10 wires going from the upper plate to the lower one.
As mentioned earlier, those 10 wires are fixed, meaning you can not separate the parts for repair job, for example for replacing a switch.

This upgrade replaces the fixed connection with detachable solution using connectors.

fan wires mess

Since I didn’t find a small and low cost 10 wire connectors, I searched in the computer supply market and picked 2 ATX connectors, one of 8 pins used for ATX motherboard extension and one of 4 pins used for ATX CPU power extension.
Instead of 1 connector that connects the 2 light fixture parts, I ended up with 2 connectors which are extremely cheap, has locking latches and are easy to purchase.

thumbUP_gifanim Tip: Buy receptacle and plug cord set. It has short wires and this combination will save you a lot of work. Cut it in the middle of the wires to separate the connectors.

Cut each of the fan wires, one by one and solder it to the connector wires. Solder it to the plug on one side and to the receptacle on the other sire.

thumbUP_gifanim Tip: Decide on which side to place the receptacle. I soldered both plugs on the light fixture’s upper plate.

thumbUP_gifanim Tip: Mark / take photos of all cables so you’ll be able to locate it and not make mistakes.

thumbUP_gifanim Tip: Insert 2cm of heat shrink tube to each wire before you solder it and shrink it after soldering is done.

thumbUP_gifanim Tip: Gather wires to create a kind of harness, use Nylon cable ties for it.

both light fixture parts connected

Both light fixture pars connected with ATX connectors

D. Replacing switches: 

This fan has 3 switches: direction, fan speed and light. Each is a unique switch.

Over the time the plastic parts of the switches tend to dry, break, fall apart and eventually it stops working or worst, it causes a short circuit.

Replacing the switches is easy, all you need is to get the correct part and replace it. Out of the direction switch that involves some solder wires work, the other switches’ wires are pull-push and can be replaced in seconds.

thumbUP_gifanim Tip: You’ll probably find that existing switches are wrapped with old and dry electrical insulation tape. Before you remove it, take a photo or a note of the wires. Record its colors and to which pin each wire is connected. As soon as you take off the old tape you might find that the switch will brake to pieces or in other words you’ll be left without a trace that it was a switch.

1. Direction switch. Determines the motor’s direction.
This is useful to control the airflow direction.
In Winter = set it to Clockwise.
In Summer = set it to Counterclockwise.

Search for a slider switch with 6 pins DPDT: ON-ON such as Zing-Ear part # ZE-209-22 or any other compatible switch. It is recommended to prefer a switch that has metal body.

Please note that the needed mounting threads center to center dimension is 28.7mm.

You can find this switch with short wires already soldered to it, ready to be soldered to existing wires, or you can find a bare switch and solder the wires directly to it, or better, add wire double crimp to the existing wires and attach the crimp connectors to the switch legs without soldering.

2. Fan speed switch. Has 4 states: Off, 1st speed, 2nd speed, 3rd speed.
Westinghouse replacement part # is 77021, OR search for Zing-Ear part # ZE-268S1 (replaces Zing Ear ZE-208S)

thumbUP_gifanim Tip: This switch comes with a short pull chain. If you want to keep Westinghouse’s chain end medal, just separate it from the old chain and attach it to the new one.

3. Light switch. Has 2 states: On or OFF.
Westinghouse replacement part # is 77023, OR search for Zing-Ear part # ZE-109 with plastic up shell, or  # ZE-109M with metal up shell.

thumbUP_gifanim Tip: This switch comes with a short pull chain. If you want to keep Westinghouse’s chain end medal, just separate it from the old chain and attach it to the new one.

thumbUP_gifanim  Tip: when completing the switch replacement, wrap each switch with electrical insulation tape, this will prevent dust from entering the switch and will keep it working even when its latches will brake with time.

Note:
While doing this upgrade, if you feel your fan has a slow start when you switch it on, you might need to replace the capacitor. It is the black box component attached to the light fixture upper plate.
The replacement one should be 1.5uF +-5% 450VAC 50/60Hz with 2wires. Original part # is CBB61

E. Upgrade the light source

This fan’s light fixture comes with E27 bulb socket.

While doing this repair job, I also wanted to replace the light source to a LED and had two options to do so:
1. Use an AC LED bulb with E27 thread, this is the easiest solution but it has some disadvantages:

  • You need to find a very short bulb (because of the light glass cover) which is hard to find unless you require a very low wattage bulb rate.
  • Direction of its light is peripheral, not pointing its beam downwards as expected.

2. Replace the socket and build a fixture for a COB floodlight LED module. I chose to follow this option.

Needed components:

3. COB floodlight AC LED component.
COB is Chip-On-Board, multiple LED chips are packed on a substrate to produce a light module that creates a lighting panel.

This type of LED comes in various sizes, wattage and light color.
I picked the AC version (that works directly on mains) 56x40mm size with 50W that suits my needs.

4. Heatsink
This kind of LED has a metal (Aluminum) base and it needs passive cooling, so attaching it to a heat sink with thermal paste is necessary. I used aluminum heatsink (there are 60x60x10mm heatsinks or 60x120x10mm that you can cut).

Assembling the led is done with 4 screws (thermal paste in between) and on the heatsink’s side, I drilled a small hole. This hole enables assembling of the LED module with one screw to the same spot, to the same bracket where the E27 socket was located.

LED light module installed on bracket

5. Connector
To implement easy and fast accessibility to the LED module, in case it needs to be replaced (LED modules tends to burnt as well…), I also replaced the direct wires that goes to the bulb socket with a 4pin connector, same connector as used in section C. Plug side is on the fixture light plate and the receptacle is connected to the LED.
If a LED needs to be replaced, all it takes is to unplug the connector and unscrew one screw in order to replace the module with premade modules that I have prepared.

thumbUP_gifanim Tip: Since the connector has 4 pins but only 2 are required to connect the LED, I connected the two wire pairs, connected the two yellow wires and the two black wires so I got 2 wires, each uses 2 pins in the connector.
It is safer, more reliable and produces a thicker wire for the LED.

LED light module installed

thumbUP_gifanim Tip: If you encounter a quick and tiny led blink while turning the fan on when light is off (usually this happens in a 3-way installation), you can add a Snubber across the led contacts to avoid this from happening.

A Snubber or a Quencharc or an Arc suppressor is actually a 0.1uF 10% metalized polyester film capacitor and a 100-ohm 0.5W carbon film resistor connected in series. You can get original ITW Quencharc p/n: 104m06qc100, or build one yourself as I did.

F. Assembly

Assemble the parts in reverse order to what is explained in Section B.

thumbUP_gifanim Tip: If you haven’t done it so far, it is a good idea to clean the dust (use a vacuum cleaner) especially from the motor and also to oil the motor bearing with few drops of bearing oil. This will ensure long time maintenance free.

exclaim2 Pay attention that only after the fan is connected and is hung in place and after assembling of its 6 blades, you should tighten the 3 hex screw of the cap that tighten the black ball, this step is crucial to prevent the fan from rocking while rotating.
Use a wrench and tight those 3 screws in small steps, one by one. Don’t over tighten it as it may damage the metal cap.

Voila – you now have a working upgraded Westinghouse ceiling fan with LED light.
Enjoy your fan, Avi clapup_gifanim

For more How-To guides by Avi, Visit the main DIY page

You might find there useful guides such as :

Makita Charger conversion to 220VAC
Grohe cistern repair
Panasonic PNLC-1029 charging cradle repair

and more…

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Disclaimer

1. This product contains electronics and/or electric parts.

Any modification made to your product may cause damage to your equipment and harm to yourself or to others. 
Any modification made to your product AND/OR to a 3rd party attached accessories will void manufacturer warranty.
None of the following steps is recommended by me nor by the manufacturer. 
This post show only my personal experience and know-how.
If you follow any of the steps, you do it on your own risk and responsibility.

2. Copyright © 2003 Avi. All rights reserved. 

Content including all text and images in part or in whole may not be reproduced, retransmitted, stored, distributed, disseminated, sold, published, broadcast or circulated in any medium
without written consent of the author

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