Why Ceiling Fan Making Clicking Noise When Off (Fix)

Click clank, click clank! It is common to hear clicking sounds when a ceiling fan operates. However, these clicking sounds become a matter of concern when you hear them when the fan is turned off. It makes you wonder about the cause and start imagining the worst possible scenarios, such as dangerous wiring issues. While in reality, several possible causes of that clicking noise could result in minimal to partial to hazardous consequences depending on the cause.

A shifting loose fan blade, a dying fan motor, or a malfunctioning receiver catching other frequencies can cause a clicking noise in a ceiling fan even when it is OFF. You’ll have to find the exact cause and solve it to stop that noise.

using a ceiling fan with air conditioning

In this article, I will explain why your ceiling fan makes that sound when it’s off and how to solve the issue if it’s becoming too annoying or you don’t want it to cause any hazard.

Causes of clicking noises when a ceiling fan is in the Off position

You can find a solution to the irritating noise from the ceiling fan if you find out what’s causing it. Pay attention to the noise to pinpoint from which part of the fan it is coming. Also, the noise frequency can tell you a lot about its origin.

Here are some common causes that can result in a clicking noise in ceiling fans:

A loose fan blade

Loose fan blades rubbing against some part of the fan are the most common cause of clicking noise. Opening and closing a room’s door, someone walking on the wooden floor, or a gust of wind from an open window are enough to cause a loose blade to wobble when the fan is off and create a clicking noise.

Check all the blades to confirm if the noise comes from the loose blade. If you find any loose screws, tighten them up and see if the noise has stopped. If you don’t hear any clicking sound after it, you have found and fixed the cause.

Using a dimmer switch 

Dimmer switches are made to be used with lighting as they can help control the voltage input to the lights. These switches are not suitable for controlling fans as they do not provide consistent voltage as required by the ceiling fans. 

If you hear repetitive noise from the fan, the variable voltage has affected its working efficiency. In the long run, it can render the motor useless and, in the worst cases, cause the motor to overheat, which can be a fire hazard.

Faulty remote receiver

A malfunctioning remote receiver in the fan could be making this clicking noise. A fault with the receiver can cause it to make repeated reset attempts which can sound like clicking. There is a chance a transmitter is falsely trying to reach the receiver, which can also result in a clicking noise. You can refer to the manufacturer’s manual to find a solution or contact the company for troubleshooting advice,

Hot light bulbs cooling down

Light bulbs can heat up if they remain turned on for longer. When the fan is turned off, the bulbs start to cool down after a few minutes and can cause clicking sounds during the cooling-off period. It happens because a bulb’s metal parts expand when hot and shrink back when it cools down, resulting in a clicking noise. It’s a natural process and not a matter of concern.

Broken down fan motor

Suppose you suspect that the clicking noise is more like a buzzing sound and is coming from the unit itself. It may be the motor is going to break down soon for any number of reasons.

You can try to lubricate motor parts and see if there is any improvement. Otherwise, consult an electrician and replace the fan motor to make your fan run smoothly once again.

Wiring problem

To check for any fault with the wiring, turn off the fan with the pull chain but let the fan lights on. If you still hear a clicking noise, the wiring inside the hub is faulty. Call a licensed electrician to check the wiring, and don’t attempt anything yourself for your safety.

Should I be worried if my ceiling fan is making noise?

A noisy fan is a matter of concern because any severe problem with the fan is a potential hazard. So, finding the cause of the noise and removing it is crucial to be on the safe side.

A loose blade can detach and fall on somebody, or faulty wiring can cause a fire if it’s not addressed timely. Moreover, call an electrician without wasting time if you feel any burning smell along with the noise.


You can often easily solve a clicking noise from the ceiling fan. For safety precautions and to avoid any potential hazard, pay attention to any unusual noises from the fan and fix the issue as soon as possible.

Charles John

Experienced HVAC technician with 8 years of experience in the industry. Capable of handling all sorts of heating and cooling equipment as well as proficient in operational management, construction-related techniques such as preventative maintenance, electrical troubleshooting and AutoCAD

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