RealEstate Ke > Home improvement > Can a Ceiling Fan Leak Oil?

Can a Ceiling Fan Leak Oil?

Ceiling fans are a popular way to keep a home cool in the summer. If you are thinking of installing a ceiling fan, one of the biggest concerns is whether or not a potential leak on a ceiling fan could ruin the integrity of your ceiling and floor. 

But what happens when an old ceiling fan starts making noise or leaking oil? Ceiling fans can and do leak oil if they were oiled excessively, have clogged return holes or a loose oil cup.

That could be from the motor, or faulty bearing in the fan.

Before I take it down and replace it, I’d want to know if the oil leak is serious enough to make it unsafe to use.

Oil leaks from a ceiling fan can seem mysterious. 

Why is the oil dripping down from the blades and motor when there doesn’t appear to be any visual evidence of a problem with the fan? 

Uncovering the cause of this problem requires a little detective work to determine the origin of the leak. 

The oil leak could be caused by a number of culprits, so it’s important to track down the actual source of the leak.

Causes of oil leakage from ceiling fan

If your ceiling is dripping with oil, you might be a little concerned at first, but there are a couple of reasons why oil can drip from a ceiling.

Ceiling fans, like any other home fixtures, can be prone to dripping, spurting, and leaking. 

And not just your regular, run-of-the-mill dripping and spurting. 

We’re talking about propellant-like leaks, which can ruin your fan, the ceiling below it, and the pieces of furniture below that. 

But these leaks don’t happen in a vacuum. 

If you have a leaking ceiling fan, you’ll have to pinpoint the problem first.

1. Oil level too high

When you notice a puddle on the floor after your fan is switched off, it is time to confirm the oil level. 

If during the last refill the oil level was too high, that could be the cause of oil leaks from the ceiling fan

And if the oil level is too low now, it can cause the ceiling fan to run slowly and make noise

The oil level should be between the “min” and the “max” level marked on the ceiling fan motor housing.

2. Clogged return holes

The purpose of a ceiling fan is to circulate the air throughout the room, thereby reducing the need for a room air conditioner. 

The effectiveness of a ceiling fan is greatly reduced if it loses oil due to clogged returns in the fan. 

These holes are designed to drain the oil back into the cup

If these holes are clogged by dirt or dust, the oil will pump up toward the top and escape from the fan causing spills.

The oil constantly pushes out of the oil chamber and overflows outside the rotor and the cup to the blades. 

To clean out, access the oil cup and unscrew it. 

Then, use a pipe cleaner to clear the passageway.

3. Loose oil cup 

Over time, your ceiling fan may develop a leak. 

If this is the case, it is likely caused by the oil cup. 

The oil cup is a small, metal cup that is mounted within the motor of the ceiling fan. 

It allows the oil to be distributed throughout the motor. 

Over time, the oil begins to thicken. 

The weight of the oil can cause the cup to loosen. 

Loose oil cups on ceiling fans are one of the most common causes of ceiling fan oil leaks

The thickened oil can leak through the crack and run down the side of the fan motor.

If your ceiling fan is leaking oil, the first thing you should do is check to see if the oil cup is loose. 

To do this, take a wrench of the proper size and tighten the oil cup. 

Do’s and don’ts of oiling a ceiling fan

Your ceiling fan is mounted right over your head as you sleep, making it the last thing you see before dozing off and the first thing you see when you wake up. 

So, it’s no surprise that most ceiling fans make some kind of noise as they whir, creak, and spin. 

This can be annoying in the bedroom, but what about when your fan is in the living room? 

All those squeaks and squawks can interfere with conversation when you’re entertaining, or even just watching TV.


  • Follow manufacturer’s guide in the manual
  • Use pipe cleaner to test oil level 
  • Use electric motor oil


  • Don’t use WD-40
  • Don’t oil when the fan is running
  • Don’t use an oil diffuser 
  • Don’t use a water based cleaner 
  • Don’t wait too long to clean

How to clean a ceiling fan

Don’t let a dusty ceiling fan ruin your day. 

There are a few things you can do to keep it clean and let you enjoy it without worrying about getting sick. 

The first step is to unplug your ceiling fan and turn off the power to the fan. 

While you are doing this you might notice that the blades of the fan are dirty. 

This is a great time to clean the blades of the fan. 

Most ceiling fans can be cleaned with ease using a dry, soft cloth without the need for any extra cleaning products. 

Pay special attention to the blades, which are the most visibly dirty part of a ceiling fan.

This will help keep dust from getting to the rest of the fan.

Do this at least once every two weeks to prevent buildup of dirt.

For ceilings that are very high up, consider using a ceiling and fan duster.


Ceiling fans are not just for cooling your living area; they can also be used to circulate air throughout your home. 

By doing so, ceiling fans can help reduce the need for air conditioning, which can help lower your utility bills. 

They are probably the most energy efficient cooling and circulating device in your home. 

That is why it’s so important to make sure that your ceiling fan is not leaking oil.

If you have a leaky ceiling fan, you may need to tighten the oil cup, clean blocked return holes, or check for an over fill.

But if the fan has fallen into disrepair, it might be time for some simple repairs.

Keep it in great shape by oiling sufficiently and cleaning regularly.

Zebedee Nambaleo
Zebedee Nambaleo

Zebedee is the founder of RealEstate Ke. He creates content by carefully examining and analyzing the real estate market, home improvement resources, and government data. His analysis is based on the principle of supplying high-quality, relevant, and in-depth information to his audience. By evaluating the current conditions and predicting future trends, he provides his audience with invaluable insights that allow them to make better decisions.