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Product Review: The Westinghouse Bayside™ Ceiling Fan

This article is a product review of the Westinghouse Bayside™ ceiling fan.

By Damien Andrews

The Westinghouse Bayside™ ceiling fan (model ETL-ES-Bayside-WH07) is undoubtedly the most poorly engineered and constructed ceiling fan I've ever installed. My customer had purchased the Westinghouse Bayside™ ceiling fan and wanted it installed in their bedroom in an existing 4"x4" electrical box. Thus began my nightmare.

My problems began when I quoted this job. I've installed a number of ceiling fans over the years, and have come to learn that, if the electrical box in the ceiling is metal and well secured, the job never takes longer than 90-minutes. So I quoted this job at 90-minutes. The installation of the Westinghouse Bayside™ ceiling fan took no less than four hours, and required that I have a helper come and assist me with several operations. This made the total man hours required for installation of the Westinghouse Bayside™ ceiling fan a whopping 6.5 man hours.

Something that I did not notice until I was already deeply into this job is that there is no Underwriters Laboratory logo on the Westinghouse Bayside™ ceiling fan instructions. There are some other logos, none of which are familiar to me, but no UL logo. This one thing is reason enough to never purchase a Westinghouse Bayside™ ceiling fan.

Attaching the ceiling fan blades to the ceiling fan blade assembly is relatively easy. The instructions are clear, all the hardware is present and the protruded screw receivers on the assembly align the blades properly. Enjoy this – it is the end of 'easy' in the installation process for the Westinghouse Bayside™ ceiling fan.

When you get to step 6 of the installation instructions for the Westinghouse Bayside™ ceiling fan, you're instructed to slide a rubber coupling cover over the three electrical wires and push it down onto the base of the ceiling fan canopy. There are tiny pre-made holes in the rubber coupling. In order to get the coupling to slide down onto the canopy cover, however, the wires must be straightened and then placed into the holes a specific way. Failure to do this will prevent the coupling from sliding down onto the ceiling fan canopy. This fact is not mentioned in the instructions.

Once you've installed the rubber coupling, you are instructed in the Westinghouse Bayside™ ceiling fan manual to attach the canopy to the ceiling fan motor housing. First of all, this is a physical impossibility. Once the coupling is installed, the canopy hole diameter is too small to allow the coupling to get down the ceiling fan motor. The rubber coupling must be removed, the canopy installed, then the coupling must be replaced. Again, the wires must be oriented properly.

The Westinghouse Bayside™ ceiling fan instructions call for the use of rubber washers when installing the ceiling fan canopy to the ceiling fan motor housing. There were no rubber washers provided.

Wiring the Westinghouse Bayside™ ceiling fan is relatively straightforward. Wire caps are provided, however they were too small and had to be replaced with a larger size.

Our installation of the Westinghouse Bayside™ ceiling fan was a flush ceiling mount. A short post is provided for a stand-off installation. While I did not use the post, I must assume that mounting the Westinghouse Bayside™ ceiling fan using the stand-off post would be much easier. It took two of us 20-minutes to get the assembled ceiling fan mounted onto the bracket we'd attached to the 4" x 4" electrical box. Extreme pressure was required to get the two parts to mate properly. Caution must be used to ensure that the myriad wiring is not caught between metal parts.

Once the Westinghouse Bayside™ ceiling fan motor is installed on the ceiling, it's time to install the blades onto the motor housing. This operation will require two people, a magnetized #2 Phillips head screw driver and a #3 Phillips head screw driver – and a whole lot of patience!

To install the blades on the Westinghouse Bayside™ ceiling fan motor, you must remove a small rubber insert from the bottom of the unit. The hole/slot this insert is removed from is where you will insert your screw drivers to attach the blades – each of which requires two screws with lock washers. The screws require a #3 Phillips head, but since the hole/slot is not properly aligned to the screw positions, you will need to start the screws using a #2 Phillips head with a thin shaft.

The installation of the five blades onto the Westinghouse Bayside™ ceiling fan is an eminently frustrating task. Using a magnetic screw driver to start the screws is helpful, but by no means is it easy. The blades must be held in proper alignment – which a largely a guessing game since the area is too tight to see into. The screw must be attached to the end of the magnetic screw driver and then carefully guided through the hole/slot provided and into the ceiling fan assembly holder. Since the hole/slot is not properly aligned, the screw driver will be at a slight angle – which prevents you from screwing straight. The screw driver tip cannot seat squarely into the screw's head.

Each ceiling fan blade on the Westinghouse Bayside™ ceiling fan requires two screws. The first screw, when you finally get it started, should only be slightly tightened. This will allow for the movement of the ceiling fan blade assembly to achieve alignment for the second screw. Once you are sure that both screws are started properly – no cross-threading – you can use a #3 Phillips head screw driver to tighten them. Since #3 screw drivers have such thick shafts, the angle at which the screw driver meets the screw head will be even greater than with the #2. Again, this is because of the misalignment of the hole/shaft provided for this operation on the Westinghouse Bayside™ ceiling fan.

When installing the blades on the Westinghouse Bayside™ ceiling fan, you should not fully tighten the fourth blade until the fifth blade is installed. This is because the blade assemblies fit tightly into the provided space. When you install the fifth blade assembly, you will have to slightly move the fourth to get it to fit properly. Once the fifth ceiling fan blade assembly is properly started, you can fully tighten both the fourth and fifth.

I will never again install a Westinghouse Bayside™ ceiling fan. Naturally, this means I would never even consider buying a Westinghouse Bayside™ ceiling fan. Of course, if you're a masochist, this might be just the ceiling fan for you.

 

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