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#164564 - 06/06/07 07:30 AM Strange Behavior by Electric Fan Motor
Retired_Helper Offline

Registered: 03/13/07
Posts: 167
Loc: Maine
This might well be a ridiculously easy question, but please keep in mind I have essentially no idea what goes on inside an electric motor. My sparky handled the brain work; I ran cable and did very simple installations.

I have a residential-quality fan on a floor stand that can run 24 hours a day in the hot, humid weather (oh, yes, we have that in Maine). It hibernates in the winter. Back in use now, infrequently when you switch it on, the motor hums, but the fan blades don't turn. If you leave it alone, and let it keep humming (not something I'm comfortable with doing), eventually it starts operating normally.

What do you think is going on here, and what should be done (other than taking the fan out of service and recycling what parts I can)?

Thanks, all!

#164568 - 06/06/07 08:58 AM Re: Strange Behavior by Electric Fan Motor [Re: Retired_Helper]
gibbonsseabee80 Offline

Registered: 10/10/05
Posts: 40
Loc: Chesapeake, VA
I have a fan on a floor stand. It is a plastic one I bought a couple of years ago. It has a three speed switch on the top of it. My wife used her gorilla strength last month and broke the switch. When I installed a new switch, I noticed this little universal motor had a small square capacitor. If your fan eventually gets to full speed, I think there is a bad capacitor in there (if there is one in there).
Brian Gibbons

#164571 - 06/06/07 09:54 AM Re: Strange Behavior by Electric Fan Motor [Re: gibbonsseabee80]
mikesh Offline

Registered: 06/07/06
Posts: 614
Loc: Victoria, BC, Canada
Try oil on the bushings. These little motors don't develope much torque and the oil can get gummy over the winter. Many household oils are vegetable based and will gum up too so use a petroleum based oil

#164574 - 06/06/07 11:26 AM Re: Strange Behavior by Electric Fan Motor [Re: mikesh]
geoff in UK Offline

Registered: 12/30/02
Posts: 171
Loc: UK
I've rescued more than one by putting solvent, e.g.switchcleaner or a general purpose machine cleaning solvent, in the bearings. I believe many are sintered bronze and as Mike says old lubricant gums up. Wash it out and re-oil with a good quality thin mineral oil. Works on old record player motors too!

#164581 - 06/06/07 02:56 PM Re: Strange Behavior by Electric Fan Motor [Re: geoff in UK]
Retired_Helper Offline

Registered: 03/13/07
Posts: 167
Loc: Maine
Thank you, gentlemen! \:\)


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