Another electrical question

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Bobitis, Jun 24, 2012.

  1. Bobitis

    Bobitis Guest

    I have a couple fans that quit working.

    One above the stove, one in the bath, and a floor fan.

    The stove and the bath just flat quit. The floor fan is s l o w to start up.

    I'm not electric by any stretch. I hate the stuff.

    Is there something I could spray on the motors to loosen them up without burning the house down? Or do I need to have them replaced?

    Thanks.
  2. ozo

    ozo Well-Known Member

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    It doesn't sound like the problem is related to each of one another....if that makes sense boB
  3. ozo

    ozo Well-Known Member

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    The bath...a fart fan....pop the cover, clean it, and check it out visually.
    The range top fan, remove the filter, clean it, give a visual inspect there also....the floor fan.....go to wal-mart, buy one........

    Are the fans in the kitchen and the bath on the same circuit[breaker]?
  4. ozo

    ozo Well-Known Member

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    Only thing I know of is an electronic cleaner spray [from like Radio Shack]
    but it AIN'T gonna fix your fans......
  5. hstout1143

    hstout1143 Well-Known Member

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    The slow starting one probably means the brushes are almost worn out, they can be replaced on most motors, but it can be a pain to find the correct ones and a pain to replace it's much easier to just replace the whole unit , floor fans are less than $20. The other two may have a common bad connection, you can test them with an inexpensive meter (like the one pictured) from radio shack or homedepot, if you have power at the connection to each fan then the motors are burnt out or the brushes need replacing.
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2013
  6. ozo

    ozo Well-Known Member

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    Kitchen and Bath fans.......noticed OR checked any receptacles[outlets]
    that no longer work??
    Like one in the hallway that you never use ????
    Fly me out there boB....I'll bring my 'bag' and check it out for ya Brother....
    but YOU gotta buy the Starbucks......
  7. Bobitis

    Bobitis Guest

    Nah...

    The kitchen fan dived a couple months after I got the deep fryer. :D:(
    The bath and the floor I'm pretty sure is due to my smoking.

    Yeah I know. :rolleyes:

    I'm thinking crudded up motors.

    I know there's stuff in a can for cleaning electronics, but electrics?
  8. hstout1143

    hstout1143 Well-Known Member

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    As long as the spray doesn't leave a conductive residue there shouldn't be a problem, just give it enough time to dry completely before you plug it in.
  9. ozo

    ozo Well-Known Member

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    So....you gonna fly me out there to check it ......or what...?
    I will bring Sam.....IF he ever decides to 'again' get off the stinkin' road....:rolleyes::(
  10. raven818

    raven818 Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Stove fan = grease. Nutting you can do about it. Not expensive.

    Floor fan..got any pets? I have 2 large dogs, and two cats. All, all at one time or the other, sleep behind my floor fan = hair. I tend to vacuum around the fan, not on it.

    I only turn it on at bed time, to enjoy the White Noise so I can sleep. That's long enough as far as the pets are concerned.

    Home Despot.
  11. Ed Wagner

    Ed Wagner Member

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    AC fans don't have brushes, they are induction motors.
  12. langenc

    langenc Member

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    Most tru-value/Aces have a box of brushes. Just take the old one with you and get a couple new ones. Probably not needed here but when you do that is the place to go.
  13. Bindernut

    Bindernut Well-Known Member

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    I agree with Ed Wagner...and it's not because we share the same last name either. :)

    Those AC fans are all induction motors and don't have brushes in em.

    Most likely cause for the slow one (and probably the other two as well) is that the bushings are getting dry and there's too much friction. Yup, unless they're antique fans they've just got bronze bushings in em instead of ball bearings.
    If you can get at the bushings, you can spray them with some penetrating oil to soak the stuff loose and then drip a little light machine oil or your favorite gun oil onto the bushings to lubricate them.
    Most likely cause for the kitchen fan is it's gummed up with oil residue. Cooking oil isn't a very good lubricant, it's gets really gooey.
    Most likely cause for the poop fan in the bathroom is all the humidity from the bathroom getting drawn up into the motor.

    If the fan motors have been stuck or sluggish for a while, it's possible that the windings are cooked in em and it's time to replace em. If they still turn when you give em a push start then you might be able to bring em back to life with some lubrication.


    Safest bet from a fire safety standpoint...replace all three of em. Once you start having to lube those bushings, the motor is on it's way to the junkyard and you'll have to lube it regularly to keep it going.
    I usually oil the bushings in my bathroom fans twice a year anyway. One of the bathroom fans is 40s vintage and is still much quieter than all these cheap new ones that they make these days. I want it to last as long as possible. Just a couple drops of light oil soaked into the bushings every few months will keep em alive for a long time.
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2012
  14. hstout1143

    hstout1143 Well-Known Member

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    I didn't know that, I've never worked on a fan motor but I've worked on other motors and they've all had brushes.
  15. 68c15

    68c15 Well-Known Member

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    house fans (like he is dealing with) are considered low load meaning they don't make much torque.

    try some Rem Oil
  16. Appliancedude

    Appliancedude Well-Known Member

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    Yep. Your kitchen fan, is it a range hood type? normal hood or microwave combo? if its a regular old range hood, you can pick one at hd or lowes for as low as $50. It would actually be easier to replace the whole hood than just changing the motor. and cheaper too
  17. ampaterry

    ampaterry *TFF Admin Staff Chaplain* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Fans that are easy to get to, like the floor fan, I always take completely apart and clean the bushings well to get the caked gunk out of them and off the shaft where it goes through the bushing, then lubricate. Most will have a piece of felt trapped at each bushing that you can drip some oil into to make the lube-job last longer.
    In this kind of fan, it is pretty safe because you can see it well when you test it and make sure nothing is amiss - like overheating, sparks or smoke.
    Since you have not done it before, I would not try to repair the vent fan or range hood fan because problems can be hidden, and the cost simply does not outweigh the risk.

    We do not have A/C here, so we have a couple fans we sit in the windows at night to blow OUT and thereby draw in the cool night air through the bedroom window. These tend to start having slow starts about every other year or so, and a good clean and lube like this brings them right back to good condition. We RARELY have to replace one, and we have been doing this for 40 years or so.

    Note how you take the motors apart, though; you want them to go back together in the exact same position/relationship between the two ends and the middle of the motor that they were in when you took them apart. I draw a line with a permanent marker which leaves a mark on both end caps and the center of the motor, then line that up when I re-assemble.

    When re-assembling, spin the shaft as you snug down each of the bolts to make sure you have not managed to get the shaft in a bind; you will have to move back and forth, around and around, until you get everything fairly tight and the shaft still free.
  18. luv2weld

    luv2weld New Member

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    I see that no one has mentioned that the bath fan is probably gunked up with hair spray.
    If a woman or teenage female was ever in that bathroom, it's a sure bet that it's covered with old dry hairspray.
    I think the others are right about the bushings are in need of a little attention. Personally, I like One Lube for fan bushings.
    No affiliation with them, just my personal choice for the job.

    Ralph
  19. time2shoot

    time2shoot Active Member

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    Kitchen fan is more than likly grees, replace it.
    Bathroom, smoke and humidity. yes it will carode, the smoke helps speed that up. ben there done that. even stainless steel will rust. replace it. your box fan, by a new one. take fins and motoer out of old fram you now have a target stand.:D
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2012
  20. CJ_56

    CJ_56 New Member

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    I haven't seen one person here give you the WARNING you need to hear. Heck yes you could get a fire going with burnt electric motors. I just had a floor fan burn out two days ago. I turned it on and noticed it was running slow. Then I noticed the smoke and the sparks flying. The windings in an AC motor can and do burn out. They can and do start fires especially one that has been sucking cooking oil for who knows how long.

    Replace the fans. The chances of fixing them are very slight. You might take them to an electric motor repair shop. They will likely charge you more than a new fan would cost. They are mostly for impossible to replace fans. Check the brand name on your fans. Some have lifetime warranties. My fan that burned up has one but it will cost more to ship it than it would to buy another one.

    Still the main issue here is that fans absolutely can start a fire. And if you spray the wrong lube into an electric motor you are almost guaranteed to start a fire. They all take very specific lube and if you mix different lubes it will actually make them less likely to spin free anyway.

    I used to work in a factory that built fans. I know a little about them. Not a lot but enough to know that motors can and do start fires. Take one of the fans apart (if you can - most these days can't even be taken apart without a sledge hammer - it's because they know re-winding an electric motor is a waste of time and money so they don't make the motors accessible). If you see any black material or if you smell any burnt smell then forget your fans. If you see the windings you'll know why it's a major, major headache to fix one. All that copper has to be replaced and wound on the frame exactly so so. It's a nightmare to do unless you have pro level equipment. DC motors are bad enough. They can often be fixed by replacing brushes. But AC motors rarely can. Only third world countries even use brushes in AC motors. I have actually received some brushes with tools I've bought but those were cheap, made in China tools that I bought to use once or twice a year. Some AC motors do have brushes. But if you see or smell anything burnt forget your fans. And that's "if" you can take the motor apart to see the windings.
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2012
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