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Wherein Scrottie Saves the Day

After yesterday's head-scratching, I had a conversation with scrottie this morning about how fan motors work. He took a class on small engine repair sometime back in high school, and so I often happily defer to him on such problems, when they arise. After all, my general default is to just use non-motorized alternatives.

He pointed out that there really aren't a lot of moving parts that can wear out on these little shaded pole motors, so chances are pretty good that the thing is squeaking because something's wearing out a bit, and the whole thing can be resolved simply with the aid of a little 3-in-1 oil.

He was right. Also, I love it whenever I can find a video of a dude-bro explaining how to do a repair (thanks, dude-bro!).

When I dug around in the fan that had been squeaking (the one I photographed yesterday was actually working fine), I found a few remnants of small, broken threads wrapped around the shaft (I didn't actually take the motor apart because the fan blades are pressed on there pretty well). I think the threads are bits of nylon, from the nylon that had been used for box covers. That would explain why I never had any problems in Texas - I didn't make nylon mesh lids for my cricket boxes there.

I might still get a spare fan motor or two, just in case.


( 8 remarks — Remark )
Mar. 10th, 2016 03:03 am (UTC)
It's funny about mechanical things that way. I'm glad it ended up being simple! Cleaning and tightening is the equivalent of "turn it off and turn it back on again."

You'll appreciate this story, I think. We have central air in our condo, and the a/c unit is a very old one, located in the attic, instead of outside of the building. We only run the a/c about 12-15 nights a year, when it's oppressively hot, so I'm not used to hearing it all the time. Last summer we ran it for about two weeks, and I noticed that when the compressor kicked on, the unit started squeaking loudly. I called the service guy, and he came and cleaned and checked the entire unit. Everything looked great, no problems. What was causing the squeaking? One of the metal hangars that attached the unit to a ceiling beam was a tiny bit loose, and when the compressor kicked on, the vibrations would cause the hanger to squeak against the wood. Solution? Tighten back up the hanger. No more squeaks. Sigh!
Mar. 10th, 2016 04:50 am (UTC)
Oooh, I should have thought of that. Duh.
Mar. 11th, 2016 10:11 pm (UTC)
And then, bah! Both times I've tried lubricating it, it has worked for a day and then gone back to its screeching ways. My boss is happy to replace it with a muffin fan, though. Getting something with the right air flow rate is important for this application because these fans blow the air across a cooler unit. So back to the drawing board, but at least it's a well-informed drawing board at this stage!
Mar. 12th, 2016 02:56 am (UTC)
Wheel bearing grease, maybe. Oil may not stay around long enough.
Mar. 22nd, 2016 07:33 pm (UTC)
I have murdered nearly every ceiling fan we've ever had. So much sadness.
Mar. 24th, 2016 12:02 am (UTC)
Mar. 25th, 2016 06:36 pm (UTC)
bathroom ventilation fans, how to destroy
I run them 24 hours a day, because I like things DRY. I sometimes vacuum the little grille thing without turning them off and the resulting dust storm pretty much destroys them right away. It's like when planes fly through volcanic ash clouds. So, so bad.
Mar. 28th, 2016 04:40 pm (UTC)
Re: bathroom ventilation fans, how to destroy
Hmm, maybe you, too, should replace your bathroom fan with a muffin-style fan! ;-)
( 8 remarks — Remark )

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