I think my fan is dying!

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Forum topic by gfadvm posted 07-12-2012 02:58 AM 1548 views 0 times favorited 25 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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14940 posts in 2689 days

07-12-2012 02:58 AM

Topic tags/keywords: fan problem

I have one of those 32” diameter pedestal shop fans that just started getting hot and shutting down until it cools off. Then it starts again and runs for a while, shuts down….. I took the case off and blew it out with compressed air (but it really wasn’t vey dirty). This is an essential tool but I hate to spend $300 for a new one if it is salvagable. I don’t see any way to lube anything and the blade spins easily with no grinding or wobble (like a bad bearing). Any suggestions would be appreciated as it’s getting hot in the shop without it.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

25 replies so far

View Dusty56's profile


11819 posts in 3686 days

#1 posted 07-12-2012 03:04 AM

3-in-1 oil ....lube the bearings at both ends of the shaft…yearly to do thing on my fan : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View DIYaholic's profile


19620 posts in 2673 days

#2 posted 07-12-2012 03:04 AM

Does the motor have overload protection? If so perhaps that component is the culprit.

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

29226 posts in 2337 days

#3 posted 07-12-2012 03:07 AM

Unfortunately with electric motors there are other things than dirt that can kill it. If it is very old the insulation could be breaking down on the wiring and causing it to overheat. Could also be a bad (loose) wiring connection going to the motor causing it to overheat. If the blade turns freely then you can check into these. In most areas there are shops that can put new windings in the motor. Either way they can check it and tell you what’s wrong. Hope it helps.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View rance's profile


4258 posts in 3159 days

#4 posted 07-12-2012 03:09 AM

No Andy, I’m not dying. Go Andy, Go Andy, Go Andy. Rah rah rah. Go Andy. See, I am your biggest fan and I’m not dying. :)

Seriously, bummer man. Another possibility might be a run capacitor if it has one. But I think these fans rarely do. Sorry for not much help.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View patron's profile


13603 posts in 3340 days

#5 posted 07-12-2012 03:13 AM

thanks for the concern andy

i may be slowing down
but not dead yet

perhaps you are referring
to one of your other fans

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Wdwerker's profile


333 posts in 2232 days

#6 posted 07-12-2012 03:17 AM

I also found that cleaning the blades helps. We used some lacquer thinner an got an amazing amount of stain, finish , dirt and dust off the blades. It ran much quieter afterwards. But if the blade spins with no vibration and gets hot it’s probably electrical.

-- Fine Custom Woodwork since 1978

View LittlePaw's profile


1571 posts in 3077 days

#7 posted 07-12-2012 04:15 AM

How about using your air compressor to blow at the motor wen it shuts down. The air should cool it down very quickly. so, how far is the fan from the compressor; or can the hose reach the fan?

-- LittlePAW - The sweetest sound in my shop, next to Mozart, is what a hand plane makes slicing a ribbon.

View Boxguy's profile


2654 posts in 2266 days

#8 posted 07-12-2012 04:30 AM

Andy, I know this sounds improbable, but if you haven’t done so, I would try plugging the fan into a different circuit in the shop. Be ginger around the plug, it might be hot. Even if it doesn’t change how the fan runs, it eliminates a host of possibilities that are not the fan itself such as bad plug-in, bad circuit breaker, bad wiring, a too long or too light extension cord. Not just a different plug-in, a different circuit out of the box, and no extension cord.

-- Big Al in IN

View OnlyJustME's profile


1562 posts in 2375 days

#9 posted 07-12-2012 04:34 AM

First thing i would do, if you can get the motor apart, is check the brushes. They might be worn down too much and arcing causing it to over heat and tripping the overload or something.

-- In the end, when your life flashes before your eyes, will you like what you see?

View bluekingfisher's profile


1250 posts in 2978 days

#10 posted 07-12-2012 08:14 AM

What ever it is get it checked out professionally, the fact that it is tripping suggest something is wrong (obviously) It could be something as simle as a faulty cord or plug. I am sure I don;t have to inform you of the dangers of over heating electrical appliances.

-- No one plans to fail, they just, just fail to plan

View Roger's profile


20928 posts in 2802 days

#11 posted 07-12-2012 12:17 PM

I think bluekingfisher is onto something with electric current. Maybe you’ve got too many things running on that circut????

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2689 days

#12 posted 07-12-2012 01:32 PM

I have already blown it out with compressed air. The plug/cord is not hot at all. Nothing else is plugged in on the same circuit. I’ll oil it and check the brushes (if I can find them!) and get back to you all tonight. Thanks for all the replies. Rance/Patron (the class clowns)- You guys always manage to make me smile.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View nomercadies's profile


589 posts in 2337 days

#13 posted 07-12-2012 02:32 PM

Let us know how the oil thing goes. I have obviously done it wrong before and ended up with oil running out from the center of the rotation, along the blades, and all over the housing … and other places. The brush replacement is something I also would like to know more about. I must follow your adventures. There was a crazy man that worked for a hardware I managed years ago. He took all the fans out back and hit them with a water hose under the highest pressure he could get from the tap. I thought he killed all our fans, but after they dried out in the sun, they ran nicely for a very long time. I rationalized it to the high pressure blowing off the same kind of goo that forms on the blades from inside the motor, stuff that might not be removed with just air. I don’t offer it as a solution because of the craziness of the original experimenter and the possible danger of this operation, but it … did … work.

-- Chance Four "Not Just a Second Chance"

View Bertha's profile


13528 posts in 2692 days

#14 posted 07-12-2012 02:37 PM

$300? Is it blast-proof? Oops, not I’m noticing the 32”. Yeah, that’s a drag to lose a big boy like that. I don’t advocate it either but like Nomercadies mentions, I had a large full-house fan in a New Orleans shotgun house. I hosed out the fan casing with a pressure sprayer once, frustrated, and sure that I’d have to replace it. After a few days in the sun, it started up like a champ.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Tennessee's profile


2873 posts in 2513 days

#15 posted 07-12-2012 02:45 PM

From a guy who rewound motors for the US Navy for three years: There won’t be brushes in that motor. Those are small induction run motors. If the cap was bad it would not start in the first place. My guess is either the overheat protection unit inside the motor is bad, or the varnish on the windings have finally started cracking, causing small shorts in the windings, which lowers the ability of the motor to generate the magnetic field it needs to turn the rotor. The overheat units are usually within the windings, since they have to detect the heat. You probably will not be able to replace that without replacing the motor.
If the fan is worth that much, and you can replace the motor you might consider that, small fan motors are not that expensive.
I’ve had good luck with smaller fans mounted from the ceilings, and they are much cheaper and don’t chew up floor space.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

showing 1 through 15 of 25 replies

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