Ceiling fan rotating too slowly; replacing switch didn't help

Greetings all!
I have two Hunter ceiling fans which are about 5 years old, and which receive a relatively low amount of use (pretty much only in the summer). They have always been set on "high" and they used to rotate at the same rate.
Some time ago, it was obvious that one of the fans was rotating noticeably slower than the other, even though both fans were set on "high." Upon further inspection, it seemed like the trouble might lie in the speed switch for the slower fan -- both fans rotated at the same rate when both were set at medium, and the troubled fan seemed to rotate at the same rate regardless of whether the switch was set to "high" or "medium."
It seemed to me that the switch might be broken, and that instead of going "off-high-medium-low" on successive chain pulls, it was going "off-medium-medium-low."
Hunter was nice enough to send me an identical replacement switch, but after replacing the switch, I find that the problem persists.
I can't imagine that I wired it wrong because all I had to do was to replicate the original wiring plan of: Black = L, Brown = 2, Green 3, Gray = 1. Is there any wiring plan that would produce the apparent "off-medium-medium-low" pattern I have?
I notice many of the wires crammed into that small space connect to other wires via plastic connectors, and I imagine that if there was some bad connection, the fan wouldn't rotate at all, right? Or might it be the case that a bad connection could allow the fan to rotate but prevent it from going to high?
Some time ago, this fan suffered a slight trauma when a blade hit a ladder I was carrying; it slightly dented one blade. Also, it may be worth noting that neither fan wobbles much at all, but the troubled fan does wobble a bit more than its mate. I don't think the slight trauma, nor the slight wobble are serious enough to noticeably impact the performance of the fan, but I just thought I'd mention those factors.
So, any guesses as to what can be wrong, and how I should go about further diagnosing or repairing it?
Thanks very much for any advice,
Chuck
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My ceiling fan requires oil for the bearings.
Might be time for some oil. Look on top of the fan motor and see if there is a spot for oil.

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The speed control on these is implemented by switching a capacitor in series with the fan motor. When set to "high", the motor is connected directly to 110 volts. The "medium" position inserts a capacitor of some value and the "low" setting inserts a different capacitor in series. In this application, the capacitors act something akin to a resistor, reducing the speed of the motor. (Let's not have any responses from you double E's out there. I just did not feel like getting into the intricacies of capacitive reactance and all). The capacitors reside next to the switch, usually, and are tubular, usually. They are about 1" long and 3/8" - 1/2" in diameter. It sounds like one of these may have gone south. I think I've seen replacements at Lowes. If not, and the fan is also controlled by a wall switch, you may consider installing a wall mounted speed control (Lowes). Leave the fan pull switch on "high".

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xcellent answer. The capacitor kits are sold at Home Depot for sure.

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The original poster said he replaced the whole switch, capacitors and all, it didn't help!

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wrote:

Perhaps I am just reading his orginal post wrong but I don't see a mention of the capacitor in there. I think the other posters are on targe reccomending that he replace that next.
Steve B.
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I'm no expert. In fact, I didn't know that the speed controls used capacitors at all. Yet the above advice seems unlikely to be correct.
For one thing, you say that the "high speed" condition results from the motor being connected to line voltage WITHOUT a capacitor in series. Since it's the high speed that doesn't work correctly I don't see how a defective cap could be the cause. More likely it would be a wiring error that had the motor being fed by one of the capacitors even in the "high" position.
But that brings me to my second problem with this theory. The original poster mentioned that the speed control unit has three wires to connect. I can't think of a way that a switch with only three connections could allow a choice between two different capacitors (in series with the line)plus unmodified line voltage, unless the capacitors were in the unit itself. But if they were, then they would have been replaced when he put in the new unit.
I don't have a solution. If it really is a set of capacitors lowering the voltage to the motor that makes the change (as opposed to say, two windings in the motor) then I would suggest measuring the voltage going to the motor on the good fan and the bad fan. That should shed some light on the situation. While you're at it, see how many wires actually go into the motor.
Greg Guarino
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Series caps are practical for loads of 5 watts or less. Above that, they get large and expensive. They may be in series with a low-power field winding...
Nick
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