My thermostatic attic roof vent fan made these horrible screeching noises and died.
I can turn the blades but it takes a lot of force where it should spin easily. I cut the power to it until I can get to fixing it.
This is one job I've never done before. It looks pretty easy to get out; am I going to be able to find an exact replacement? House was built in the 60s.
Mine is a bit tricky. It's held in place by 3 brackets, every 120
degrees,, which bend 90^ at the motor and bolt together to make a circle
right around the motor.
In the past I could remember how I'd done it, but not this time. Maybe
because it's been longer than usual, 13 years, or maybe because I'm old.
IIRC, I only had to loosen the brackets in the past, but this time I
disconnected them at the motor (left them attached at the housing
circumference, and had to work the fan blade step-by-step past the
brackets. Not too hard, but now that I'm done, I realize I could never
get it out without undoing those bolts. . Plus the two wires pulled
out of the BX, later to be pushed back in.
All this from the inside of the attic, of course.
If you live in a city, yes. The motor, nothing else.
The Baltimore met area has about a million people and it has only one
store that sells this stuff. (with two divisions now, but still.)
If you don't live in a city, I'm sure you can find the motor online.
You can call the place I go, Electric Motor Repair, Toll Free:
888-894-4810 and they'll probably give you free information Might even
ship you one, but maybe the same motor woudl be cheaper online.
Today was the first time in 20 years they didn't have the motor in
stock. He says they sell mostly 3-phase now, but they'll have it
tomorrow. He said they might have stocked it at their other location,
but it was too late in the day for me to get there, and it's twice as
Are you saying the fan has been there using the same motor for over 45
years? That's incredible. I put a roof fan in 32 years ago and
starting tomorrow I'm on my 5th or 6th motor. Almost surely the 6th.
This one lasted 13 years or so, but one lasted only 3 years.
Save the old motor so the next time the motor fails, you'll know what to
buy and can buy a new one with out having to go up into the hot attic.
You do have a hot attic don't you? If you don't, maybe that's why the
motor lasted so long.
I doubt the bearings can be lubricated. Any motor that doesn't have to
be lubed for 13 years can't be lubed, in my experience. All the more
so for 45 years.
I should add that some rain bounces off the roof, makes it through the
screen, and lands on the fan motor. Maybe this shortens the life of the
fan, I don't know. I looked at it with intention of putting in a
second layer of screen to stop the mist from reaching the motor, but
didnt' see a practical way to do that.
In the past I don't remember paying more than 50 or 60 for the motor,
though maybe I'm forgetting. Yesterday the motor was 119**. No charge
for shipping because, after paying for it at the retailer, it was a
beautfiul day and I drove 45 miles to the wholesalers. Also went to
Monocacy Battefield National Park and found free air at that particular
**It's 80 pus 14 shipping online, but in the past I bought it right in
Baltimore, and I thought it was less than that. So I paid $26 extra,
but at least it won't arrive while I'm out of town.
My thermostatic attic roof vent fan made these horrible screeching noises
*I have replaced several motors and thermostats for customers. You must ge
t the name and model number and track down the repair parts. Broan and Nut
one parts are available online. Home Depot sells thermostats which work fo
r most fans and they sell replacement motors for one brand. You need a new
motor. If you can't find a replacement, you can have the old one rebuilt
at a motor shop. I usually get a new fan blade as well because the old one
s can be difficult to get off the old motor.
On Thursday, May 14, 2015 at 8:09:13 AM UTC-4, John G wrote:
utone parts are available online. Home Depot sells thermostats which work
for most fans and they sell replacement motors for one brand. You need a n
ew motor. If you can't find a replacement, you can have the old one rebuil
t at a motor shop. I usually get a new fan blade as well because the old o
nes can be difficult to get off the old motor.
Agree. Assuming the rest of it is OK. Some are made with plastic
covers that are shot and starting to crack, fall apart, after 20 years.
If the rest of it is OK, then good chance you can find a motor and
replace it. HD has them and I recently replaced one, it fit perfectly.
It was the type where a metal band goes around the motor, with 3
brackets then attaching to the fan housing. I think HD only had one
type though, but it probably fits multiple brand fans.
If the whole thing needs to be replaced, that's a bit more involved,
but still not too bad, if you have some basic roofing skills or are
willing to look at some videos to learn. You just need to remove
some shingles, replace the fan, put new shingles back, etc. Only
special tool you'd need is one of those pry bar type gizmos that
you use to get under shingle nails and remove them. Of course
how accessible the roof is would be a factor too. If it's just the
motor, that can be done from inside the attic.
Mine quit working and I left it alone.
Then a few years later I needed a new roof and roofer replaced it with a
Mine was tough to access as I had to crawl through a panel in my closet.
Neighbor had one that caught fire. It was late at night and could have
been serious if another neighbor had not seen the flames on the roof.
Glad I no longer have the fan and passive one seems OK as roof is in
good shape even after 25 years.
On Thursday, May 14, 2015 at 9:21:30 AM UTC-4, Frank wrote:
That's a good point. From what I see, most of the experts are in
favor of ridge venting, using natural ventilation, and they aren't
too keen on an attic fan. One problem with an attic fan is that
if it's not sized right, it can create negative pressure in the attic,
which in turn sucks air conditioned air from the living space through
recessed lights, electrical outlets, access hole, etc.
On Thursday, May 14, 2015 at 10:05:04 AM UTC-4, trader_4 wrote:
I've been reading about passive roof venting and it does seem to have advantages.
I think my roof will need replacement in about 5 years and that would be the time to do that.
But the little hole the fan sticks through doesn't seem big enough to go that direction now, I think I'll replace the motor.
I live in the path of the East Coast hurricanes, I figure there's a good chance to get the roof paid by insurance if I wait it out.
I wouldn't count on that. Around here insurers use Google Earth and even
local adjusters to take pictures of roofs so that they can pro-rate yours.
If they don't have a picture, for some reason, they'll just figure
depreciation based on when the roof was last done.
On Thursday, May 14, 2015 at 11:07:37 PM UTC-4, Robert Green wrote:
I've actually had people stop at my house and say they'll replace my roof for free, they see storm damage and they can convince the insurance company.
No way I'm touching that kind of contractor! Aside from the moral issue, anybody willing to cheat the insurance company is probably willing to cheat me, and won't do quality work.
On Friday, May 15, 2015 at 8:05:47 AM UTC-4, TimR wrote:
If they can legitimately convince the insurance company to
do it, why do you have a problem with it? I had a roofing
contractor on site to argue with my insurance company and he
pointed out many things the adjuster missed, increasing the
claim. Nothing wrong with that.
If anything, having the roofer there, prevented the insurance
company from screwing me. A good example of that, was interestingly,
an attic fan. It had a plastic cover that the wind tore off.
We were almost done, the roofer was headed back to his truck
and the adjuster told me that they would only pay for a "new
cover". I tried to tell her there is no such thing, you can't
go by a new plastic top cover part for a 25 year old fan.
You can't even typically buy one for a new fan. She wouldn't
budge. So, I yelled down to the roofer, he told her I was
right, and another $200 was added to the total.
If you're saying the roofer in your case wanted to go tear
more shingles off your house, commit fraud, then that's a
On Friday, May 15, 2015 at 9:45:01 AM UTC-4, trader_4 wrote:
eat me, and won't do quality work.
There wasn't any damage I could see. It's not a new roof but still in appa
rently good shape. He said he would swear there was hail damage and the in
surance company would be okay with it. Maybe...........but it seemed a goo
d chance it might be fraud, and if so I wouldn't trust them to do a quality
They declined to leave a card "in case I changed my mind." Just saying.
I understand the depreciation,, but not your first point. How can they
see the condition of hte roof from Google earth. Does it zoom in more
than google satellite? I don't think google satellite gets close
enough to tell codition. (Can't try Google earth because it has
crashed Firefox for me for the last few years.)
Right on all three points.
Is your fan motor really 45 years old? Where do you live and how
many hours a day did your fan run?
On Thursday, May 14, 2015 at 11:07:37 PM UTC-4, Robert Green wrote:
That depends on the terms of the policy. If you have replacement
cost coverage, then they pay for the full replacement cost of
the badly damaged roof planes, without depreciation.
Not saying it's a good strategy to gamble and wait though.
What I'd be worried about would be that while you could get
insurance to pay for a major portion of the new roof, you
also have a good chance that you'll have water damage. Of
course the insurance company will cover that too, but is it
worth going through it? Will they give you enough to cover
everything that needs to be repaired, etc. With a new roof,
it might survive a hurricane with no damage, or just a few
shingles blown off.
On Fri, 15 May 2015 06:35:41 -0700 (PDT), trader_4
It depends a lot on what state you live in. Florida homeowner
insurance needs a rider for wind storm damage (similar to flood),
usually twice as much as your fire and liability. Even then there is a
very large deductible. Seldom will simply replacing the roof shingles
even be worth a claim.
I never really thought of this before reading your post about how a passive
roof venting system may have some advantages, but...,
I wonder what it would cost to have a roofer just add a new ridge vent to an
existing roof without doing a whole new roof? If I am not mistaken, I think
they just do two cuts along the ridge line, remove what is there between the
two cuts, and then add a new ridge vent over the newly-created opening.
On Friday, May 15, 2015 at 12:31:08 PM UTC-4, TomR wrote:
That's about the size of it. Run a saw down both sides, make about a 2"
opening. Ridge vent goes over it. They come in a variety of ways, from
rigid plastic to roll of foam type material. I'd go with the rigid style.
Then new cap shingles go on top.
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