Fan blade breakage

My ceiling fan has 4-blades and appears to be in good shape, but 2 of the blades (on opposite sides) just broke off while the fan was running. They just flew off...fortunately nobody was hurt. Oddly, the breaking point was near the middle of the bracket that connects the blade to the rotating part. (The part where the bracket is screwed to the blade is still intact, and the part where the bracket is screwed to the rotating part is still intact.)
Questions: If I find replacement blades, is it worth replacing them? What could have caused the breakage? Are the remaining 2 blades likely to break soon?
Thank you.
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Cieling fans are pretty cheap, toss the breaking one in the TRASH ASAP.
Sibce other blades may have the same defect
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I agree. Someone can get seriously hurt or even killed.

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Oh gees! If someone were killed by a fan blade it would be all over the tvnews and repeated every 5 minutes for the next month and then repeated with big investigative stories every 2-3 months for years. One would begin to believe that people were dying by the droves with fan blades through the heart. Have you ever heard of anyone being killed or even hurt by a broken blade from a ceiling fan? If so the death rate is probably 1 person per 20 years.
Bgreer5050 wrote:

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New blades will approach the cost of a new unit. Yes, the other two may be nearing the breaking point also.
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On Sun 01 Jan 2006 09:15:20a, Thus Spake Zarathustra, or was it Edwin Pawlowski?

If it was a very expensive fan (some are), then it would probabaly be worth ordering a new matched set of 4 blades. Otherwise, I would also toss it and buy new.
Ceiling fan blades should *always* be ordered in matched sets of all blades. Most companies balance these sets at the factory.
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Wayne Boatwright **
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

would be pretty simple and economical to replace, assuming the flying blades weren't damaged. Sounds like a case of metal fatigue or just poor quality.
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Just for the group's benefit - any brand name on this dangerous sucker?
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Contact the manfacturer, send them a photo, I bet you get a new fan free. Contact the consumer product saftey commission it might be on their warning or recall list or add your name. The fan co is liable for any damages in this. Dont bother fixing it , blade brackets will be as much as a new fan and maybe defective as well.
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great idea contacting the manufacturer, did that eons ago with a toaster oven whos glass dore shattered when heating, company sent us a brand new one for free.
lucky no one got hurt.
company undoubetdly tracks such reports and will already know their cieling fan has troubles
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Must be something about glass and heat. I had the glass on one of those clamp-on yellow rectangular halogen worklights shatter about 5 minutes into its first lighting up.
The distributor sent me a new glass which has held up fine for dozens of uses since then.
Happy New Year,
Jeff
--
Jeffry Wisnia

(W1BSV + Brass Rat \'57 EE)
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The manufacturer may instead just basically ignore you, even if you mention (or threaten) that you will be calling the CPSC. If you feel strongly about it (as in, you are pretty sure this isn't your fault somehow), go ahead and then call the CPSC and report it. You can then reasonably expect to hear back from the company, and maybe get your replacement fan (or at least blades) for free.
Short personal story: This has been my experience, especially when safety is involved. Sharp customer service repeatedly ignored our pleas to fix or even help explain a microwave gone berzerk (heating with door open). I felt pretty strongly (my 2yr old was standing right infront of the door when I opened it!), so called the CPSC. I quickly got a followup call from "Marcy", who clearly knew what was what, and treated me with courtesy and respect. She arranged a repair, then when that turned up nothing, got an engineer at Sharp to explain what was going on, then followed up a few weeks later and then again a few months later just to make sure I was still a happy customer.
PS -- the "microwave on with door open" turned out to be a false alarm in this case. If one of the redundant door switches fails (e.g, one says "closed" and other says "open"), then the microwave (this one, at least) shuts of the microwave element but powers up the rest of the cycle (fan on, light on, turntable on). The engineer explained that this is their cute idea of a hard-to-ignore warning, as it should scare any reasonable consumer into getting an immediate repair. Sure as hell scared me -- its just totally unexpected to have the microwave seem power up when your hand is inside!
-Kevin
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The cause depends on the age and amount of use of the fan.
If fairly new and the fasteners were tight then poor quality is likely.
Older unit with slightly loose fasteners and I would go with metal fatigue.
If it is a quality unit then check costs of new blades and brackets or just brackets.
Consumer affairs might be interested in a report. They will know if there is a reported problem. Same for manufacturers support line.
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If the fan was never set up properly in the first place without the use of a harmonic balance than the wobble caused the fatique in the first place. You can use just about any 4 blades and brackets as long as they are all equal in size, weight and will bolt up properly.

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On Mon, 02 Jan 2006 00:29:42 GMT, "Dan Parrell"

The fan blade is probably one of those particle board types. When it broke there won't be enough mass momentum or sharp edges to kill anyone. A bruise at worst if it hit someone.
My suspicion on why it broke is probably the bolts were overtightened when they were installed. With particle board fan blades this over tightening could have cracked the board. Bolt tension held the blades in place. With time and use blades worked loose. One missing blade would cause enough wobble to throw the others too.
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Negative. The brackets broke in the middle. The blades have no cracks. The bolts are all still in place. The fan worked well without wobbling for years and we have no kids to mess with it.
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snipped-for-privacy@onebox.com wrote:

Maybe your kids were using it as a ride, and when it broke they just put it back together enough to make it look ok.

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this unit may have been assembled improperly, played with by kids, bumped by your helper's ladder or mop handle, or had a defect. buy a nice big new one with a light kit and remote control and enjoy it.
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47 listed fans at: http://search.cpsc.gov/query.html?qtiling+fans
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