Oil/plastic smell from fan, want to clean/oil motor

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Over the years, the fans I buy are getting worse and worse smelling. Some will smell like machine oil, others will smell heavily like plastic, and so me will smell like diesel (of course it's not diesel, but that's the closes t thing I can compare it to). These smells do not fade with the months or years. I'm quite sensitive to these fumes, and end up coughing like crazy for hours after. The phenomena of increasingly smelly products seems to be well known, judging from what I've found on the web. It doesn't matter ho w high end you try to buy, the smell doesn't seem to be correlated. Even m ostly metal fans are afflicted with this problem.
The fan that I found to be the least obnoxious in the past was Sunbeam SSF1 600RC oscillating stand fan: (Amazon.com product link shortened) (Amazon.com product link shortened) 01R1XJ9A
However, the more recent ones I've bought exude the oil/plastic smell, espe cially when the ambient temperature is hot and/or it has been running for a n hour or so. No worse than other fans. But it gets me worried. Either j oin the ranks of large quantity electricity users and get A/C (and banish f resh air from my apartment forever), swelter in unimaginable heat, or breat h the fumes and eventually die. As I do not know what is causing the smell , I am not sure whether I can do anything about it. If it is hot plastic, likely not. If it's bad oil, maybe I can oil the motor and hope that the g ood quality oil I use will displace the bad original oil. I know, it's mor e likely they will mix and stay there forever, but I'm really out of option s.
I haven't given it a look-see and try. I've been trying to find instructio ns, pictures, or videos on the web showing how to get at the inside. Would anyone know of such material? I have no fear that I will void the warrant y (which I certainly will) -- when you can't breathe, a warranty becomes un important. As far as maiming myself in the process, there is nothing in th e instruction booklet warning about dangers of self servicing (most other p roducts these days say that there are no consumer-servicable parts, but thi s one doesn't say that).
Apart from how to take it apart, can any respiratorily challenged person re commend a fan that does *not* have such a smell? It seems impossible to fi nd these days as they all come from the same place.
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On Tue, 25 Jun 2013 22:39:27 -0700, franklin.macintosh wrote:

My DeWalt portable drill always smells like ozone, the moment I use it.
Dunno why ... but I'll lurk on this thread to find out what causes that particular odor ...
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On Wed, 26 Jun 2013 06:27:33 +0000, Danny D. wrote:

Can you post a picture of that smell?
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On Wed, 26 Jun 2013 06:24:28 +0000 (UTC), Eddie Powalski

Please upload the odor to youtube, or place it in your smellevision.
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Just dial him up on the smellephone. . Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org . .

Please upload the odor to youtube, or place it in your smellevision.
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On Wed, 26 Jun 2013 06:27:33 +0000 (UTC), "Danny D."

Ozone is generated by motor brushes, maybe especially when there is sparking between the brushes and the commutator. My Lionel train smelled of ozone. I miss the smell.
Almost no consumer fans have brushes. (I'm not saying other fans do.)

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I have a dc fan in the trailer, but it blows out. It also has a dc heater/ blower fan in the propane heater.
Greg
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wrote:

You'r e right. I should have said almost no AC consumer fans.
Brushless fans depend on current being AC to induce current in the rotor.
DC fans have to have brushes, iirc.

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On Tue, 25 Jun 2013 22:39:27 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

smell like machine oil, others will smell heavily like plastic, and some will smell like diesel (of course it's not diesel, but that's the closest thing I can compare it to).
It gets worse. One of my fan smells of uranium, the other of plutonium.

these fumes, and end up coughing like crazy for hours after. The phenomena of increasingly smelly products seems to be well known, judging from what I've found on the web. It doesn't matter how high end you try to buy, the smell doesn't seem to be correlated. Even mostly metal fans are afflicted with this problem.
I believe you. The notion that spending more money gets one something better is not so true anymore. More features, probably, but quality, not always.
Although my nose is not sensitive and I haven't noticed any smells.

especially when the ambient temperature is hot and/or it has been running for an hour or so. No worse than other fans. But it gets me worried. Either join the ranks of large quantity electricity users and get A/C (and banish fresh air from my apartment forever), swelter in unimaginable heat, or breath the fumes and eventually die. As I do not know what is causing the smell, I am not sure whether I can do anything about it. If it is hot plastic, likely not. If it's bad oil, maybe I can oil the motor and hope that the good quality oil I use will displace the bad original oil.
Cheap motors would have sleeve bearings, just a tube, and a place in the front and rear for oiling them. A little hole in the top of the rear, and an upward facing scoop just above the shaft in the front.
Better motors, and I don't know if this includes fans without oil holes, have oil impregnated bearings. The bearing material (metal) is made porous or mixed with oil somehow and when the bearing gets hot, oil comes to the surface, at the rotating shaft. This is considered good because you don't have to oil the motor.

pictures, or videos on the web showing how to get at the inside. Would anyone know of such material? I have no fear that I will void the warranty (which I certainly will) -- when you can't breathe, a warranty becomes unimportant. As far as maiming myself in the process, there is nothing in the instruction booklet warning about dangers of self servicing (most other products these days say that there are no consumer-servicable parts, but this one doesn't say that).

recommend a fan that does *not* have such a smell? It seems impossible to find these days as they all come from the same place.
I would look for older fans at thrift shops. Don't be afraid to plug them in before you buy one, at thrift shops or retail stores. Let it spin for 10 minutes or however long it takes other fans to make the smells.
Fans do wear out, but most of them from the 30's -70's have another 20 years left in them.
I finally burned out my fan from 1932 iirc,** but I have other fans from the 30's or 40's. I'd have more but my father left us a couple from his office when he died in 1955, I bought a couple at yard sales, and I figure I have enough. Especially since I find new fans acceptable.
**I found a 4" fan that would sit on my window sill and blow fresh air on me when I'm sleeping. http://www.walmart.com/ip/Optimus-F-4040-4-Personal-Metal-Fan/25209563 I hate to mention walmart but last August it was the only store nearby that had a 4" fan in stock. In fact they had 20 and they were marked down.
It turns oout the same fan is sold under more than one brand name for prices ranging from 12 to 24 dollars, and it's the ONLY 4" fan for sale. This was true last September and it's still true today. It's angle is adjustable, supposedly, but it is loose (even after I tried 6 of them and picked the best) and I don't see a good way to tighten it that is likely to stay tight. Plus it gets knocked off the window sill when I close the window (of course in the really hot nights, I won't be closing the window. I'm going to nail the wire frame to the sill when i have some time and more experience where it shoudl go.
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Frank,
I suspect that most cheap fans have permanently lubed bearings. I doubt that lubing the bearings will accomplish much. Won't hurt to try if you are a DIY person. Light machine oil like 3 in 1. Do others complain of the smell? Have you spoken to your physician about your sensory and respiratory problems? If you are using window box fans, turn them around so they are blowing out rather than in.
Dave M.
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Thanks, Micky, David.
Finding an older fan might be a solution. It might be hard to test them fo r an hour or more specifically on a hot day. For the near term, I'm going to try breaking into my fan and lubing it with 3-in-1 oil.
Yes, I've gotten checked out. While I tend to be on the sensitive side, no thing particularly wrong except for a tendency to be bothered by the usual things that others are (dust mites, cat hair, etc.).
The idea of pointing the fan out is good if I want to replace the air the r oom. For example, to clear it of smoke. But I'm really after the cooling, which requires the breeze.
I am hoping that cleaning and lubing will lead to some relief. However, I have run into a problem. Two of the latches on the front face of the motor appear to be designed specifically to prevent the disassembly of the housi ng. I posted a picture at
http://i42.tinypic.com/2z5j093.jpg" target="_images" rel="nofollow">
http://i42.tinypic.com/2z5j093.jpg">
http://i42.tinypic.com/2z5j093.jpg
T he hooks at 12 o'clock, 10 o'clock, and 2 o'clock can bend and slip through the hole when the face is lifted forward. But the face can't lift forward because the clips at 5 o'clock and 7 o'clock cannot bend. They are blocke d by plastic tabs. It makes me wonder how they ever manage to snap the fac e plate on.
I'm open to suggestions as to how to get past this road block. Thanks in a dvance.
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I'd avoid three in one, as it is more likely to vapor, and gum up. Compared to two stroke mixing oil.
Yoururlwassurroundedbyothertext,soI
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it out, now my news reader finds it to be clickable. I'll view the image, in a moment. . Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org . .
Finding an older fan might be a solution. It might be hard to test them for an hour or more specifically on a hot day. For the near term, I'm going to try breaking into my fan and lubing it with 3-in-1 oil.
Two of the latches on the front face of the motor appear to be designed specifically to prevent the disassembly of the housing. I posted a picture at [IMG]
http://i42.tinypic.com/2z5j093.jpg
[/IMG] The hooks at 12 o'clock, 10 o'clock, and 2 o'clock can bend and slip through the hole when the face is lifted forward. But the face can't lift forward because the clips at 5 o'clock and 7 o'clock cannot bend. They are blocked by plastic tabs. It makes me wonder how they ever manage to snap the face plate on.
I'm open to suggestions as to how to get past this road block. Thanks in advance.
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Frank,
Looking at your picture I don't understand why you don't cut the blocking tabs if the clips don't need the tabs to function. Getting this thing apart does not look hard. If worst comes to worst cut the clips and use glue to reassemble.
Dave M.
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Duct tape! The fifth attractive force. . Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org . .
Frank,
Looking at your picture I don't understand why you don't cut the blocking tabs if the clips don't need the tabs to function. Getting this thing apart does not look hard. If worst comes to worst cut the clips and use glue to reassemble.
Dave M.
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Darn. I pasted the URL with the IMG tags cuz that's what the host website said to do. Not for usenet, I guess. :( Thanks for pulling it apart to v isit the picture. And Dremel seems perfect for the job (I'll try to keep t he plastic bits from spraying inward, but I suspect some will get in).
And thanks for the heads up on the 3-in-1. I shall find out about 2-stroke /cycle gas mixing oil: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two-stroke_oil . Odd t hat it is mixed with gasoline and meant to be combusted. However, I'm not pretending to be mechanically proficient!
As for cutting the tabs, I hadn't really thought about physically "damaging " the fan, but it ain't doing any good sitting unused. So might as well.
I don't know anyone who's mechanically minded but I'll see if there is a re putable Mom & Pop repair shop around where they person doesn't mind a spect ator as he/she takes a crack at cleaning and lubing the thing.
Thank you for the ideas and know-how, Stormin Christopher, David.
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Some thoughts struck me (happens once in a while) due to responses in anoth er forum. That person uses a stationary fan and doesn't experience the sam e problem. So far, I've been thinking of the electromechanical part as jus t the motor. But there are also the gears that are responsible for the osc illation. They might not be lubricated as a common unit. I mean, most con sumer appliances with fans usually aren't user-servicable because the lubri cant for the motor is sealed in. So there might be a good chance that the gears for oscillation are treated separately from the motor as far as lubri cation is concerned. It might not be the same lubricant. But the external lubricant is likely the one creating the scent, if the problem is due to l ubricant. If so, and if there's a way to disassemble all the gears and cle an them of the old lubricant and use "good" lubricant, that might solve the problem. Of course, if heat is causing the lubricant to evaporate into th e air, this may happen regardless of what lubricant is used. And if warm p lastic is a contributing factor, then successfully dealing with the lubrica nt might solve only half (or none) of the problem.
Anyway, I've been unable to follow up on this until recenly. Following up on my last post by browsing for local service shops. Haven't mangled the face plate of the motor housing yet, so I haven't seen the motor and gears. Has anyone ever had the opportunity to disassemble and clean the gears of an oscillating fan? Does it seem like a reasonable thing to do for a nons pecialist? What kind of solvent would be good for removing all the old lub ricant? I suspect that some moving parts will be plastic. And what would be a good lubricant that would be resistant to heat induced vaporization?
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It seems impossible to find these days as they all come from the same place. Yeah, those fans are just getting worse and worse.... may I suggest one that was lubed from the factory with genuine whale oil, if that's not possible, buy a pack of Pall Malls ... Red 100's the tall red package... smoke a couple of those in the morning another couple maybe three in the afternoon and if needed a couple more in the evening.. the fan smell won't be as noticeable after smoking those for a few days.
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Why was I thinking the same thing.
Greg
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On Wed, 26 Jun 2013 18:57:36 -0500, Fat-Dumb and Happy

Outstanding. And they are mild.

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I hear you about the smell. Can't give you any tips on disassembly. As to the smell, I'd find a friend who is mechanically minded. Have her (him) clean out the fan bearings with aerosol brake or carburetor cleaner. Relube with two cycle gas mixing oil. That's a good grade of ND30 or nearly that viscosity, and fairly pure oil. Run the fan outdoors for an hour or so, to clear out the vapors that remain.
Good luck, that sounds like no fun at all. I hope that helps. . Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org . .
Over the years, the fans I buy are getting worse and worse smelling. Some will smell like machine oil, others will smell heavily like plastic, and some will smell like diesel (of course it's not diesel, but that's the closest thing I can compare it to). These smells do not fade with the months or years. I'm quite sensitive to these fumes, and end up coughing like crazy for hours after. The phenomena of increasingly smelly products seems to be well known, judging from what I've found on the web. It doesn't matter how high end you try to buy, the smell doesn't seem to be correlated. Even mostly metal fans are afflicted with this problem.
The fan that I found to be the least obnoxious in the past was Sunbeam SSF1600RC oscillating stand fan: (Amazon.com product link shortened) (Amazon.com product link shortened) B001R1XJ9A
However, the more recent ones I've bought exude the oil/plastic smell, especially when the ambient temperature is hot and/or it has been running for an hour or so. No worse than other fans. But it gets me worried. Either join the ranks of large quantity electricity users and get A/C (and banish fresh air from my apartment forever), swelter in unimaginable heat, or breath the fumes and eventually die. As I do not know what is causing the smell, I am not sure whether I can do anything about it. If it is hot plastic, likely not. If it's bad oil, maybe I can oil the motor and hope that the good quality oil I use will displace the bad original oil. I know, it's more likely they will mix and stay there forever, but I'm really out of options.
I haven't given it a look-see and try. I've been trying to find instructions, pictures, or videos on the web showing how to get at the inside. Would anyone know of such material? I have no fear that I will void the warranty (which I certainly will) -- when you can't breathe, a warranty becomes unimportant. As far as maiming myself in the process, there is nothing in the instruction booklet warning about dangers of self servicing (most other products these days say that there are no consumer-servicable parts, but this one doesn't say that).
Apart from how to take it apart, can any respiratorily challenged person recommend a fan that does *not* have such a smell? It seems impossible to find these days as they all come from the same place.
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