Reluctant fan

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Yesterday, in this hot weather, my box fan (old, I admit) began starting very very slowly in all three speeds. If I switch speeds back and forth it seems to finally get up to speed. I suspect it will die soon. In the past I've tried tearing apart other fans and oiling their motors for various reasons and it never seemed to help much. I suspect they are permanently lubed at the factory and are sealed from accepting further lube.
Suggestions?
It's a goner?
Ken
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On 7/9/2014 1:25 PM, KenK wrote:

I've got a dual window fan like that. Might have been like that for three years or more but still keeps going.
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That's good news. This one was in the bedroom and got moved to my office when it started making noises when running. The noises stopped.
I wonder if cutting a hole in the plastic grill so I can get a finger in there and give it a spin would help? The blade is turning so slowly that's not dangerous. I do that on an ancient rotary fan whose wire cage makes it simple to do and it's been going that way for years.
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On 7/9/2014 1:54 PM, KenK wrote:

Early in the season, I may push it a little with a stick. The fan has two speeds and may hesitate to start on high and I'll push it. Once started, I run it all night as an exhaust fan and it does not run slower than the other fan in the housing. Just been limping along with it. If I thought it was a safety hazard, I would replace it.
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On 7/9/2014 2:47 PM, Frank wrote:
Just been limping along with it. If

Does overheat, stall, and fire count?
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On 7/9/2014 12:25 PM, KenK wrote:

Take the cover off and clean/lube the fan spindle. You might need to pull off the fan blade to get at it. That usually does it.
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On 7/9/2014 1:25 PM, KenK wrote:

If flipping the switch back and forth actually has an effect on the startup time then it is likely a bad switch. If simply turning the switch to high (the normal first position) and the fan slowly but steadily gets up to speed then the motor is the problem and cleaning and lubricating the bearings could give it a few more years of useful life. Shaded-pole motors have no inherent weakness beyond the bearings that would limit their life - I have some that have been going strong for decades. Modern cheap SP motors have horrible bearings.
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How old is old? As old as this? ;-)
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq121/DerbyDad03/20140709_172646_zpsigoz7kph.jpg
This fan needs a push start maybe 1 out of 20 times, but once it's running, it can dry a soaking wet pair of heavy jeans in a couple of hours. It can be tilted horizontal so it blows straight up, billowing the clothes to dry them inside and out. Sweet machine.
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Old machinist trick may or may not work. Flush with rubbing alcohol (running or not) let dry Apply a few drops of air tool oil. (Can be had from any aftermarket auto parts store)
I've done this with really really old fans and had to repeat ever three or four years.
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On Wednesday, July 9, 2014 6:34:24 PM UTC-4, NotMe wrote:

Maybe it's just me, but when a $20 old fan starts behaving like that, I don't want to keep it around. Sure, it might work for another year or two. Or it might just catch fire one day when you've left it on and are asleep or tending to something else.
Last weekend a NYC firefighter died in an apartment fire. The occupants said they had smelled smoke earlier in the day. According to what I heard on the radio, the fire was apparently caused by an AC plugged into power strip on an extension cord that got pinched by a bedframe, something along those lines.
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On 07/09/2014 05:54 PM, trader_4 wrote:

I agree!!!!
I am probably the cheapest bastard on earth...but I would not waste time with a seized-up motor.
Around here new box fans go for $15 and $3 at a rummage sale.
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Not for nothin' (you said NYC, right?) but I wouldn't equate a faulty fan motor with a power strip/extension cord getting pinched by a bed frame. Sure they could both start fires, but so could a curtain blowing near a stove, a paper plate near a toaster oven or a thousand other things. All I'm sayin' is that the two sitsheeations ain't the same.
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On Wednesday, July 9, 2014 7:17:49 PM UTC-4, DerbyDad03 wrote:

I didn't say they were the same. The point was that in the nyc fire example, the people had warning that something wasn't right and they ignored it. Your other examples are similar things where people should know better. Is it a good idea to think about how you might fix a misbehaving electric fan motor, when misbehaving motors have burned down houses and you can buy a new fan for $20. That's the point.
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On 7/9/2014 1:25 PM, KenK wrote:

Remove old lube before apply new. Use correct new.
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no. and neither does making stuff up.
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I wouldn't assume that. I have a fan like that, that can take 10 or 15 minutes to start, but once running it's fine. I've had it like that for 3 summers and I expect it to last for another 20.
Say low speed. It will run for about 15 seconds and squeak to a stop. Then it won't move for 10 minutes, After that it goes so slow it can take 3 minutes for one revolution. 3 or 2 for the next one, 2 or 1 for the one after that and a few minutes later, it's up to normal speed.
If you want, I'll take notes and give more accurate details, esp. how long from start to normal speed. Maybe it's as much as 20 minutes but I'm not sure.
Maybe it warms up faster in the two higher speeds. I used low until last night when I switched to medium. Previous summers were similar.
I don't even think about it. I know it will get there eventually. My AC is broken and I use it every night for 10 hours, and sometimes in the day too. I have other fans too, one new 4" by the head of the bed, one new (well, 24 years old really, but it seems new) 6" on the tv in kitchen, that blows straight at me when I'm seated. One 6" and about 70 years old that blows straight at me when I'm sitting at the computer. I another 12" fan that is about 45 years old that sits on the TV in the living room, but I don't use that room much anymore. I have a couple more fans that my father bought, maybe 10 years before he died in 1955 (that is, made in 1945, or soon after the war.) and they work fine too.

Right. They have oil-impregnated bearings, which is a lot better than impregnated girlfriends. When they get warm, the oil comes out and when they get cold, the oil gets sucked back in. Whoever thought of that was a real genius imo.

Not at all.

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I forgot to say that except for when it squeaks or rattles to a stop soon after I turn it on, it's perfectly quiet. There is a tiny bit of noise from the moving air, but none from the motor.
wrote:

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On 7/9/14, 1:25 PM, KenK wrote:

I suspect the starter capacitor. I wouldn't fix the dang thing.
I threw out a perfectly good 20" 5-blade plastic box fan when I discovered it used 135 W and for only 800 cfm.
I replaced it with a 20" 5-blade plastic box fan advertised to move 2500 cfm for 80 W. I found it gave me 800 cfm for 90 W.
For $15 at the corner store I bought a 16" pedestal fan with the traditional wire cage. It will blow 1300 cfm out the window for only 40 W.
On 50% of the time, the first would add about $10 to my monthly electric bill. The last would add only $3 while moving more air.
For interior use, I have for years been using 12" table fans with wire cages from the same store. Used 50% of the time, one would add $1.75 to my monthly bill.
The old-fashioned wire grills seem to put up less resistance than plastic grills. Fans with 3 broad blades seem to be much quieter and more efficient than those with 5 narrow blades.
I guess they make 5-blade plastic fans because noise sells.
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On Wed, 09 Jul 2014 20:55:00 -0400, Stormin Mormon

It would but they are virtually all "impedence protected"
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wrote:

Starting capacitor on a "shaded pole" motor??? Virtually all box fans are shaded pole motors, not capacitor start.

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