Does anyone know why my whole-house fan quit on me. I have been having
trouble turning it on lately. Usually I turn it on and off a few times to
get it to start. Now it just quit on me. I checked the breaker and it is
on. Is it possible that these motors seize up after some time. This is a
new house for me and I really don't know how old it is. I haven't even seen
it from the attic yet because I don't have a latter.
If it is a good quality fan then likely it has a PSC (permanent split
capacitor) motor. This motor uses an external "start capacitor" that
you should find mounted nearby the motor and connected with a pair of
wires (the capacitor is either round, oval, or rectangular and the wires
are usually, but not always brown in color). Remove the capacitor and
go to a local electric motor repair shop to have them test it, and if
necesaary, get a new one. Cost is usually less than $15 retail..
OK, looks like no one so far has bothered to actually read
your post completely.
1. Until you get it straightened out, be sure to leave the
switch in the OFF position. It doesn't happen often, but it
is possible that if something has caused the fan blades to
locked, the heat from a locked rotor could be a fire hazard.
Unless and until you have a ladder to use that seems to
be all you can do. If you bring someone in, they're likely
to have their own stepladders available to get up into that
space or better yet go at it from outside. That's a lousy,
miserable place to have tyo spend much time in up there.
Once you do get up there, check the wiring itself to be
surei t's not exposed and the insuilation eaten off by
rodents, squirrels, moles, chipmunks, etc.. It's even
possible one of them is keeping the blade from turning, so
it could be a pretty simple fix, but ... you gotta get up
there, you gotta have light to work with, and you gotta know
a little about what you're doing.
2. If you aren't very familiar with electrical work, then
get someone in to check this out for you. In all that heat
and resulting sweat, any live wires there are even more
dangerous than usual.
3. If you know how to be safe, start with the switch. See
if it's any good. Switches can go bad like that, especially
if it's a cheapie. Motors are inductive loads and cheap
switches don't like that.
4. If the switch is OK, then you have the possibilities
others have mentioned, such as a bad capacitor,
malfuinctioning centrifugal switch inside the motor, open
winding, stalled/frozen rotor from lack of oil, etc etc
etc.. If none of that makes any sense to you, then again I
recommend getting someone in that iknows that they're doing.
Thanks to all who replied. I am not much of a handy man but today I'll
first check the switch. It sounds like even if the problem is the switch,
which I hope, I still can use this for an excuse to get a ladder to get up
there and try and clean it and maybe figure how to oil it. Thanks again!!!
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