Whole-House Fan Problem

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.
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CooSer wrote:

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..
HTH.
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Bad switch, loose wire, capacitor, bad motor, Bad bearings if never oiled and bearings are not sealed, Take a look at it.
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does it have a wall switch to turn it on -- maybe it is bad

seen
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It may need oiling, can you rotate it by hand?
If nothing else, a whole house fan needs a periodic cleaning, vacuum the dust out of the motor vents, oiling, and an occasional new belt.
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been having

few times to

breaker and it is

This is a

haven't even seen

It sounds like the switch is bad from your description.
Bob
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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.

have been having

off a few times to

breaker and it is

time. This is a

haven't even seen

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Interesting observation, but wrong.
Bob

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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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