About 25 years ago I installed a little t-stat controlled gable fan
in my little MO bungalow attic. Maybe 12 years later, it was causing
bad static on tv, radio in the room under the gable.
So I installed it in the detached garage in back (for same purpose,
cooling in extreme July, Aug. heat). It's still running.
Now the gable fan I replaced it with (Cool Attic 1500, in service
since '96) ceases to work. I lubed it as best I could. It's getting
elec. power from the tstat. Motor just refuses to turn over. Fan
blades are not locked, turn by hand, a bit tight, 'tho.
I figured it just burnt up 'till I remembered the older one still runs
after 25 years. Why should the newer one go south?
Any ideas? Should I just pull the Cool Attic, take it apart to confirm
motor is burnt up (or whatever)? Or just order a replacement?
"Law Without Equity Is No Law At All. It Is A Form Of Jungle Rule."
Newer attic ventilators seem to be real garbage. Unlike the older models, it
seems that two or three years is all they last for. The motors are really
low torque, so anything from bird nests, bees, bats, or a slight bit of
oxidation will prevent the fan from turning causing it to overheat and burn
out. The only thing you can test or service is the thermostat. If you have
power to the motor side of the stat, and it doesn't turn, toss it.
I've had my gable fan for more than 40 years, and it's still going
You say you lubed yours as best you could - I assume that means you
dripped some oil into the holes provided for that purpose.
Too little ... too late.
Given that the windings have not burned out - you need to take it apart
completely - remove the long screws that hold the whole thing together.
Then give the bronze oilite bushings a good cleaning with mineral
spirits, or the like, and when re-assembling ... lubricate the front and
rear shafts with the same oil you use for the yearly drip-hole
lubricating - squirt some oil into the front and rear bushings, let
soak, then pour out the excess.
Make sure the shaft spins freely after re-assembling ... sometime this
requires careful torqueing of the screws - sometimes a sharp rap with a
hammer, on the body of the motor.
I have resurrected a couple of neighbor's jammed gable fans that had
been neglected, and lectured them about lubing the damn thing every
Can't overlube - the excess will just run out the bottom ... but the
wicking material surrounding the bushing should be saturated. If kept
lubricated, the steel armature shaft will never actually touch the
bronze bushing, but float in a film of oil.
Yeah, I know ... webtv and all that crap -
The American Corporate philosophy is to get the product out asap and
to start realizing a profit asap, first and foremost. In the process,
quality and engineering is lost or at best is a secondary issue. This
is the way things are made and its the Consumer that takes the hit.
That aside, run alot of oil in the motors oiling holes AND run oil
down the shaft of the motor so it goes into the top bearing real good,
then keep spinning it by hand till it loosens up. Apply power to the
motor and run it a couple hours. Stop it, re-oil, then youre good to
go for THAT season. Remember, the motors are cheap and they see alot
of heat/dirt/moisture...so oil it each year.
Our fairly low experience with these domestically installed electric
motors; typically in fans, bathroom exhausts, cooking hood exhausts,
microwave oven fans, old phonograph motors and attic cooling is that
they run a lot of hours.
They don't get lubed often enough because they are often inaccessible
and hard to get at. Consequently it is often the bearings that wear
out or burn up; not the windings.
Our bathroom fan is basically 39 years old but has been rebuilt a
couple of times using pieces from other motors, in one case the
bearings from an old phono motor picked on on bulk garbage day! The
windings are original.
Agree some fan motors are garbage others much better.
BTW we fixed a 230 volt 4500 watt workshop type portable heater which
someone threw out because of a burnt out fan motor by installing a
powerful 115 volt computer fan in series with a 3 microfarad AC
capacitor across the 230 volt supply.
So one can think of old computers, as sometimes, a source of certain
types of fans.
Many of the newer fans have an over
temperature fuse device in the
motor. It is a fusible link which melts
above a set temperature and also
above a set current. A friend just
called me to discuss the one he just
worked on. There was a little square
device, about 1/4", buried in the
motor windings. It was marked 5A and
130 degrees C. Apparently, a
raccoon had pushed in the protective
screen and stalled the fan blades.
The link opened and the fan stopped
working. I did some googling and
found a manufacturer of the part.
Your problem might, of course, be
different .... maybe.
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