The fan in the main bathroom of our ~6 year old (SouthOntario/Canada)
just stopped working. It wasnt used excessively in the time we've had
the place (1.5 years) and there were no strange noises before it
The electrical point from where the fan draws power is live (checked
with other devices plugged in).
Hardware stores in the area sell a whole fan kit which requires the
entire unit be removed (electrics and all).
How can I check to see what is wrong with the unit (a reference book
would also be helpful). Is it possible to replace just the motor?
The fan is of the centrifugal type (based on my reading of this NG
FAQ) and is 90 CFM conforming to CSA-C260 - no brand name visible.
thanks in advance
Probably the motor is gone. I'd bet 99% on that. They usually have a cheap
motor that is not repairable. If you are fortunate, you can find a
replacement at reasonable cost. Often the motor will cost close to the same
as a whole new unit. You may get lucky with what you have. Give the end
of the shaft a squirt of a spray lubricant. It won't fix a worn bearing,
but sometimes you can get a few months or a year out of it. Other times
nothing. The bearings are often sealed and the lubricant will not get to
I don't know if they ship to Canada, but www.grainger.com will have many
<< The bearings are often sealed and the lubricant will not get to them. >>
Oilite bearings on some motors can sometimes be revived by drilling a 3/32"
hole in the side of the bearing retainer boss and soaking the bearing with a
light household oil. You need to disassemble the unit anyway to measure all the
dimensions for a replacement if this doesn't work. Good luck.
Typical of the cheap fans builders and others put into homes. Repair is
likely to be as expensive as it cost in the first place. I suggest you
replace it and get a good quality fan. It will run much quieter and likely
also move more air. It will also last a lot longer.
Darryl: I'm in Canada too. I've never had our bathroom fan 'burn out' even
when they totally jam up and fail to rotate due to grease and dust and dried
up or worn bearings. They just sit there and hum and warm up!
Our original fan housing and duct, 30+ years, is in place but I've had to
'rebuild' the electric motor several times always finding it was worn/dried
Most of these simple electric motors have sleeve bearings not ball or roller
ones. If you can get the motor out (power off) you might be able to buy a
replacement from an electrical supply house; I doubt if a hardware store
(such as Canadian Tire!) would carry something like that. And even then you
might have to modify the mounting screws or something?
Since year 2000 our fan motor has been using some bearings out of a scrapped
phonograph motor that I picked up somewhere on garbage day in 1999! Other
potentially suitable motor 'bits and pieces' are in a large jar in the
basement, since several (do it yourself) members of the family have the
electrical and mechanical skills to rebuild the fan next time it 'goes'!
Come to think of it there is an old kitchen range hood somewhere in the shed
that has a fan and motor in it, hmmm!
Having said all that I would agree if you are not the sort of person who
keeps those kind of bits (useful junk?) around it will likely be just as
cheap to go and buy a new fan and either install it; or if it's basically
the same type take the motor and fan out of the new one and install it in
the old housing.
We have one of those cheap Broan fans in our bathroom. When it dies I just
go buy another whole $6.95 fan from Lowes, Home Depot, or Menards, strip the
motor out and stick it in the old housing. Good for another 4-5 years!
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