A number of rooms in our house have combined central ceiling lights &
Several of the fans are somewhat noisy including buzzing and grinding
type noises. Otherwise they work fine.
Is there anything one can do to give them a "tune-up" and/or lubricate
them to reduce the noise?
Is the noise constant or does it "oscillate"? If it's the latter, it means
the fan's out of balance. We have a fan like this in our bedroom -- makes
an oh-so-slight noise that annoys me but my wife can't even hear it. I know
the fan's a bit out of balance but I've tried and can't figure out why...
Noise mostly goes away when power is cut to the fan. Sounds more like
the motor is straining.
One other potentially relevant point. The light (and therefore) fan
are on a Lutron slide dimmer switch, though when the fan is on, I keep
the dimmer in the fully on position. Could this be causing or
contributing to the problem?
Why not balance it? There is no excuse for an out-of-balance fan. I
have several in my house, even one on a 16' ceiling with a 5-foot
downrod. The pull chain is long enought to be reachable from floor
level, but is absolutely motionless when the fan is running.
Stick a small dab of modeling clay on a blade midway along its length.
Fire up the fan on slow speed and watch the wobble. If it's worse
than before, move the clay to another blade. If it gets better, move
it to the next one. Do this until it gets worse then back up one
blade and experiment with moving the clay along the length. Once you
have it balanced, you need a more permanent weight. Try a penny stuck
on with double-sticky foam tape. If the penny is lighter than the
clay, move it outward on the blade. If it's heavier move it toward
Don't be surprised to see a slight imbalance when (if) you reverse the
Yes. Dimmers work by "chopping" (for want of a better layman's term)
the AC waveform into smaller pieces. This lowers the average value
and dims the lights. Even some light bulbs will "sing" when highly
dimmed. Motors tend to not like these short pulses since they contain
higher order harmonics.
Just some thoughts:
First push around places on the fans (watch out for the
blades!) and make sure it's not just a part that's
vibrating (cover, mount, etc). I use a pencil eraser
when I do that. If touching a part stops a vibration,
then you can look for a way to take care of it.
It might well help if you can get some WD40 to spray
into the bearing areas. Bearings dry out over the
years and displace any grease in them and the WD-40
lubricates plus softens the already present (if they
are that type) grease so the bearing tends to do its
If it's bearing noise, it could well indicate they're
getting ready to be replaced.
WD-40 s a penetrating oil, NOT a motor oil. It should NEVER be used to
Sleeve bearings should have oil, not grease. Put 20 or 30 weight non
detergent motor ol in the bearings. But if they are making grinding
noise, it is probably too late for that.
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