How To Service A Table Fan

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Published: 01st December 2009
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This Hestar table fan problem was not rotating even if it already switched "On". You could hear a sound coming from the motor and when I try turning the propeller I found it to be stuck! By right a good fan when you turn it, the propeller should rotate according to the force applied on it. It could be the long time of accumulation of dust that had jammed the motor shaft preventing it from turning smoothly.

Once the back cover and the lever have been removed, I could see lots of dust and dirt around the motor. I used a vacuum cleaner together with a brush to clean up the dust. You could also see a motor starting capacitor attached beside the motor. This is the Metallized Polypropylene Film type of capacitor. The function of the motor start capacitor (AC motor capacitor) is to provide that electrical "push" to get the motor rotation started. Without a motor starting capacitor (such as when one open circuit or burns up), when the voltage is applied, the motor will just sit and hum. But if you were to grab the shaft (or the propeller) and give it a spin, the motor would (usually) start and run normally. I do not think the capacitor have problem because the symptom was the shaft jammed causing it not to rotate.

Anyway I took out the capacitor and check it with a digital capacitance meter to see if the capacitance is within range or not. The value was, and it is slightly lower then the tolerance (the tolerance for this type of capacitor is about 10%). If the capacitance value is too low then I will replace it with a new one. Please make sure you get a replacement with the same or higher voltage and if possible with the same capacitance. You can easily get a motor starting capacitor from any electronic distributors. I put back the capacitor and start servicing the fan.

First I sprayed the Philip oil base to the contact that caused the shaft hard to rotate. The shaft immediately rotates (turned by my hand) smoothly the moment it had oil in it. When I switch the fan "On" again, the motor start to run! I off the fan again and applied some grease into the back gear that controls the fan whether you want it to be "still" or "rotate" (don't use the oil spray because it can worn out the gear faster).

After everything was done, I tested the fan and it worked like a new fan! Servicing the table fan is not difficult and you can try servicing one in your home. Remember, safety have to come first, make sure you unplug the AC cable before starting to dismantle the fan apart.

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