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Fan won't turn  Rate Topic 
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 Posted: Mon Oct 26th, 2020 01:27 am
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Kevin Trerotola
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I just recently picked up a Westinghouse fan that I think is about a circa 1940 and it doesnt run.
I took it apart and it appears that all wires and parts are intact. When I plug it in and turn the switch on the motor hums and it barely turns, like about 1/16". When I turn the motor it feels like there's a magnetic grip, but it wont turn. Any ideas on what the issue might be?

Last edited on Mon Oct 26th, 2020 01:29 am by Kevin Trerotola

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 Posted: Tue Oct 27th, 2020 04:21 pm
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Don Tener
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Pictures would help a lot. But if it is the stamped steel type it is easy to get the bearings out of alignment.

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 Posted: Wed Oct 28th, 2020 01:22 am
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Mark Olson
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If the fan feels "magnetically locked" with power on it, the motor may well be shorted. If the fan only feels kind of magnetic, then a good oiling may be all that is required. As suggested, the bearings could be out of alignment.

Last edited on Wed Oct 28th, 2020 01:26 am by Mark Olson

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 Posted: Wed Oct 28th, 2020 02:18 am
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Kevin Trerotola
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It does feel magneticly locked. I cleaned and oiled it and it spins really easy when the power is not on.I don’t know a lot about fans or electric motors so excuse my ignorance, but if the motor is shorted does that it’s pretty much trash?

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 Posted: Wed Oct 28th, 2020 02:33 am
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Rod Rogers
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Does this fan use a capacitor?

~Sparky~

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 Posted: Thu Oct 29th, 2020 12:34 am
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Kevin Trerotola
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Yes it has a large square capacitor in the base.

Last edited on Thu Oct 29th, 2020 12:50 am by Kevin Trerotola

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 Posted: Thu Oct 29th, 2020 03:46 am
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Rod Rogers
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The cap may be shorted, causing excess current in the start windings. That will "electrically lock" the rotor.

Substitute it with a 3.xx uf cap.(Can't read the exact value) You should be able to get one close in the ceiling fan dept at a big box store.

Or.....just disconnect one of the capacitor leads & see if it still locks up. If it quits locking up, give it a healthy push start & it will probably take off & run.

~Sparky~

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 Posted: Thu Oct 29th, 2020 11:33 am
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Kevin Trerotola
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Thanks Rod.Just to add to my minimal knowledge of electricity, what does the capacitor do?

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 Posted: Fri Oct 30th, 2020 08:21 pm
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Mark Olson
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To over simplify it, the capacitor shifts the voltage and current through the motor windings to create a rotating magnetic field.

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 Posted: Fri Oct 30th, 2020 10:32 pm
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Kevin Trerotola
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Thanks mark, that makes sense then why it feels like it’s pulling in all directions at the same time. Can you tell from the picture what type of capacitor it is? I have no idea what to buy

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 Posted: Sat Oct 31st, 2020 01:13 am
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Mark Olson
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Your photograph says 3 MFD @ 220 volts. A 2.5 uF (MFD) should work fine. The volts @ 220 should be observed. Higher volts is okay, lower not.

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 Posted: Sat Oct 31st, 2020 01:53 am
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Kevin Trerotola
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Thanks Mark. I know my fan is at least 50 years old. Have capacitors gotten smaller with the advancement of technology? The one in my fan is as big as a sardine can and the ones I see online are like 1" big.

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 Posted: Sat Oct 31st, 2020 04:45 am
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Rod Rogers
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Yes, they have gotten smaller. You still haven't tried the simplest test. Unhook one lead of the existing cap & try it. It will likely not lock up, and may run if you give it a healthy push start.

~Sparky~

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 Posted: Sat Oct 31st, 2020 05:51 pm
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Kevin Trerotola
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Rod so I tried disconnecting one lead and it didn’t do anything. Then when I touched the wire to the cap it started humming again

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 Posted: Sat Oct 31st, 2020 07:43 pm
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Rod Rogers
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Let me explain again......When you disconnect the cap, it WON'T do anything. BUT, it should not lock up with power applied. Then....if you give it a hefty push start, it may take off & run.

Rod

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