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1954 Sears Kenmore 16" Oscillating Fan Issues  Rate Topic 
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 Posted: Tue Apr 24th, 2018 02:51 am
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Levi Mevis
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Hello everyone a couple of years ago I bought a 1954 Signal Made Sears Kenmore 16" Oscillating Table Fan from the local antique mall for $20 and it needed a complete rewire (replacing the headwire and power cord) and a complete relube of the motor and oscillator mechanism. I had actually posted about this fan on here before but didn't want to have to sift through 2 years worth of posts just to find my original post for this fan. 
Anyways early last year the power switch on my fan broke (one of the wire terminals on the switch broke off and made the fan only operate as a 2 speed) and so I had Mr. Tedrick come by my place on his way over to a fan meet in Wisconsin or Chicago or some place like that and pick up my fan and put a new switch on my fan for me (I also in return attempted to try and get a couple of radios working for him of which I was only able to get one of them going for him as the other two radios were far beyond my expertise to repair.) 

Anyways when he brought the fan back to me on his way back into indiana on his way over to Fandango last year he told me he was able to get the switch replaced but the fan would only stay on in the on position and wouldn't work with the switch or the speed coil so the fan has been sitting in my workshop in my basement for over a year where I have been trying to troubleshoot the fan's issues to no avail. 
My problem I'm having with trying to get this fan going again is that for some reason or another when I go to try and measure the leads coming off the speed coil on the fan I can't get any measurements off of them, and I kind of need to know the measurements of the speed coil to know which terninals on the fan's power switch to solder each wire to as well as which leads I need to wire the headwire lead to. The funny thing is that before the switch was replaced and before the original switch broke I had the fan wired up with new headwire and cord and the fan worked perfectly on all 3 speeds but then after the switch was replaced the fan didn't work with the switch anymore and I also wasn't able to get any readings from the speed coil anymore (I was able to get a solid reading off the speed coil leads when I first repaired the fan after I got it 2 years ago.)
 
Anyone have any ideas as to what might be going on with my fan and also might have a wiring diagram for this fan that I could use to try and rewire the fan with so that it works properly again?

Thanks,

Levi.

P.S. I have posted some picutres of the fan in question in case you need to see what the fan looks like in order to determine what wiring diagrams I need and what not.



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 Posted: Wed Apr 25th, 2018 06:52 am
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Levi Mevis
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Anyone going to reply or have any ideas for me to try out on this fan to get it going again?  :wondering:

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 Posted: Thu Apr 26th, 2018 03:23 am
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Levi Mevis
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UPDATE: Just got the fan's wiring figured out used another thread on here where there was a wiring diagram like what I needed poosted there and got it wired up and now it works, although for some reason medium and low speed doesn't have much of a difference between speeds (and also very little difference between current draw either, but its running within specs so I don't know, probably similar to the Emersons where there isn't much discernable difference between speeds unless its running at 110v exactly instead of the modern 120v.) 

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 Posted: Thu Apr 26th, 2018 05:28 am
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Levi Mevis
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OK so now I seem to have a new problem with my fan, the fan was working perfectly and at specs according to what the label on the bottom of the fan said, which was that it pulled about 1.8 amps on high and about 1.4 amps on medium and low about 1.3 amps (I think the current pull on medium and low are correct, as I didn't write it down when I recorded it) anyways that was before I finished assembling the fan as far as putting the blades on and the cage on, after I put the blades on and the cage on I plugged the fan back in and went to try it out again and now for some reason the fan is pulling over 6 amps on high and 4.8 amps on medium and 4.4 amps on low, which is way above the spec'd power consumption rating 1.8 amps on high, and I can't seem to figure out what's going on with this thing to cause it to suddenly start consuming almost 5 amps more power than it should be, but the bizarre thing is that the fan seems to run fine without any issues and its not overheating or smoking or anything, it gets warm to the touch but not hot enough to burn you. 
Anyone have any ideas as to what could be going on with my fan? I was really close to getting it running perfectly again until this happened...  :cry: :pissed

Last edited on Thu Apr 26th, 2018 05:28 am by Levi Mevis

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 Posted: Thu Apr 26th, 2018 12:14 pm
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Tom Nordin
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Levi Mevis wrote: UPDATE: Just got the fan's wiring figured out used another thread on here where there was a wiring diagram like what I needed poosted there and got it wired up and now it works, although for some reason medium and low speed doesn't have much of a difference between speeds (and also very little difference between current draw either, but its running within specs so I don't know, probably similar to the Emersons where there isn't much discernable difference between speeds unless its running at 110v exactly instead of the modern 120v.) 

Hey Levi,

Fans are easy, right?!   :?  Been there...

Point us to the diagram you found, please.

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 Posted: Thu Apr 26th, 2018 03:19 pm
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Levi Mevis
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Tom Nordin wrote: Levi Mevis wrote: UPDATE: Just got the fan's wiring figured out used another thread on here where there was a wiring diagram like what I needed poosted there and got it wired up and now it works, although for some reason medium and low speed doesn't have much of a difference between speeds (and also very little difference between current draw either, but its running within specs so I don't know, probably similar to the Emersons where there isn't much discernable difference between speeds unless its running at 110v exactly instead of the modern 120v.) 

Hey Levi,

Fans are easy, right?!   :?  Been there...

Point us to the diagram you found, please.

Follow this link and you'll find the post containing the diagram I used to rewire my fan back up.Its a hand drawn diagram done by Stan.

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 Posted: Thu Apr 26th, 2018 05:17 pm
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Tom Nordin
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Okay, got it.  That is a very common configuration.


So, let's go the easy testing route first and just eliminate the choke/coils - simply hitch the motor up directly to a line cord, which will be your fastest speed.

If you're measuring over your stated 1.8 amps then you've got a problem either with the rotor binding, or some electrical issue with the stator.  A megohmeter check would be a quick & dirty test of whether the stator coils are somehow touching the motor housing (you could even test with a regular multimeter/ohmmeter but that might not be sensitive enough - measure between motor housing and each stator connection and it should read infinity, or no resistance at all), or if they have become degraded and have shorted coils?  What resistance do you read between the two stator connections?  Be wary of and closely eyeball the joints and surrounding wire coils where previous headwires have been soldered in (possible short in these areas, maybe?).  Just some thoughts...  How are you measuring current draw?  Kill-a-watt, ammeter, ???  To me 1.8 amps seems on the high side, no less 4 to 6 amps - that is definitely excessive and I'd be real weary of leaving that fan running unattended.

Here's a diagram I made for a previous post - shows the exact same configuration, but to me just looks a little more understandable - disregard the values listed as they were for a different fan entirely.  Just know that as you add in more coil/choke resistance the motor goes slower at each step:




Last edited on Thu Apr 26th, 2018 05:29 pm by Tom Nordin

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 Posted: Thu Apr 26th, 2018 05:28 pm
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Levi Mevis
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Yes, i'm using a Kill-A-Watt meter to measure the current draw, and 1.8 amps is what the label says on the botttom cover for current draw on high so I would tend to believe that considering this fan uses a 4-pole shaded pole motor (its not a psc motor as it doesn't have a capacitor in the base and it only uses two wires for the headwire, rather than 3 wires like a psc motor would), like I said the motor only drew 1.8 amps initially when I first fired it up after rewiring the switch back up, but then after putting it back together again (I had it apart because the motor when it was running was making funky noises like something was rubbing which turned out to be the tape that was on the motor windings to insulate them from buzzing, so I retaped them with friction tape) and after I put it back together again thats when I started having issues with it drawing over 6 amps rather than the 1.8 it was supposed to pull.

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 Posted: Thu Apr 26th, 2018 06:29 pm
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Levi Mevis
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Well Tom, I measured the speed coil and here's what I got:
1-3: 1.6 Ω
1-2: 1.3 Ω
2-3: 0.6 Ω

And then the stator I get about 3.8 Ω on it measuring through the headwire leads, also when the motor itself is wired straight to a cord and plugged into the wall it pulls 6.8 amps so its something with the motor apparently, although I didn't do anything to the windings on the motor to cause them to short out or anything just rewrapped them with friction tape because the old tape that was on the windings was crumbling apart.

I hope this helps figure out what's going on with my fan.


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 Posted: Thu Apr 26th, 2018 10:18 pm
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Tom Nordin
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Good info, Levi.
I'm unsure about the low readings - I would think those readings x10 might be more correct, yet what does look right is the correlation of choke resistances compared to the stator resistance - that seems correct.  Hopefully someone else can chime in on whether the values you have are in fact about correct.  Do you read ANY resistance between the motor housing and each stator lead?

Okay, so my next idea would be to simply remove the rotor them energize the stator with 120 - does it still pull that high amperage?  And gosh, I gotta' ask, 6.8 amps - I would think that motor would get hot, quick!  Yet you say it gets luke warm?  Hmmm.  Seems like you're about reading 4x the normal current if your readings are correct.

Aside from the above I'm running out of ideas.  You may need to dismantle to the level it was at when your readings appeared more correct and see if you can get it back to that level again.  Probably not what you want to hear, but it almost seems inevitable at this stage.

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 Posted: Thu Apr 26th, 2018 10:28 pm
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Levi Mevis
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So it seems, what's bizarre is that the stator windings aren't making contact with the housing anywhere except for whre the headwire connects to the stator windings, but even then its not actually making physical contact with the housing because it has electrical tape insulating it from the housing. So its kind of weird. 
The only other thing I can think of is that when I was wrapping the windings with the friction tape, I had moved a loose winding that was in the way of where I needed to stick the friction tape under the windings between the windings and the stator's laminations but the loose winding wasn't touching anything and it still had its insulation varnish on it yet so it doesn't seem like that should of caused any problems.

UPDATE: Just tested the resistance between the headwire and the housing and it seems that between the stator (headwire) and the housing theres about 2.2 ohms on wire wire and 6.6 ohms on the other testing between the housing and the stator using the headwire leads. not sure what that means or whether that has anything to do with my problem but maybe you might know since you suggested the idea Tom?

Last edited on Thu Apr 26th, 2018 10:43 pm by Levi Mevis

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 Posted: Thu Apr 26th, 2018 11:11 pm
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Tom Nordin
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There should be no resistance (infinity) between the headwire(s) and the motor housing - they should be completely isolated from one another.  There must be something touching in there...  I just hope that there isn't any fryage (is that a word?) of your stator coil(s).  I think you're on the right track trying to figure what's causing this issue.  Poking around with your ohmmeter will hopefully give you some understanding.   I know - ugggghhhh!!!   :pissed

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 Posted: Thu Apr 26th, 2018 11:24 pm
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Levi Mevis
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OK so I took the stator out of the housing and hooked it up to 120 volts and it is pulling about 4.05 amps just the stator, no rotor in the picture and when I measured the stator's resistance outside of the housing I got 6.8 Ohms which is higher than with it in the housing. I inspected the stator's windings and noticed that the wires from the windings to the headwire were missing a little bit of varnish but the rest of the stator windings have all of the varnish intact yet, so I wrapped friction tape around the wires that were going to the headwire where the wires were missing the varnish and plugged it in and it is still pulling over 4 amps. Any ideas?

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 Posted: Fri Apr 27th, 2018 12:30 am
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Levi Mevis
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Well Here's another zinger to the list of bizarre issues with this fan, it seems that only the back part of the fan housing is giving resistance readings the rest of the fan reads nothing, so I'm not sure what's going here and the fan is still pulling close to 7 amps which is apparently over 500 watts!!!  :shock: That's almost as much as a toaster or a space heater on low!

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 Posted: Fri Apr 27th, 2018 01:10 am
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Tom Nordin
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Exactly, that's a lot of current - way more than a simple fan motor should draw.  There must be a short, or semi-short between those coils and the stator, somewhere.
Unless you get down to a granular level I'm thinking stator coil probs.  At this stage trying to get the stator out of the housing for closer inspection is probably the next step, if you really want to entertain that venture.  I'm unfamiliar with your fan, but generally speaking stator removal is a semi-delicate procedure.  From hitting a wire coil trying to center-punch out the stator, to bending up the motor housing trying the impact method of stator removal, this is entering the more advanced level of fan troubleshooting & repair.

My gut feeling is your stator coils have overheated and caused the stator wire varnish to deteriorate to a level where they are creating a partial short to other coils and/or the motor housing.

I'll stop replying now with the hopes that some of our veteran members can chime in with their hisoric knowledge of such issues...

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 Posted: Fri Apr 27th, 2018 01:33 am
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Levi Mevis
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I've actually had the stator out 4 times already, and inspected it several times, this fan surprisingly enough comes apart fairly easily and the stator just pops right out. Anyways when I looked over the stator coils one of the windings was darker colored than the rest but the varnish didn't seem damaged. What doesn't make any sense to me is that what would suddenly make the motor suddenly short out but still function but with double the current draw, because I didn't do anything to the fan to make it overheat and cause the varnish to melt and cause a short, and the only thing I can think of is that possibly there was some damage done to the fan years ago that maybe wasn't enough to cause it to short out right away but then somehow something caused that old damage to finally cause a shortout of some sort, but not sure, the reason why I suggest this idea is because like I said there was one of the windings in the stator that was a darker color than the rest of them, which you can see in the picture I will post below of the stator, and I'm wondering if maybe the windings that had the darker color to them weren't maybe overheated at somepoint in time in its history before I got it which maybe caused just enough damage at the time to not cause a short out at the time and not be noticed but yet enough damage that after 30+ years or so (depending on when it happened) that the damage finally decided to cause a shortout or something. But like I said not sure. 




Front side of the Stator for the Kenmore Fan.



Rear Side of the Stator for the Kenmore Fan.

Attachment: (Downloaded times)

Last edited on Fri Apr 27th, 2018 01:55 pm by Levi Mevis

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 Posted: Fri Apr 27th, 2018 01:40 pm
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David Allen
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Levi Mevis wrote: I've actually had the stator out 4 times already, and inspected it several times, this fan surprisingly enough comes apart fairly easily and the stator just pops right out. Anyways when I looked over the stator coils one of the windings was darker colored than the rest but the varnish didn't seem damaged. What doesn't make any sense to me is that what would suddenly make the motor suddenly short out but still function but with double the current draw, because I didn't do anything to the fan to make it overheat and cause the varnish to melt and cause a short, and the only thing I can think of is that possibly there was some damage done to the fan years ago that maybe wasn't enough to cause it to short out right away but then somehow something caused that old damage to finally cause a shortout of some sort, but not sure, the reason why I suggest this idea is because like I said there was one of the windings in the stator that was a darker color than the rest of them, which you can see in the picture I will post below of the stator, and I'm wondering if maybe the windings that had the darker color to them weren't maybe overheated at somepoint in time in its history before I got it which maybe caused just enough damage at the time to not cause a short out at the time and not be noticed but yet enough damage that after 30+ years or so (depending on when it happened) that the damage finally decided to cause a shortout or something. But like I said not sure. 


Hi Levi, sorry you're having this problem with your Kenmore fan. 

I'm not seeing the stator pictures mentioned above; which could be related to the server maintenance.

I realize your motor is a 2-wire unit so that eliminates miswiring of the motor as a cause.  IF you had a multi-speed motor with different winding taps, it can draw ridiculous amounts of amps if the power is connected between two speeds, instead of from a speed tap to the Common terminal.

Sometimes, with old windings, the enamel insulation on the winding wire is very brittle. If the winding coils are disturbed at all, the enamel between the winding wraps will flake off and allow turn-to-turn shorts. This COULD be a factor at play here. Normally, I try not to disturb the winding with new tape or lacing, and instead encapsulate it with heavy coat of glazing varnish to seal and support it.

Another thing to note - if you energize an AC induction motor stator at rated voltage, without the rotor installed, it will draw very high current. the rotor completes the magnetic circuit inside the motor. Without this, the stator core will easily saturate and cause high current.  I've never measured this, but I would expect that 2 or 3 times rated current would be possible.

My Mathes Cooler motor was drawing 3 amps with a 1.6 amp rating. That current is sort of within the range of that motor for it being in startup or locked-rotor conditions.  So, I am beginning to think the bearings were a little gummed and that was causing the motor to be overloaded.  In your fan's case, with a 7 amp draw from a 1.8 amp motor, it seems like something is going wrong with the winding its self. 

Hope to see pictures of the stator when you have time.


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 Posted: Fri Apr 27th, 2018 02:11 pm
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Levi Mevis
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Sorry, about that, I reuploaded the pictures of the stator on my fan so hopefully you can check things out with that. Anyways I did when I first bought the fan couple of years ago redid the tape on the stator using masking tape (they used a tape that was similar to that originally when they wrapped the stator windings at the factory, plus I didn't have friction tape at the time) but the tape was dragging against the rotor when the fan was running because the tape worked its way loose and so I decided I would replace the masking tape with the correct friction tape and prior to me redoing my retape job to the stator the motor was working fine it wasn't until after I redid my retape job on the stator that the fan started acting up, which leads me to wonder if maybe when I removed the masking tape that I had previously put on the stator windings if I didn't disturb the lacquer coating on the windings somehow which then caused some problems, which if that's the case I may just have to get rid of the fan because I don't know how to rewind a stator and I don't want to pay the $150+ that it would cost to have it professionally redone at a local motor shop.

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 Posted: Fri Apr 27th, 2018 02:26 pm
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David Allen
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Levi Mevis wrote: Sorry, about that, I reuploaded the pictures of the stator on my fan so hopefully you can check things out with that. Anyways I did when I first bought the fan couple of years ago redid the tape on the stator using masking tape (they used a tape that was similar to that originally when they wrapped the stator windings at the factory, plus I didn't have friction tape at the time) but the tape was dragging against the rotor when the fan was running because the tape worked its way loose and so I decided I would replace the masking tape with the correct friction tape and prior to me redoing my retape job to the stator the motor was working fine it wasn't until after I redid my retape job on the stator that the fan started acting up, which leads me to wonder if maybe when I removed the masking tape that I had previously put on the stator windings if I didn't disturb the lacquer coating on the windings somehow which then caused some problems, which if that's the case I may just have to get rid of the fan because I don't know how to rewind a stator and I don't want to pay the $150+ that it would cost to have it professionally redone at a local motor shop.


The stator looks like one of the 4 coils has been much hotter than the others, as evidenced by the darker color. Normally a dark color of the windings isn't necessarily a problem - but this goes for a uniformly dark color across all coils. Seems sometimes the magnet wire darkens with age. But in this case, the fact that one coil is much darker than the others is a worrisome sign.

The only other issue that could cause this is if the lead wires somehow accidentally are connected only to that one coil and the other three coils are somehow bypassed. I have seen this before, but in your case the fan ran with the existing headwire configuration, without issues.

That motor looks like it could be a relatively easy one to rewind; as a learning experience for you!

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 Posted: Fri Apr 27th, 2018 02:36 pm
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Levi Mevis
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Well I don't have any sort of winding machine so it would be kind of hard for me to wind anything myself. I guess I could try and take it to the local motor shop and see how much it would cost to have the motor rewound, but I have a feeling it would cost more than the fan's worth to rewind it professionally. So I may just have to bite the bullet and just junk the fan and look out for another one at one of the local antique shops near me.

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 Posted: Fri Apr 27th, 2018 03:11 pm
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Tom Nordin
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If it's a fan you'd really like to save maybe post a want ad here on the forum for a replacement stator.  I've been surprised numerous times with my want ads.  Take good pics of your fan and the stator, and mention that it's a Sears Kenmore/Signal.

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 Posted: Fri Apr 27th, 2018 03:17 pm
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Levi Mevis
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Well It is a Cast Iron fan which is actually unusual for a fan from the 1950s when most fans where stamped steel during that time period and its extremely heavy and solid and from what people on here have said, the old cast iron fans are usually much more worth saving than the stamped steel ones. Maybe I'll see if I can find a replacement stator for this fan on the BST portion of this forum, maybe someone here has an old Sears Kenmore fan made by Signal like mine that has a good stator in it yet that they'd be willing to sell me.

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 Posted: Fri Apr 27th, 2018 03:19 pm
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David Allen
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Levi Mevis wrote: Well It is a Cast Iron fan which is actually unusual for a fan from the 1950s when most fans where stamped steel during that time period and its extremely heavy and solid and from what people on here have said, the old cast iron fans are usually much more worth saving than the stamped steel ones. Maybe I'll see if I can find a replacement stator for this fan on the BST portion of this forum, maybe someone here has an old Sears Kenmore fan made by Signal like mine that has a good stator in it yet that they'd be willing to sell me.
Sounds like a good plan! Better than scrapping it out. :clap:

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 Posted: Fri Apr 27th, 2018 03:31 pm
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Levi Mevis
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I agree, I just placed an ad in the BST section of the forum, hopefully someone on here has a good stator that they'd be willing to sell me.

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 Posted: Fri Apr 27th, 2018 11:41 pm
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Michael Mirin
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Looks like a burned up coil in the pictures.

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 Posted: Fri Apr 27th, 2018 11:42 pm
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Michael Mirin
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Can you give us a picture of the new switch?

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 Posted: Sat Apr 28th, 2018 07:47 am
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Levi Mevis
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Michael Mirin wrote: Looks like a burned up coil in the pictures.
Mike, When you say "burned up coil" do you mean the stator or the speed coil? if you mean the stator then yes, I already figured out that the stator maybe toast, but if you mean the speed coil, then how can you tell what my fan's speed coil looks like, when I don't even have it pictured anywhere on here?

Also the switch is basically a replacement switch out of an old fan similar to this and the switch is basically the same switch as what was in the fan originally, basically picture the switch from an old Westinghouse PowerAire fan or an old Eskimo Cobweb fan from the same time period where the knob for the switch was the old bakelite lever with the white button that hid the knob's mounting screw. that's basically what's in this fan switch wise.

Why do you ask about the switch?

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 Posted: Sun Jul 22nd, 2018 01:54 pm
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Michael Mirin
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The Stator. If your motor you it drawing 3 Times the amp tag rating the motor is toast! Did you get a picture of the switch?

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 Posted: Sun Jul 22nd, 2018 03:35 pm
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Levi Mevis
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No,  not yet,  I'm currently out of town until Tuesday.  Visiting family out in Pennsylvania.

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AFCA Forums > Antique Fan Collectors Association > Post-1950 (Vintage) > 1954 Sears Kenmore 16" Oscillating Fan Issues Top



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