AFCA Forums Home
Home Search search Menu menu Not logged in - Login | Register

 Moderated by: Steve Cunningham, Rod Rogers, Larry Hancock
New Topic Reply Printer Friendly
Three speed switch  Rate Topic 
AuthorPost
 Posted: Tue Oct 23rd, 2018 06:05 pm
  PMQuoteReply
1st Post
Tom Gilreath
Guest
 

Joined: Thu Sep 27th, 2018
Location:  
Status: 
Offline
Being new to antique and vintage fans, I'm not sure what to call this switch, but it is the lever three speed switch.  This switch is missing in an antique fan I recently purchased.  Is there somewhere I can purchase a reproduction or something?
Thanks.

Tom

Back To Top PMQuoteReply  

 Posted: Tue Oct 23rd, 2018 06:27 pm
  PMQuoteReply
2nd Post
Jenn Selchow
AFCA Member


Joined: Wed Aug 24th, 2016
Location: Rockford, Illinois USA
Status: 
Offline
Posting pictures of the fan will help identify what you need. What is the make and model of the fan?

Back To Top PMQuoteReply

 Posted: Wed Oct 24th, 2018 05:39 am
  PMQuoteReply
3rd Post
Levi Mevis
AFCA Member
 

Joined: Tue Feb 24th, 2015
Location: Elkhart, Indiana USA
Status: 
Offline
Is it a rotary switch or a pullchain switch? If its a rotary switch then its more than likely either a Cutler Hammer Switch or a switch that was similar to the Cutler Hammer Switch that was made by one of their competitors that was used in a lot of different fans from the 1940s until the 1960s.
If it was a pullchain switch it was a Levolier Switch which is nearly impossible to find one in working order as they basically deteriorated over the years and then fell apart.

either way there are modern replacements for both types of switches and usually you can get them at your local electrical supply house or Grainger would have them as well.

Back To Top PMQuoteReply  

 Posted: Wed Oct 24th, 2018 12:39 pm
  PMQuoteReply
4th Post
David Kilnapp
AFCA Member
 

Joined: Tue Apr 17th, 2018
Location: Pembroke, Massachusetts USA
Status: 
Offline
Below is the three way switch that can be found at Granger for $6.40. Works very well and replaces the switches typically found on 1940's GE Vortalex fans.

Back To Top PMQuoteReply

 Posted: Wed Oct 24th, 2018 12:58 pm
  PMQuoteReply
5th Post
Tom Gilreath
Guest
 

Joined: Thu Sep 27th, 2018
Location:  
Status: 
Offline
It is one of the lever switches.  Here's a picture of where it should be.  At some point in the past, the switch must've broken and an owner wired the motor directly to the power wire, so it comes on when plugged in.


Back To Top PMQuoteReply  

 Posted: Wed Oct 24th, 2018 01:11 pm
  PMQuoteReply
6th Post
Stan Adams
Super Moderator


Joined: Mon Nov 14th, 2005
Location: Houston, Texas USA
Status: 
Offline
What size & brand of fan is it? There are a whole lot of different switches.

Back To Top PMQuoteReply

 Posted: Wed Oct 24th, 2018 01:18 pm
  PMQuoteReply
7th Post
David Kilnapp
AFCA Member
 

Joined: Tue Apr 17th, 2018
Location: Pembroke, Massachusetts USA
Status: 
Offline
Is the speed coil still in the base? I'm guessing that it is missing if the previous owner wired the head directly to the outside current. In any event, the two head wires would seem to indicate a fairly straightforward wiring diagram. Perhaps you could take a picture of the motor tag which would give us the make and model number. Then you can post on the WTB (wanted to buy) section of the forum for a replacement. Depending on the make and model number, you are probably talking about something less than $100 for a replacement speed coil. The picture above shows that you are missing the rubber feet which you will need so you don't scratch up your furniture. Those can be ordered from AFCA member Darryl Hudson.

Last edited on Wed Oct 24th, 2018 01:20 pm by David Kilnapp

Back To Top PMQuoteReply  

 Posted: Wed Oct 24th, 2018 01:27 pm
  PMQuoteReply
8th Post
Tom Gilreath
Guest
 

Joined: Thu Sep 27th, 2018
Location:  
Status: 
Offline
This is just an old 8" Busy B fan.  Nothing fancy or anything.  It would probably make more sense to put a different kind of switch in it, rather than spend $100 on a replacement switch, right?

Back To Top PMQuoteReply

 Posted: Wed Oct 24th, 2018 01:43 pm
  PMQuoteReply
9th Post
David Kilnapp
AFCA Member
 

Joined: Tue Apr 17th, 2018
Location: Pembroke, Massachusetts USA
Status: 
Offline
Don't know Tom. Back up and take a full picture of the fan so we can see. Someone might have a replacement switch for you for very short money. The members are a great group of people who are very accommodating and might give it to you for the cost of shipping. I've done that on many occasions. We all strive to maintain as much originality on restorations as we can if we can find the parts. Does this fan have a motor tag that you can share a picture of? It won't run just on a three speed replacement switch without the speed coil. That's what provides the variable resistance that is responsible for the three speeds. You have nothing to lose by asking on the WTB part of the forum.
You may have to join the AFCA in order to post on the WTB / WTS section (not sure about that). I have made some wonderful friendships in this club so I highly recommend that you do. Great benefits for very short money!

Last edited on Wed Oct 24th, 2018 01:49 pm by David Kilnapp

Back To Top PMQuoteReply  

 Posted: Wed Oct 24th, 2018 01:52 pm
  PMQuoteReply
10th Post
Tom Gilreath
Guest
 

Joined: Thu Sep 27th, 2018
Location:  
Status: 
Offline
True.  It is worth a shot.  Here's a picture of the whole fan.  There isn't a motor tag on it anywhere.  It's just an old dime store fan.

Back To Top PMQuoteReply

 Posted: Wed Oct 24th, 2018 02:29 pm
  PMQuoteReply
11th Post
David Kilnapp
AFCA Member
 

Joined: Tue Apr 17th, 2018
Location: Pembroke, Massachusetts USA
Status: 
Offline
You can find out a lot about this fan by using the search function on the forum. This fan probably dates to the late 1920's or 1930's. It was manufactured by the Kelmet corporation. Russ Huber (another AFCA member) might have some good information about this lovely fan. I found a post from Russ that stated: "Fans were branded as Polar Cub, Gilbert, or Busy B. Busy B fans were manufactured in the Gilbert factory, but were products of Kelmet Corp., a captive company of A.C. Gilbert’s in the 1920s" Your fan looks to need very little in the way of restoration. You could probably just clean it with WD40 and use some Maquiars Auto polish and it would look very nice indeed. It's worth getting the right speed coil so that it runs the way it was designed to run - on three distinct speeds. Not much heavy lifting there to make it look super nice!

Back To Top PMQuoteReply  

 Posted: Wed Oct 24th, 2018 02:40 pm
  PMQuoteReply
12th Post
Tom Gilreath
Guest
 

Joined: Thu Sep 27th, 2018
Location:  
Status: 
Offline
Thanks, David.  I'll check with him.  Unfortunately, the blades wobble and there is too much back and forth play on the shaft.  It vibrates a lot, so the blades are obviously out of balance.  Hopefully, I can correct those issues; although, straightening and balancing fan blades may be beyond my current skillset.

Back To Top PMQuoteReply

 Posted: Wed Oct 24th, 2018 03:07 pm
  PMQuoteReply
13th Post
David Kilnapp
AFCA Member
 

Joined: Tue Apr 17th, 2018
Location: Pembroke, Massachusetts USA
Status: 
Offline
Back and forth play of the kind you are describing usually indicates a worn bearing, or it may be a simple matter of adding some fiber washers on the front of the rotor to reduce the forward/backward play. You can try balancing the blades by eye. There are ways of balancing blades that can be done if you use the search function. I usually just slowly rotate the blade to see if there is one blade that is out of plane that can easily be corrected. Try that to see if it reduces the vibration.

Back To Top PMQuoteReply  

 Posted: Wed Oct 24th, 2018 10:19 pm
  PMQuoteReply
14th Post
Gunner Lake
AFCA Member


Joined: Sat Feb 28th, 2015
Location: Jacksonville, Florida USA
Status: 
Offline
Are you sure it'd be a three speed switch? I wouldn't be surprised if this small dimestore fan had only a single speed on/off lever.

Back To Top PMQuoteReply

 Posted: Wed Oct 24th, 2018 10:26 pm
  PMQuoteReply
15th Post
David Kilnapp
AFCA Member
 

Joined: Tue Apr 17th, 2018
Location: Pembroke, Massachusetts USA
Status: 
Offline
I have never seen one of these fans but Russ Huber would know for sure.

Back To Top PMQuoteReply  

 Posted: Thu Oct 25th, 2018 03:08 am
  PMQuoteReply
16th Post
Tom Gilreath
Guest
 

Joined: Thu Sep 27th, 2018
Location:  
Status: 
Offline
Thanks, all!
You are correct, Gunnar, it is a single speed switch and it was just not in its slot.  I took the base apart and the switch was still in there.  Straight simple switch, too.

Back To Top PMQuoteReply

 Posted: Thu Oct 25th, 2018 03:26 am
  PMQuoteReply
17th Post
Gunner Lake
AFCA Member


Joined: Sat Feb 28th, 2015
Location: Jacksonville, Florida USA
Status: 
Offline
Very cool! You're welcome.

Back To Top PMQuoteReply  

 Posted: Thu Oct 25th, 2018 12:10 pm
  PMQuoteReply
18th Post
David Kilnapp
AFCA Member
 

Joined: Tue Apr 17th, 2018
Location: Pembroke, Massachusetts USA
Status: 
Offline
All's well that ends well! Love to see pictures when it's all cleaned up!

Back To Top PMQuoteReply

Current time is 03:28 am  
AFCA Forums > Antique Fan Collectors Association > Post-1950 (Vintage) > Three speed switch Top



Beige Theme By: Di @ UltraBB
UltraBB 1.17 Copyright © 2007-2008 Data 1 Systems
Page processed in 0.2128 seconds (29% database + 71% PHP). 27 queries executed.