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1956 Vortalex 16" fan running HOT!  Rate Topic 
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 Posted: Mon Jul 22nd, 2019 03:44 pm
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Tad Britton
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Hello again!
Well, it seems that no matter which fan I buy on eBay, I always get one with an unforeseen problem. The latest acquirement is a 1956 Vortalex 16 fan (gray mist color). It LOOKED like it was in great shape. When it got here, it was well packed and appeared to have made the trip ok. I had to tweak a couple of blades that were slightly off. The fan starts up fine and runs great -puts out a lot of air. It is an incredibly quiet fan as well. 

However, after it's been running 15 minutes or so, it gets really hot! I mean so hot that I can't hold my hand on the motor housing for more than a couple seconds! 

Even with all the tips and tricks I read, I couldn't get the blades off no matter how hard I tried! As a result, I couldn't get into the motor housing. I had to carefully and tediously pick out all the old grease from the gearbox and then I re-greased it with Red Tacky grease... I also took off the oiler and cleaned up the old wick and filled the cup with Zoom Spout oil. That's about the extent of what I could do.

I ended up having to blow compressed air through the vent holes and managed to dislodge some dust -but it wasn't all that dirty from what I could detect.

The fan is perfect -except for the fact that you can fry eggs on the motor housing!

Any ideas?

As usual...thanks! :)


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 Posted: Mon Jul 22nd, 2019 03:56 pm
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David Allen
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I would believe this is a shaded-pole motor; which would run hot by design. I'm not an expert on Vortalexes to know which models were designed in which way; however my 16" grey Vorty is shaded pole and does get pretty hot.

The important thing is that it's not using more amps than it's designed for when you're running it. This is where a Kill-A-Watt meter comes in handy.

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 Posted: Mon Jul 22nd, 2019 04:22 pm
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Tad Britton
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Thanks for the response, David. I need to get one of those Kill-A-Watt things.

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 Posted: Mon Jul 22nd, 2019 06:11 pm
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Stan Adams
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All 4 of my 16” Vortys run around 140 degrees. They are some of the hottest running fans I know of.

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 Posted: Mon Jul 22nd, 2019 06:21 pm
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Tad Britton
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Thanks Stan! I guess everything is good then!

By the way, does anyone happen to know the wick size for this fan? It appears t be 3/16th" but it could be 1/8th" with that maybe has swelled up....?

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 Posted: Fri Jul 26th, 2019 02:53 pm
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Zachary Parr
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It is 3/16" I have replaced them before. 

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 Posted: Tue Jul 30th, 2019 08:39 pm
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Tad Britton
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Thanks, Zachary! I put my order in! :)

Last edited on Tue Jul 30th, 2019 08:40 pm by Tad Britton

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 Posted: Sun Aug 4th, 2019 10:47 pm
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Steven P Dempsey
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This fan ("whirlwind") runs super hot also. Normal? No Idea. Hot enough to burn your hand if you touch the end of the motor housing closest to the fan blade (after about 15 min of running)

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 Posted: Sun Aug 4th, 2019 10:48 pm
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Steven P Dempsey
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The badge. Very well built -cast aluminum base.

Attached Image (viewed 198 times):

badge.JPG

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 Posted: Sun Aug 4th, 2019 10:49 pm
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Steven P Dempsey
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I also have an older (1940s?) Vortalex that runs hot.
a 12" pedestal.

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 Posted: Mon Aug 5th, 2019 12:27 am
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Zackri Higgins
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Yes, all Vortalexes run hot. I’ve got a 10” and a 16” and they both get pretty toasty. I have yet to see someone with a Vortalex that says it runs cool.

Some of the best fans there are in my opinion. I love the sound they make.

Last edited on Mon Aug 5th, 2019 12:28 am by Zackri Higgins

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 Posted: Mon Aug 5th, 2019 12:47 am
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Stan Adams
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Steven P Dempsey wrote: This fan ("whirlwind") runs super hot also. Normal? No Idea. Hot enough to burn your hand if you touch the end of the motor housing closest to the fan blade (after about 15 min of running)

Stephen, Whirlwinds run hot too! My pedestal version is too hot to touch.They are shaded pole as well.

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 Posted: Mon Aug 5th, 2019 12:50 am
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Stan Adams
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Zackri Higgins wrote: Yes, all Vortalexes run hot. I’ve got a 10” and a 16” and they both get pretty toasty. I have yet to see someone with a Vortalex that says it runs cool.

Some of the best fans there are in my opinion. I love the sound they make.
Zackri you are correct, most run hot as they are shaded pole, but not all. They are a rarer breed, but some of the 50s 16” Vortys are PSC motors with a cap in the base. They actually run cool.

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 Posted: Tue Aug 6th, 2019 05:48 pm
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Jeff Montgomery
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Why would anyone want a fan that runs hot? I sure don't need any additional heat generated... in the south... in the summer. You'd think that hot running fans would have had a bad reputation. All my workhorse fans (mostly Emerson) run mildly warm.

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 Posted: Tue Aug 6th, 2019 08:55 pm
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Tad Britton
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I don't know, Jeff....but this Vortalex really puts out a LOT of air and runs extremely quietly. If I have my Emerson and my Vortalex running in the same room, all you hear is the Emerson....But my Emersons barely get warm after running all day and night and this Vortalex is always hot. I guess the trade off is in decibels vs heat.

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 Posted: Wed Aug 7th, 2019 11:44 am
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Jeff Montgomery
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I have a Vortalex myself and was disappointed with the amount of heat it put out (like many other fans). I have it on display but don't use it as a daily runner. I'll try it again and see how quietly it runs...

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 Posted: Wed Aug 7th, 2019 12:59 pm
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Stan Adams
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I love those Vortys, I have a line of the 16" ones down one wall of the garage & two 24" ones. The 16s see a lot of use as does the ceiling hung 24. Can't beat the low pitch plane sound.

Attached Image (viewed 130 times):

Wall Fans.jpg

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 Posted: Wed Aug 7th, 2019 11:13 pm
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Steven P Dempsey
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Well - - the only heat Iv'e noticed is when you place your hand DIRECTLY on the motor housing. Plus the smell of burning oil - - LOL

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 Posted: Thu Aug 8th, 2019 11:34 pm
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Zackri Higgins
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Didn’t realize there were some that didn’t run hot! I guess the capacitor-start ones aren’t shaded pole. Never put that together. Lol.

Stan, that’s a nice Vortalex collection there! Yeah, the sound they make is so soothing.

I’ve never had a single one of my fans put out heat. Even my two Vortalexes. As Steven said, the only heat I’ve felt is when I put my hand on the motor.

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