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Westinghouse Tank Fan Start Switch Mystery  Rate Topic 
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 Posted: Sun Feb 9th, 2020 11:55 pm
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Alex Rushing
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Just curious of anyone else has seen a centrifugal switch like the one I pulled out of my Tank last night?
I had not researched anything about the centrifugal switch setup, so I thought this was what it was supposed to have, since no extraneous screw holes were seen. A member of a FB fan page pointed out the discrepancy on the switch setup. This switch has very little clicking, since the power engagement has leaf  springst that throw the contacts on and off with an authoritative snap.

I assume the switch Is aftermarket, but wonder if it came from another brand of fan motor....

Fan






Insides.










Stator after cleaning and electrical varnish soaking.


Switch before cleaning and lubrication.


Both parts after cleaning.


After lubrication and spring testing.








And a video of the fan running after the electrical and mechanical repairs.


And thoughts or information would be greatly appreciated!

Last edited on Sun Feb 9th, 2020 11:57 pm by Alex Rushing

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 Posted: Mon Feb 10th, 2020 02:38 am
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Tony Clayton
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Alex,
I have never seen such a animal before in my life.

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 Posted: Mon Feb 10th, 2020 02:44 am
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Steve Stephens
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Nor have I seen that start switch mechanism.   Possibly a factory prototype that went home with a GE employee then, years later, found its way to you Alex?

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 Posted: Mon Feb 10th, 2020 02:49 am
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Russ Huber
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The original switch took a dump sometime in the 20s and you got a patented(patent filed in 20) Westinghouse replacement.  :D

https://patentimages.storage.googleapis.com/31/08/7e/3e39a1964f8c9f/US1493846.pdf

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 Posted: Mon Feb 10th, 2020 02:54 am
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Russ Huber
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Hey Alex, you are the king of pictures, dude.  :clap: :D

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 Posted: Mon Feb 10th, 2020 04:44 am
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Alex Rushing
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Tony Clayton wrote: Alex,
I have never seen such a animal before in my life.

Thank you, Tony! Looking at original start switches, it would appear this later version is of vastly higher build quality. Likely due to refinement in production methods. I plan on running the Tank often, so that switch should never be a weak link... hypothetically. Of course, 90 to 100 years later the switch shows almost zero signs of wear.  :dude:

I have been blessed with not having to go through getting a finicky original start switch operating perfectly.  :clap:

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 Posted: Mon Feb 10th, 2020 04:48 am
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Alex Rushing
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Steve Stephens wrote: Nor have I seen that start switch mechanism.   Possibly a factory prototype that went home with a GE employee then, years later, found its way to you Alex?Thank you, Steve!
Now we know what it is, that makes it even more special. Westinghouse thought enough of their old centrifugal switch fans they seem to have made a small number to repair original faulty switches with. :)

Best part of the story is that this was my FIRST centrifugal start switch fan.
I had wanted one example of a classic start switch fan from the early days, and just so happened to get one with that switch.   :D

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 Posted: Mon Feb 10th, 2020 04:50 am
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Alex Rushing
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Russ Huber wrote: The original switch took a dump sometime in the 20s and you got a patented(patent filed in 20) Westinghouse replacement.  :D

https://patentimages.storage.googleapis.com/31/08/7e/3e39a1964f8c9f/US1493846.pdf

Wow Russ!. Thank your soooo much for taking the time to find that information and patent! Will definitely be printing that out to go with a fan history notebook I'm compiling for my modest collection of antique fans.

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 Posted: Mon Feb 10th, 2020 04:58 am
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Alex Rushing
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Russ Huber wrote: Hey Alex, you are the king of pictures, dude.  :clap: :D
Thank you for the kind words, Russ! :)

Honestly, if I'm going to hop on here and ask if anyone knows anything about something, I'll at least spend a bit of time trying to get photos that are easy to see what is going on, and can possibly be used for reference material sometime in the future. My hopes are the excessive number of photos I take, and the detail of them, will possibly help others with their fan journeys, as well as represent how much effort I try to put into my personal fan assortment.
I'm definitely not up there with the restoration legends in overall aesthetic perfection, but I'd like to think my efforts will keep the fans running properly for another few generations. :)



Side note:
Since the original headwire was definitely green overbraid, I have found an antique wire to use on the fan. Not green overbraid, but something that looks the part a bit. Color scheme will be gloss black and polished brass. This wire outta shake it up a little. Hehe

Last edited on Mon Feb 10th, 2020 05:00 am by Alex Rushing

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 Posted: Mon Feb 10th, 2020 06:37 am
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Russ Huber
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A cheater way to get lime green head and power wire is neutral putty color braided power wire and a Marvey lime green fabric ink pen. It's not sheathed, but oh well.  :D

Attached Image (viewed 148 times):

fans 1 5358.jpg

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 Posted: Mon Feb 10th, 2020 08:11 am
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Alex Rushing
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Thanks for the wire tip, Russ! Will keep that in the bag of tricks if the wire I picked ends up not looking how I am picturing it.
Tony has already contacted me about the head wire as well, but I am going to try to use the "Christmas wire" for the headwire and power. I want the fan to look mostly original, so the paint scheme will be true to the black/brass style, but being a crazy-person, I wanted just one-little-thing to stand out. "Christmas wire". :imao
Russ,

Do you use water and an iron to steam the fiber insulating cover to make it flat?

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 Posted: Mon Feb 10th, 2020 12:19 pm
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David Kilnapp
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What a terrific post! Great pictures, wonderful video and new information. I have never heard or seen this centrifugal switch mechanism and the video really demonstrates the unusual sound it makes as it starts and stops. I’ve worked on a dozen or more tanks but have never seen this. I will certainly be on the lookout for one now! I wonder if this switch is rare? Great find!

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 Posted: Mon Feb 10th, 2020 03:20 pm
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David Allen
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That is interesting!  I have actually seen what appears to be that switch before, in a Westinghouse exhaust fan motor. It had snap-action non-rubbing design.

The spinning part of the centrifugal mechanism on the rotor only touches the stationary part of the switch for an instant, while it is cycling off or on. Once the motor is below the start switch kick-in speed, it will click and then there will be no rubbing after the snap-action switch changes position. This is especially good for exhaust fans where the wind can blow the fan blade, causing slow, constant rotation. With the older design switches, you can see deeply grooved and worn out contacts from this slow turning. But with this switch, it will not be harmed.


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 Posted: Mon Feb 10th, 2020 05:18 pm
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Ron Jeter
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Hey Alex: Would this wire work for you? If so PM Me your address and how many feet do you want. Free incl.Postage.

Attached Image (viewed 96 times):

WIRE.jpg

Last edited on Mon Feb 10th, 2020 05:20 pm by Ron Jeter

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 Posted: Mon Feb 10th, 2020 07:01 pm
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Alex Rushing
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David Kilnapp wrote: What a terrific post! Great pictures, wonderful video and new information. I have never heard or seen this centrifugal switch mechanism and the video really demonstrates the unusual sound it makes as it starts and stops. I’ve worked on a dozen or more tanks but have never seen this. I will certainly be on the lookout for one now! I wonder if this switch is rare? Great find!
Thank you for the kind words, David! :)

I am assuming it is rare, but will defer to the experienced experts on the matter of rarity. It feels good having an odd piece of fan history though. :)

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 Posted: Mon Feb 10th, 2020 07:05 pm
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Alex Rushing
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David Allen wrote: That is interesting!  I have actually seen what appears to be that switch before, in a Westinghouse exhaust fan motor. It had snap-action non-rubbing design.

The spinning part of the centrifugal mechanism on the rotor only touches the stationary part of the switch for an instant, while it is cycling off or on. Once the motor is below the start switch kick-in speed, it will click and then there will be no rubbing after the snap-action switch changes position. This is especially good for exhaust fans where the wind can blow the fan blade, causing slow, constant rotation. With the older design switches, you can see deeply grooved and worn out contacts from this slow turning. But with this switch, it will not be harmed.



Many thanks for sharing the information, David! :)

That makes a lot of sense now you mention it. 
Looks like the Tank I have won't likely ever need another start switch. 

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 Posted: Mon Feb 10th, 2020 07:06 pm
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Alex Rushing
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Ron Jeter wrote: Hey Alex: Would this wire work for you? If so PM Me your address and how many feet do you want. Free incl.Postage.
Thank you very much for the generous offer, sir! :)


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 Posted: Mon Feb 10th, 2020 07:10 pm
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David Allen
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Alex Rushing wrote: David Allen wrote: That is interesting!  .....


Many thanks for sharing the information, David! :)

That makes a lot of sense now you mention it. 
Looks like the Tank I have won't likely ever need another start switch. 


I bet you've got about two or three lifetimes worth of starts left in that switch! :) 

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 Posted: Mon Feb 10th, 2020 07:16 pm
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Alex Rushing
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Thank you! :D
I hope I've done a fair enough job insulating the stator to keep up with the long-life switch!


I am sooooo excited to get to the cosmetic work this evening! :clap:

Last edited on Mon Feb 10th, 2020 07:16 pm by Alex Rushing

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