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Hunter Box Fan Repair Help  Rate Topic 
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 Posted: Fri Sep 4th, 2020 12:14 am
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Joshua Beisiegel
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Hi all!
New here, but hoping someone may be able to help.

I just purchased my third antique/vintage fan, an interesting Hunter model that I haven't seen anywhere else.

Unfortunately, it arrived making metallic noises, sounding about like if you rattled a washer on a screw, worst when the fan had been shut off and was slowing down. 

I had it gone over by a local sewing machine repairman who works on fans as well, and he replaced the bushings and bearings, cleaned it, and oiled everything.

Unfortunately, the fan is still making the noise, though a little less loudly and less frequently. He says there's nothing that can be done, as he thinks it's caused by the blades being slightly out of alignment and he can't fix them.

Does anyone have any suggestions? The fan was supposed to be used while I sleep, and this certainly will keep me awake at night!

I've included some pictures of the fan, though from before cleaning or any work. If needed, I can take a video of the fan operating and try to record the noise.

Thank you for your help!







Attached Image (viewed 131 times):

Fan 1.jpg

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 Posted: Sun Sep 6th, 2020 01:13 am
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David Northam
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Hi Josh

Since the sewing machine guy took it apart and put it back together, this is may not be your issue, but I'm going to mention it just in case. Sometimes fans will make the noise you describe if the blade is loose on the shaft. I've had this happen on two fans when the set screw "seemed" tight, but it was not.

Also, there should be a dimple in the shaft where the set screw on the blades can best grip. You may want to loosen the set screw and remove the blade and ensure when you slide the blade back onto the shaft that the set screw is positioned over the dimple. When you tighten the set screw, make sure it is very tight.

I've had fans quiet down just by removing the blade and re-installing it. Sometimes just be performing this exercise, you "get it right" and it's tighter than it was before.

Good luck!

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 Posted: Sun Sep 6th, 2020 01:40 am
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Joshua Beisiegel
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Hi David,
Thank you for the response!

That was actually my first thought as well, as I've had to do that with my other fan before, however there doesn't appear to be any screw to remove this blade, nor do I see any other obvious mechanism to remove it.

The repairman said he was also unable to remove the blade and indicated that it was permanently pressed onto the shaft when it was built and is completely non-removable.

Were fans ever built like that? Is there another attachment mechanism I should look for?

Thanks again for any help on this!

Josh

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 Posted: Sun Sep 6th, 2020 01:52 am
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Andrew Block
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I had one of those. They're pressed on with a rubber grommet like the GE fans.

Mine would be a "brrrrrng brrrrng" sound periodically because the grommet had softened with age and was causing the blade to wobble on the shaft and was striking the motor housing. There wasn't much I could do and like you, I realized that taking the blade off would destroy that grommet. I ended up giving the fan to someone else. :/

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 Posted: Sun Sep 6th, 2020 08:57 am
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Joshua Beisiegel
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Hi Andrew,

That sounds exactly like the issue mine has!

It seems like it should be possible to replace the grommet if that's the case...

I suppose I may have to buy a variety to find one that fits.

Has anyone done that on a Hunter fan before to offer some advice?


Thanks,

Josh

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 Posted: Mon Sep 7th, 2020 03:26 am
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David Northam
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Hi Josh

For fans with rubber grommets holding the blades on, it is hard to find the exact fit. As Andrew described, there is line of GE fans from the 1950's thru 1960's that have this same design - except millions of the GE fans were produced and there seems to be a decent amount of NOS (new old stock) floating around among collectors, so getting replacement grommets is not "impossible."

Hunter generally produced very good fans. In addition to ceiling fans (which date WAY back), they made many really good window fans and larger 20-inch box fans from the 1950s thru mid 1970's....and a variety of desk fans as well. You can still buy Hunter branded fans today (mostly ceiling fans) but like so many other consumer goods, they (or at least most of their components) are made in China. I still have a nice 20-inch Hunter box fan that my dad bought new in 1969 or 1970 and it's running in a window of my house as I type this. (photo attached)

Please don't take this as a criticism of your fan, but the little box fans like yours were made here when Hunter was still manufacturing in Memphis, but I believe this model may have been a budget line Hunter produced for some of the discount stores. As you can see, the construction of it is not as substantial as most of their other fans. I've seen a few of those little box fans over the years, but they either didn't produce them in great quantities or many of the ones they produced did not survive.

Using the cheaper parts such as the rubber grommets allowed them to sell the fans for less, but they were also the start of the throw-away consumer mentality. If a rubber grommet dried out and failed after 10 or 15 years, they figured "so what?"

This is not to say you should give up on your fan!!! Just giving you some context of why the blades are installed that way.

Attached Image (viewed 46 times):

Hunter box in action.JPG

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