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AssuredElectrical
AssuredElectrical, Home Specialist
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 4241
Experience:  35 years home improvement
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I have a Sears Roebuck table top oscillating fan that's at

Customer Question

I have a Sears Roebuck table top oscillating fan that's at least 50 years old. It was running smoothly this afternoon, then suddenly started to rattle and stopped. The motor hums but the blades don't turn when I turn it on. If I spin the blades by hand, then turn it on before they stop spinning, it will run, but it rattles. When I spin the blades by hand, they stop after about 3-5 rotations. It's very hard to count them.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Home Improvement
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 1 year ago.
Welcome. My name is ***** ***** would be glad to assist.From your information posted, it definitely sounds like a fan bearing issue or the main shaft of the motor.This would cause a great restriction in the free turning of the fan, especially to get it started.The rattling would be the bearing and the motors rotor running off center , which can cause a number of symptoms.Unplug the fan, then if you can get to the very front of the blades with no guards in place, you will then align the bl;ades so you have one at the top vertical and bottom vertical line.Then gently place your fingers against the top and bottom and wiggle from front to back on the blade and see if there is any movement.Do this again on the sides from left to right and wiggle front to back.This will allow to feel any "slop" as its called in the bearings/housing and fan shaft.If there is movement, then you have found the issue.A bearing or shaft issue can cause a lot of resistance to start the rotation of the fan and to keep it running. It now is not on center to allow the motor to operate properly.The fan shaft should be tight with no movement.Keep me posted on findings etc, just reply and we can investigate further if needed.A local motor shop may be able to rebuild the shaft and bearing area on the fan, that would have to be evaluated by them on inspection.Not knowing the exact type bearings, you might apply a single drop of lubricating oil on the shaft right where the housing is and see if that has any effect.Some older fans had small openings on the tops of the motors for applying small drops of oil for lubricating the bearings.Check yours to see if you find any.DO NOT put over 1 or 2 drops, you can do damage if too much oil is used and it gets inside the electrical components in the fan motor.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
There is no movement in the shaft at all. I've tried oil, but it made no difference. The only movement I can find is between the motor and the base, but not at the joint that allows the fan tilt to be adjusted. That is tight.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I take that back. There is movement of the shaft from front to back. It slides in and out slightly, but no movement side to side.
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 1 year ago.
Ok, thanks.It will depend on the amount front to back movement, whether that is the issue or not.A rotor inside must balance out and be in the center of the stator coils.This allows the motor to turn freely within the magnetic field. You should be able to see this when you turn it on and give it that assistance. See if there is hunting on the motor shaft at the same time as the noise.Are there any areas on the fan for a small capacitor or other electrical parts?Sometimes, the old motors had some interesting components hidden in the bases.If there is no excessive movement, it may be in the rotor itself, damage to the stator coils or rotor bars.That is what the situation is pointing to at this point since bearings seem ok.Has to be mechanical issue which causes the motor from starting and the problem with maintaining the rotationMaybe you can take the motor apart or one end to get a visual inspection.Might can video the fan and noise and upload to a free share site for access, that would allow more information to be passed on for review.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I've removed the screws that hold that back cover of the motor on, but it won't budge. Any hints on getting it off?
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 1 year ago.
Ok,Without being there, it is always difficult to know what is happening or how the motor was designed. There are so many possibilities.Some motors have bolts that go through the front to he rear, and others just simple caps screws and removal.Shaft maybe galded to the bearing inside the cover?Thats what is sounds like, but again, hard to know without the visual.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Is there a way to send a picture?
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 1 year ago.
The paper clip symbol on the tool bar above the chat window will allow to upload pictures form your PC directly here
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Pics attached.
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 1 year ago.
Ok, thanks, ***** ***** pictures. Nice old one.I would say the metal to metal on the rear cover is galded and a little "love tapping" is needed to free from each other.Anytime you have the metal contact over a wide area, it is difficult to have them release from each other. Had a few of those myself.I use a towel to absorb the taps and go around in the circle around where the cover meets the frame.Gently tapping and a little tugging should break it free.Not too hard, do not want to bend the covers ring area or the cover itself.Try a very tiny drop of oil and rotate the fan and let the oil run around in a circle, that may penetrate
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Got it off. I'm stripping the head of the screw trying to turn it.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Got it.
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 1 year ago.
Ok, that bolt should go all the way through the motor to the other end with the nut on front side.It looks that way anyways
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 1 year ago.
You do not want to pull the rear completely off with everything attached on the front.
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 1 year ago.
It will cause problems trying to get back together.You will have to remove everything on the front side and have only the motor shaft through the housing
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Then how do I get a look at the shaft?
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 1 year ago.
You have to take the blade and guard off the front.Then dismantle the fan housing
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 1 year ago.
The blade and guard are going to be a huge hindrance getting it together after inspection
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I tightened a screw on the shank, but don't know if that was the problem. I have loose black wire. I don't know if you can tell from this picture if it should be connected somewhere. I suspect it may be for one of the three speeds. It looks like the connections are soldered. I can't see any other way to connect them.
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 1 year ago.
Looks to me the only the empty stab I see off the switch is the one to the right , there is one wire, but I see the tab next to that wire with nothing on it and signs of something being there before.Yes, they used solder back in the day.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Silver solder?
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 1 year ago.
Yes, silver is used for electrical connections to hold best.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
This shows where the loose wire is coming from. Can you tell anything from that?
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 1 year ago.
Nope, sorry.No way to tell from this end where it goes, it should be visible in person of where it was attached, there should be signs.There is not enough clarity on this end.There are no wiring diagrams on the old fans or other documentation unless someone has the same built style.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It looks like the connectors are attached to a piece of plastic, so how would you solder it without melting the plastic?
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 1 year ago.
If the rivets are against the plastic, you may have to go with some low temp solder and try to get it to stick.They probably used low temp rosin back in the day.Definitely do not want to damage the switch.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Picture
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 1 year ago.
Have to be cautious with low temp solder as suggested
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 1 year ago.
Very good
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Fan back together, connection soldered, all 3 speeds work, but it rattles exactly as it did before. I have no idea what else to check. It was working fine one minute, than suddenly started rattling and got sluggish. No one touched it.
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 1 year ago.
Ok, glad to hear you got it soldered and switch is fine.That is one of the things that pop up when working with older equipment, wiring is fragile and always tough to get it back togetherThe rattling is mechanical, were you able to get the front section separated and see the rotor and stator on the motor.Rattle means movement somewhere., especially when it affects the motor not operating up to speed.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I wouldn't know a stator if I saw it. I saw the inside of a gear box. I had everything apart that I could find to take apart. Now that it's back together, the shaft is moving in and out, possibly more than it was before. I thought I had fixed that. I'm going to see if I can attach a video. This is after I put it back together. Nope, wouldn't let me attach it.
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 1 year ago.
Ok,Video would have to be uploaded to a free share site, as the site here only accepts pictures and small files to my knowledge.So, you had the entire motor disassembled, front end off and everything inside exposed.That would have been the opportunity to view everything.If has more movement now, it may have been binding before, hard to say.Some things have to be physically seen and inspected