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Nathan, Installer
Category: TV
Satisfied Customers: 24941
Experience:  Custom home theater installer, authorized dealer top brands.
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My DLP is generating a whirring noise, Panasonic 50' DLP,

Customer Question

My DLP is generating a whirring noise
JA: What's the model number of your TV? How old is it?
Customer: Panasonic 50' DLP, model is PT- 50DL54J
JA: Does the TV menu work? Do you have the same problem on all sources/inputs?
Customer: yes the menu works the noise comes out about 30mins to an hour after the power was on then the whirring noise comes on and grow louder and louder until I felt compelled to turn it off
JA: How long has this been an issue? What happened right before this popped up?
Customer: About half a year ago. I've had this DLP since 2005 and the only times when it made this noise was during the summer when the room was too hot
JA: Anything else you want the TV expert to know before I connect you?
Customer: I've had this dlp for 10 years, replaced the bulbs twice, never cleaned
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: TV
Expert:  Nathan replied 4 months ago.

Hi, I'm Nathan.
Sorry to hear that you're having trouble, but I'll do my best to help you. Please give me a few moments to review and reply.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Thanks. The whirring noise starts off low for about a minute or so, and then it becomes louder and louder. At this point, I would turn the DLP off for about 10-15 minutes, then the noise goes away for another 30 minutes-1 hour, then the low whirring starts up again. It's a cycle.
Expert:  Nathan replied 4 months ago.

That type of sound is usually the beginning stages of a failure of the color wheel.

This is the result of normal age related wear and tear; as a 2005 model tv, that type of failure wouldn’t be surprising. This tv is over double its service life at this point.

There is one step you can take here, both as a possible fix, as well as a diagnostic evaluation:
1) Unplug the power cord from the outlet
2) Wait at least 1 hour (60+ Minutes)
3) Press and hold the power button (on the set, not the remote) for 60 seconds
4) Keep holding power button while plugging back in, and for another 60 seconds after. When plugging back in, go directly to the wall outlet, bypassing any power strips or surge protectors.

If this reset process does not work, it would unfortunately confirm an internal hardware failure.

This is something that would require repairs to correct; if you're thinking about a do it yourself repair, you'll need to be comfortable and skilled with electronics repairs, which could include dismantling the set (removing the back panel of the tv), diagnostics testing with a multimeter, changing out boards as needed, and possibly desoldering/removing and soldering/replacing individual components.
If you’re considering repair at a local shop, you’ll find a typical repair to be around $300 for diagnostics, parts, and labor.

For a tv of this size/age/type however, replacement will make more sense. You can get a brand new LED tv with a fresh warranty in the $400 range.

I can help you with finding parts, finding a repair shop, or recommending replacement options, if desired.

My apologies for the news,


Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I will try the diagnostic evaluation
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Would dirt and dust be the cause of the noise? I do notice the back heating up and I'm wondering if the dirt is causing the fan to malfunction
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
The colours and pictures are displaying fine as of now
Expert:  Nathan replied 4 months ago.

It is not likely, but it wouldn't hurt to vacuum off all the vents and blow it out with compressed air.

It is more likely bearings starting to go.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Okay I will give this a try as well. I don't imagine I could try out your recommendations tonight. How can I reach you to let you know if your suggestions thus far are working? Will this be an ongoing process until my issue is resolved?
Expert:  Nathan replied 4 months ago.

Just bookmark/favorite this page to follow up with me here on your original question.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Great, thanks for your fast response. I will let you know how things go!
Expert:  Nathan replied 4 months ago.

You're very welcome, and best of luck to you!

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Hi Nathan, i completed the reset but nothing changed (the dlp just switched on and the whirring sound eventually came on after about 30mins - 1hr like before). Would you be able to advise where I could purchase the colour wheel and how much it would typically cost? I live in Canada. Thank you
Expert:  Nathan replied 4 months ago.

Thanks for trying, and sorry that didn't work.

The original part is no longer available, there is a substitute part that can work, but it is over $300 just for the part (US$), and replacing it is not something I'd recommend as a DIY job. It truly would cost you more to fix it than it would to buy a brand new tv. If you want to pursue repairs though you can special order the part here: