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Old 03-26-2010, 02:09 PM   #1
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House fan not working on 'Low'


On my second floor with a High / Low switch and a timer hooked up to it. The fan works fine on high and the timer works - but if I try to put it on low it stalls out. I can hear it try to work - it sounds kind of like trying to get a car to turn over. It starts up, spins for a second and stops and repeats that cycle until I turn it off or set it to high. The fan was installed when I bought the house so I have no idea how old it is or its brand / model.

Does anyone know what might be causing the problems on low, is it still OK to run it on high, even with the issues on low and is this something that can be fixed easily or does it require special services - electrician or otherwise?
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Old 03-26-2010, 05:55 PM   #2
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sounds like on the low setting it's not getting enough voltage to turn it over. Keep in mind that a motor need far more juice to start up than it does once it's running. It sounds like it should be just fine on the high setting but as always with electrical you can never be too carefull.
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Old 03-26-2010, 06:41 PM   #3
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Is there a pull chain switch on the unit? If so, make sure it is on high speed or the motor will stall.
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Old 03-26-2010, 07:07 PM   #4
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If it's a very old, (but powerful) one like mine, it needs oil in that little tube with the cap with the spring holding it shut.....

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Old 03-26-2010, 08:29 PM   #5
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The fan and the high-low switch are incompatible, or you did not wire it up correctly.

Multispeed (as opposed to variable speed) motors have several leads which are connected to hot and neutral in different combinations to get the different speeds.
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Old 03-26-2010, 08:46 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cellophane View Post
The fan was installed when I bought the house so I have no idea how old it is or its brand / model.
I don't think he wired it, Allan. I'm sure it worked fine at one point in time.

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Old 03-27-2010, 07:00 AM   #7
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needs a part


I had the same problem with the heater A/C fan in my car. Worked fine on high but no low or medium. Found the high is wired directly to the fan motor but the low and medium go through a resistor block which was burned out. Easy fix as new resistor block just plugged in.

If there is a wiring diagram, look at what is between the low speed contact on the switch and the motor. It probably is not a resistor but an electronic module similar to a dimmer. May or may not be an easy fix but the motor should be fine on high speed.
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