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To all my fans

By The House Doctor

All I want to do is turn you on, and you let me down. I want this relationship to be over, but alas, you’re the only fans I can get. Overpriced Chinese garbage. We just have to learn how to work together.

Welcome to Fans 101 my fellow Quepolandiacs, the first way to keep these fans lasting is preventative maintenance. The most commonly trashed fan here is the oscillating floor stand type. One day it’s working, the next, just a humming sound and eventually, if unchecked, the lovely aroma of frying electrical innards. By this point, you just may have to pronounce the patient dead on the scene.

Remember when servicing electrical appliances, be sure they are unplugged, I know, I know. You knew that right! So let’s begin.

Remove the shroud. At least most of these fans have an easily removal fan shroud. If you can’t figure it out just stare at it longer, make a bunch of blabbering noises, and then go back to watching TV. Once the shroud is off, clean the blades for goodness sake! It adds resistance to the motor. Clean the shroud too. Free movement of air good. Blabber Blabber.

While the shroud is off, it’s time to lube the shaft. Can’t go wrong with our old pal WD-40. It not only lubricates, but (insert game show winner music here) it’s a Water Displacement solution. Now I know you by this point, you skipped right over the shroud removal part because yours fell off weeks ago and you have to warn your guests each time not to chop themselves up in your house by getting too close. I also know that you lost the little red straw that comes with the WD-40 as well. Don’t panic. Lay that old war beast on its back and soak the shaft with the lube while slowly spinning the blades. It’ll be just fine.

Next, the critical step. The inside of the motor housing has been neglected. Get out your rusty toolbox from under your leaky sink, and pull out your screwdrivers. The button that controls the oscillation has a tiny screw inside of it. Remove it, don’t set it down anywhere a wiley monkey might run off with it. The rear of the motor housing may have any random combination of screws. Bottom line, remove them and the plastic comes apart revealing the dust caked micro Taiwanese powerhouse to this problematic contraption. Here’s where you need to buy something that will save your fan’s life for many times to come. Aerosol electrical contact cleaner. Sold in every hardware store for about 3 mil. (Limpiador de contactos) Spray it outside and try not to huff it. You can soak the motor and wires with it and watch the dirt run off on the ground. It dries very quickly.

Check the cogs and splines in the little plastic doohickey (professional term) that operates the oscillation. Make sure they are clean and greased as well. On that particular linkage I prefer to lube with something a little more viscous than WD. Axel grease is an example, Vaseline as well, or maybe something that comes in a bottle with a picture of two people kissing.

Reassemble your work and enjoy the breeze with confidence. The whole process only takes about 20min. 1 hour if you’re the blabbering type. Depending on how dusty your area is will determine how often this is needed. Best case scenario, once a month.  If none of this serves you, two shirtless men with palm fronds are a bit more pricey in the long run but require much less lube. I know a guy.

I have faith in my fans! If you don’t, don’t worry. The Doctor is always in.


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