Rich Mingin (PLUG) on 4 Dec 2015 12:15:37 -0800

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Re: [PLUG] fans

I still have a little tin squeeze-can of "machine oil" that I got at a sewing machine repair shop years and years ago. Lubing something like a fan is exactly what it's for, and it'll last much longer than WD-40 (which is thin and volatile).

30 second lightning talk on fan maintenance:
1. Look on frame side of fan (back, or where the label/wires are), sometimes the axle hole is uncovered, usually it's under one or two stickers to seal/cover it.
2. Peel back stickers, expose axle end.
3. Optional/risky - apply isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol in small quantities to the axle end and slowly turn the fan by hand, until the fan is turning freely. I personally only do this on fans which are badly jammed up, as it's a minor fire hazard (make sure all isopropyl has evaporated).
4. Apply machine oil a drop at a time into the axle well, while slowly turning the fan by hand, until fan spins very freely and smoothly. If fan catches or grinds irregularly, you likely have one or more damaged bearings, discard and replace fan if possible.
5. Clean area around axle well, cover with original stickers and/or scotch tape (this seal is just to keep debris out of the oil/axle area, doesn't need to be airtight, but should be strongly dust-resistant).

6. (Optional) Wait 30-60 minutes, verify fan is spinning freely and smoothly, return to service.

This is all home/personal maintenance, though. At work any fan doing anything but working perfectly gets discarded and replaced as first step, since "I rebuilt it" doesn't hold water when a fan fails/melts/smells bad at an inconvenient time.

On Fri, Dec 4, 2015 at 3:06 PM, JP Vossen <> wrote:
On 12/04/2015 06:38 AM, PaulNM wrote:
> On 12/02/2015 12:21 PM, JP Vossen wrote:
>> Yeah, I can't argue with you.  As you say, "it depends."  My case was a
>> bit different, and I know the WD-40 thing is...sub-optimal, we'll say. :)
> No, don't use WD-40 for anything other than cleaning surfaces or short
> term testing. (I.E. Verifying that lubrication solves the issue.) It'll
> lubricate the motor fantastically, but will fairly quickly leak out
> leaving you with a hot and/or jammed fan again. It's much better to just
> wipe away dirt/dust/grime if you can, then re-grease/oil the fan.
> If you have some WD-40 on hand and do decide to use it, make sure to get
> some proper grease/oil (something high viscosity) asap.
> Why yes, I *have* learned this from experience. :)

Well, you know, I believe I have too, but I suffer from CRS (Can't
Remember Sh!t) and need the reminder periodically. :-)

Does anyone have any recommendations for a longer-term grease/oil
solution that's easy, convenient and cheap?

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