Question about Broan-NuTone N-769RF Combination Light Fan Exhaust Fan

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Noisy fan We just moved in to a new place and the fan is really loud. Kind of like a whirring noise but no grinding. It's been adjusted once already by the builders but it's already doing it again 2 weeks later. Any quick suggestions?

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We had our house built with the same Nutone fan/light units in all 4 bathrooms. Moved in in 2002. One of the units starting making a loud noise last month. I popped the plasic cover off the light, then carefully pulled out the bulb, then unscrewed the wingnut in the middle. That allowed removal of the light assembly. Then I had access to the blade and motor. I found a lot of dust had collected on the motor and blade. I blew most of it off with compressed air (like what you would use on a computer), then used an electronic cleaner on the motor, then wiped off the blade and motor with a clean cloth.

I then crossed my fingers and turned on the fan.... It worked! It was quiet again. I waited a week before posting this. The fan is used every day. It is still quiet today.

If it ever needs replacing, I saw that Nutone sells the motor alone for about $22, that's a lot better than replacing the whole unit for around $70.

Mr. J.

Posted on Jan 10, 2009

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Fixing a noisy fan


As fans in electronic equipment get dirty; the dust and dirt will slowly work its way into the mechanical components of the fan, grinding the smooth plastic surfaces like sand paper. This keeps the fan from moving smoothly and eventually produces a buzzing or whirring noise from the resulting friction. In time, the increased heat and friction will simply burn the motor out and it may stop working entirely.

Some choose to just ignore the problem or simply disconnect the fan to stop the noise; however, the fan usually serves an important purpose cooling the machine. Cases are carefully designed to circulate air and even one fan failing out of several can change the airflow in such a way that pockets of heat can become trapped above chips and under critical components. While many think that washing or cleaning the fan regularly may resolve this issue, often it does not. In fact, it can make it worse by removing oil and grease intended to lubricate the parts and keep them running smoothly. Removing the dust itself will also not replace the lost plastic as normally smooth surfaces will still be scored. Many times after cleaning fans become even noisier.

Because the plastic itself is physically damaged, the best issue long term with a noisy fan is to just replace the fan yourself when it becomes unbearably loud. That said, don't pay to have a fan repaired or cleaned by a repair service unless under warranty. Most computer shops when faced with a noisy fan issue will simply soak the fan in mineral oil or lubricate it with WD-40 and return it to the customer. This only resolves the issue for a short period of time and cheats the consumer given that the computer fan itself can be bought at a variety of part suppliers so cheaply.

Just treat the noise as good indicator that failure of the fan is imminent. Generally it will not cost over $15 and once installed it runs quietly for a much longer amount of time than any fix.



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