I have a Harbor Breeze fan with a built in remote. The fan seems to only operate at slow speed even when on medium and high speeds. Its been this way since I installed it. Any idea on what may cause this and how to fix it?
1Wapiti, you are the man! I actually had an electrician install my fan and the fan speeds were painfully slow. They tried different things to no avail and thought it was the fan. After seeing your suggestion, I tried it and all is well. I then looked back at the directions for the wall mount and remote and they both say that the fan needs to be set to high and the light on, both with the pull chain. It is even in the troubleshooting section!!! I suppose they didn't feel they needed to read the instructions. :-(
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You are talking about your blower fan for the air conditioner and heater right? More information will be needed to solve the problem.
When you say it barely changes speeds, does that mean it doesnt speed up, or doesnt slow down? By that I mean, is it "stuck" on low, or high?
Most blower fans run at different speeds through the use of a multi-stage resistor built into the fan switch circuit. Low speed is a high value resistor, medium speed is a low value one, and high speed is the fan running without any resistance.
If your fan is running on high and doesnt seem to want to run on lower speeds, the resistor pack may be failing. If the fan is running on low speed only, it may be that the fan itself is beginning to fail, or that the lubricant in it has gotten gummy.
It sounds like fan motor is okay. There are two motor windings -- one low speed, one medium speed. Low winding gives you low speed, medium winding gives you medium speed, both windings give you high speed -- so I would say if you get high speed, both windings are good.
The remote (the hand held transmitter) controls the speed by raising and lowering the frequency of the current which is 60 cycle coming to the fan ceiling box. If the fan speed -selector switch (usually a pull switch) is set to high, when the remote (transmitter) signals the receiver to change speeds, the frequency of the current is changed by the receiver (the receiver is usually in the fan housing).
Sounds like you'll need to replace the remote system -- these come in sets, both transmitter and receiver, and cost about $30. If you're not experienced with wiring fans, you should get an electrician to do the job.
If this fan has a pullchain that also controls the fan speed, and you have a remote, the pullchain has to be set for the highest speed. If it is set at medium or low, it will mess with the remote operation. Note: usually high speed is the first pull after the "off" position.
1. Set the remote to run the fan on high.
2. Pull the fan speed chain until the fan reaches high speed.
3. All speeds should work normally now.
The remote is modulating the maximum speed as set by the pull chain.
I recently replaced my hampton bay fan for the same reason (slow at all speeds) and discovered scorched and melted capacitors and wiring inside the fan. My suggestion is to stop using fan and replace immediately.