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We bought an Airworks Box fan from Canadian Tire and three years on the blade or fan will barely turn. We've taken the blade off, oiled the shaft, and it worked for all of one day. Is there a place in which to oil fans? (We looked for one but couldn't locate it.) Should we be using a different, more industrial type lubricant?

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  • Anonymous Mar 27, 2014

    I can't get the dial that goes in front of the blade back on, does it push back on or turn, I've tried both but it doesn't stay.



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If there is one on your fan, it is a cup or small tube running to the bearings on the motor. Typically use a light machine oil. Usually 2-3 drops only. You do not wish to over oil as this will get into the electric motor part.
Some fans have a wick that sits above the bearing and allows the oil to into the bearings. If the wick is dirty it is better to replace rather than try to clean the wick itself. Dirty oil, and the wick being impregnated with contaminants reduces it's effectiveness.
Translation: bearings could run dry and this will really cause problems with wear/friction/Noise.

Check the bearings:
Blackened lubricant shows the effects of electrical currents which can create hot spots within the bearing. Check clean if you can.
The bearings may be too far gone causing the blade shaft not to turn freely.

Good luck!
Hope this helps

Posted on Jul 18, 2010


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If you get to airworks website, they should have owners manuals available as a pdf adobe reader download.
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I have had the same model for almost ten years, and have had to lubricate it twice - both times when the fan stopped rotating. It's obvious that Vornado never intended the bearings to be serviced, but if you're patient, it can be done. You must remove the front louver section (press the three clips inward gently). Then firmly pull the fan toward the front, off the shaft. Then remove the four nuts on the front of the motor housing - you'll note that the bolts appear to be free-floating, but that allows re-assembly after the bearings are lubricated. When the nuts are removed, firmly pull the front of the motor housing toward you. This may require a firm pull or GENTLE prying, as the rear bearing sometimes doesn't want to let go. When you have the front portion of the housing and shaft out, hold the housing and pull the shaft out of the front bearing. Again, this may require a steady firm pull straight back. When the rotor & shaft are free, you'll need some very fine emery paper to remove the varnish that's built up on the shaft (it's unmistakable where to clean the shaft.) And I never attempt to do anything with the front and rear bearing themselves - too much work, and cleaning the shaft does the job for me. Then clean everything up carefully and lubricate the shaft where it enters the bearings (and maybe a drop in the rear bearing itself.) I use a very fine machine oil that I bought at Sears, but I think any good oil would work. Then, it's re-assembly time - shaft into front bearing, shaft into rear bearing as the motor housing is put back together (lining up the bolts), four nuts on the bolts & tighten (firmly, no gorilla), press fan back on shaft (don't force it too far on - it'll stop when it's in the right place), plug in and check, re-attach front louver (just press - the clips will snap easily into place.)

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My fan is not rotating when I connected to plug. There is no burning smell or anything. How can I fix the problem? Thanks in advance


I have a Holmes pedestal fan that does this every few years. I have had this fan for about 10 years.

Unplug the fan and remove the fan blade guard. The fan blade should spin easily when you tap the edge of the fan blades with your finger. If the blade barely moves and abruptly stops, the bearings are dirty and need to be cleaned and oiled with 10W non-detergent motor oil. A quick-fix is a tiny bit of WD-40 where the motor shaft (the rod that the fan blade is mounted on) meets the bearing (the part of the motor that the shaft spins on). To properly fix this, you must oil both the front and back motor bearings which requires removal of the motor housing.

If the fan blade spins easily and you are certain that the fan is getting power (try a different outlet) the motor may be bad. Likewise, if the fan blade will not move at all. I do not know if Holmes sells motors for these fans. Here is their online support website:

Good luck from Detroit, MI.

P.S.: Never turn a motor-operated appliance on for more than a second if you know it's not working. That will cook the motor windings.

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Our fan's blade will barely turn. Can it be fixed?

"Our fan\'s blade will barely turn. Can it be fixed?"

Of course. Usually the front bearing gets dry and gummy. The fan may run after the armature is warm, but it fails to start when it's cold.

Unplug the fan first, right? Then lay the fan flat.
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If you can't get close to that area, you'll need to take the grill off, and remove the blades. Then lay the fan flat and squirt some sewing machine oil on the shaft near the front bearing.
The rear bearing is usually OK, while the front one seems to get dry and gummed up.

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