Question about Casablanca Fan Dryers

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Need a replacement fan speed potentiometer.

Fan speed switch located on unit itself. Controls only the fan speed. Reported to be a 330 ohm switch (seems low). Casablanca no longer sells the switch. The resistance figure was provided by a lady at Casablanca. I wasn't sure that she was correct.
Should I hit Radio Shack?

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  • John Hebbe Jun 17, 2008

    The track history of the product was not so important. It’s 25 years old but rather top of the line when it was new. No problem history here at its only location since out of the box.

    The unit had been left at, let’s say, 1/5 speed for years. Low RPM providing gentle, cooling air movement. The resistance amount was reported by a Casablanca rep who took the time to look it up. 330 Ω with a 1% tolerance.

    Recently, when turned on, the fan speed went to high (zero ohms). Rotation of the pot provided no speed change. I wouldn’t have considered the heat-sink mounted resistor since its function as a fixed resistance element would probably have had less (if anything) to do with fan RPM.

    Feeling certain that the fan speed switch was the culprit, I checked with Casablanca. Their 330 ohm data seemed initially low. But then, I had no idea of the load rating of the switch.

    Searching for a replacement proved difficult. No local repair stores had one similar for sale. On line, I located Allied Electronics who had a 350 of the right size (0.875” D.) but they were out of stock. They directed me to Digi-key who did have it. About $30 and in the mail within the hour. UPS.
    All things considered, I think this will be the solution and, if not, will be pleased to notify you that I was wrong and you may have been right. I’m thinking a failure of the heat-sink resistor would have created a different problem altogether. I may look into the 3-speed conversion if necessary.

  • John Hebbe Jun 21, 2008

    EATING HUMBLE PIE.

    I promised a response if I (original poster) was wrong in disregarding your 'Best Solution'. Well, I was wrong. The original rheostat, when checked, was still in working order. The solution offered by FixYa may or may not be correct but my repair idea was completely wrong.

    I want to upgrade my earlier grade for your reply to the second from the highest mark. I can't find your scale here today.

    If the local repair company can not fix it we'll have to replace it which is too bad. It has been a wonderful fixture.

    /s/ Skyraider

  • John Hebbe Jun 21, 2008

    An earlier response indicated that I disagreed with your heat-sink answer. It also stated that if I was wrong with my fix-it solution, I'd admit this to the world here.

    Well, my solution (replace the rheostat) was not the answer. Further checking showed the original fan rheostat switch was still in proper working order. Yur answer may or may not be correct but my reasoning was certainly wrong.

    I want to upgrade your rating to Three diamonds, Helpful. The local repair shop will be the final authority.

    Thanks for your considerations.

    /s/ Skyraider.

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Okay -- first off, I don't know where she got that number from, but that's idiotic.

The variable-speed switch will provide different readings depending on where it's turned to. If the switch is busted ("open), it will typically display a reading of 'infinity' on your ohmmeter.

And yes -- the best place to find a replacement is Radio Shack, since Casablanca discontinued them.

HOWEVER---

Casablanca's variable-speed ceiling fans -- specifically the "SlumberQuiet" ones, which were made from circa 1980 or 1981 to the early/mid 1990s when variable-speed was discontinued -- are well-known for breaking down. The problem is almost never the potentiometer (variable-speed dial). Rather, the problem is almost always the resistor which is mounted in the heat-sink inside the fan's motor housing. There are NO replacements left for these -- so Casablanca makes a "variable-speed to 3-speed conversion kit", which will convert your fan to a more normal 3-speed pull-chain (hi-med-low) setup.

I hope that helps! If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask!

Posted on Jun 17, 2008

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First, I have a BRAND NEW Casablanca potentiometer, stamped 1954150. It ohms out at 0 to 5.13K ohms, linear taper. ANY 5K ohm linear taper pot could be used. As stated above, a greated value could be substituted, but the scaling would be different - obviously.

Second, I wish everyone here would stop calling that "thing" on the aluminum heat sink a "resistor". It is a high power NPN TRANSISTOR. It is used to add or remove current from a pair of fixed resistors on the PCB, effectively forming an infinitely variable VOLTAGE DIVIDER between the bridge rectifier (powering the fan) and the fixed resistors. Clever in theory, unreliable in practice. I should know, I've rebuilt mine 3 times in 15 years. This last time, the pot went south. Fortunately, I had 1 more OEM pot in stock.

Finally, and for those of you that are interested, contrary to anything Casablanca tells you, the bearings in these units (at least mine) ARE replacable. Casablanca will tell you they are not, and that you MUST purchase a new fan motor for several hundred dollars - which pisses me off to no end. I have a Victorian Vari-Quiet (which I love), and the replacement bearings are 6005-2RS C/3 (Consolidated #). They are around $50 per set of 2 and widely available. However, they are not exactly easy to replace. But if you take your time , it is absolutely possible. I've replace the bearings in mine twice now. Note that you WILL have to cut 2 wires and resolder them. So if you can't solder, don't attempt this.

Posted on Aug 10, 2009

  • TallTexan Aug 10, 2009

    P.S. The next time I need to replace the potentiometer, I will use a "WIRE WOUND" 5K ohm linear taper pot. These are a little more difficult to come by (and a little pricier), but should be the last pot I ever install in this fan. It was definitely a "weak link" in the overall design. If you need to replace the pot (ohm it out first and check for "dead spots"), don't waste time looking for an OEM replacement, unless you happen to have one laying around. Use a "wire wound" aftermarket replacement and save yourself the headaches of future failures.



    Also, the reason the bearings (at least for my Victorian) are so readily available is because they are the exact same bearings used for ATV axles. -smiles-

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I have three of these fans. The potentiometer in one of them developed a dead spot and I replaced it. Works fine now. In case anybody is interested, the potentiometer is 25 Kohm linear taper.

Posted on May 30, 2009

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