An exhaust fan is an important home appliance that provides ventilation with the outside air. However, after continuous use, the exhaust fan shall be serviced, or else it may slow down. Follow these simple ‘do it yourself’ tips to open and service an exhaust fan.
You have been using an exhaust fan in the kitchen or in the bathroom, and it’s been running fine for the last 4-5 months. However, over a period of these 4-5 months, you can see the dust accumulation on the frame as well as on the blades of the exhaust fan. You understand that the exhaust fan can work fine for another 1-2 months, but, thereafter, it can slow down or the motor may jam. Therefore, you decide that it is the ideal time to open the exhaust fan and service it. However, you have not done this activity before. Therefore, you are wondering whether to do it yourself or call an electrician. Well, the electrician will certainly charge upward of Rs 300 to make a visit and service the exhaust fan. And looking at the exhaust fan from the ground, you realize it’s not that difficult to open the exhaust fan and then service it. Therefore, after much contemplation, you decide to take the plunge and do it yourself. The following steps should be taken to open an exhaust fan and then service it.
The first and foremost step in this whole exercise is to deinstall the exhaust fan from its location. Take a screwdriver and open the screws that are used to install the exhaust fan. Some exhaust fans may have only one screw while some may have 2-4 screws. Whatever the number of screws, the first step is to open them all. Make sure you hold the exhaust fan with the hand or else it may fall down.
Now, the next step is to unplug the main wire that connects the exhaust fan to the nearby socket. Some nicely designed exhaust fans may come with a plug, therefore, in that case, just unplug the exhaust fan plug from the socket. While some inferior exhaust fans may not provide a plug. In that case, you have to manually open the socket where the exhaust fan wire is connected. Unplug the exhaust fan wire from this socket.
Now, the exhaust fan is ready to be taken out from the hole where it was inserted. Do it carefully without pulling or applying too much pressure. Normally, it should easily come out of the hole. However, if that’s not the case, then, just tap on one side of the exhaust fan to loosen that side, and then it will easily come out from the hole.
Once the exhaust fan is fully out and is in your hands, then, open the back cover of the exhaust fan by opening the back cover screws. There might be 4-6 back cover screws. Open them all and remove the back cover. Now, you can see the whole exhaust fan including the motor, blades, and other surfaces.
The next step is the dusting step. Take a clean dry piece of cloth and manually clean the back cover itself first. Make sure to clean all possible areas of the back cover. Thereafter, take another piece of cloth and dust the back cover to remove the dirt particles. After cleaning and dusting the back cover, now, it’s time to clean and dust the motor casing. Do not put too much pressure on the motor casing. And extra care shall be taken when you clean and dust the main shaft of the exhaust fan. Or else, you may end up damaging the position of the bearing in which the shaft sits. If that happens, then, it will negatively impact the performance of the exhaust fan. It may not run at the same speed in the future. Thereafter, clean and dust the blades. Make sure to clean and dust the edges of the blades in particular as that is where the air comes in contact with the blades. Then, clean and dust all other surfaces of the exhaust fan.
After cleaning and dusting, the next step is oiling. You don’t want to oil all surfaces. Oil is needed just to smoothen the shaft of the exhaust fan. Put 5-10 drops of a lubricant or machine oil on the shaft and make sure it seeps through the bearing in which the shaft sits. Besides oiling the main shaft, you can also oil the tightening bolt that joins the blades with the main shaft.
Now, wait for 30-40 minutes. And start putting it all together. Make sure that the main shaft is rotating smoothly in the bearing. Blades are clean and bolted tight onto the main shaft. Test the whole apparatus. Plug it and assess the performance of the exhaust fan in this open condition. If it’s working fine, then, you must put the back cover on and tighten it perfectly. If the exhaust fan is not operating perfectly, then, pay extra attention to the main shaft. Make sure it is sitting perfectly in the bearing. Having done that, now, it’s time to put the exhaust fan back in the hole and plug it back to the socket and then install it by tightening the screws.
That’s it, the whole exercise can take 2 hours of your time. But it’s worth doing it provided you have the time. Maybe you can take up this exercise on a Sunday when there is no pressure to carry out other tasks.
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