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Old 29-01-2015, 05:30   #1
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Noisey 12 volt fan

Got a couple of 6 inch, 12 volt fans that run fine, but occasionally switch to running rather noisily. Do they need lubrication or cleaning of some sort, and, if so, where exactly and how is this accomplished?

Don't have the fan make or model available at the moment, but perhaps I could figure that out if I start taking one apart.

All advice greatly appreciated.

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G2L
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Old 29-01-2015, 05:44   #2
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Re: Noisey 12 volt fan

A very small drop of oil on the shaft with the fan arranged so the oil will flow into the bearing is about the only way to save one if the bearings are noisy. This is usually only a temporary fix.


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Old 29-01-2015, 06:38   #3
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Re: Noisey 12 volt fan

If you can't figure out how to take them apart from looking at them, your best bet is to replace them. Most modern small fans are "permanently lubricated" and not meant to be serviced. As sailmonkey pointed out, anything you do is likely to be temporary at best. There are two bearings, one at each end of the motor.
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Old 29-01-2015, 17:58   #4
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Re: Noisey 12 volt fan

If you have friends coming who can bring you things, I like the Caframo 2 speed fans. They're probably the easiest fans to clean I've ever seen. If you do decide to do that, buy at least one spare pair of blades at the time of purchase. They don't get fragile for a while, but they can break from you accidentally getting in their way. I have one mounted so it can blow in the galley or in the saloon, and if I turn it while it's on, I can get into the blades. They don't hurt, only plastic. Just is hard on them.

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Old 29-01-2015, 18:13   #5
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Re: Noisey 12 volt fan

The small cheap fans are just noisy… right out of the box. I had one once that actually had PLASTIC bearings!

I have real good luck with Hella fans
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Old 29-01-2015, 18:14   #6
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Re: Noisey 12 volt fan

Has anyone explored using the really large computer fans mounted directly in a port? These are both cheap & quiet. BTW, when you get a new fan, first thing is to access the motor bearings. Many are tiny journal bearings, not rolling elements. If you can find room to add an oil soaked felt pad on the shaft, the bearing will stay lubricated longer and accept re-lube. I have also replaced worn bearings with Nylatron of other engineering plastic. On the computer fans, there is often a peel & stick cover over the bearing. Lift this with a razor blade and add a single drop of oil to the shaft. I just received a Jabsco squrrel cage all plastic 4" blower. Hope is that this will be less noise than the buzzing screamer presently there.

BTW, the noise on most fans is - too high a tip speed & imbalanced rotor. You can manually balance a wheel even randomly by adding & moving tape or those automotive type clip on sheet metal nuts.
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Old 29-01-2015, 22:12   #7
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Re: Noisey 12 volt fan

We use 2 12v computer fans in a plastic panel that attaches over the galley port. It's our exhaust fan and works a treat.

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Old 01-02-2015, 02:57   #8
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Re: Noisey 12 volt fan

I make extensive use of 12v computer fans. My favorite is the silverstone fm121 which is a variable speed 120MMfan, 800 to 2400RPM. ~0.08A to 0.4amps. Upto 110 CFM. Near silent to about 36DB. It comes with a 10k ohm potentiometer to adjust speed.

I also use a Silverstone AP182, which is a 180MM adjustable speed fan that will move upto 160 CFM. This fans hub gets quite warm at highest speeds and at battery charging voltages. I have added a voltage Bucker to it and only allow it 11 volts no matter battery voltage. It only uses 0.04amps at slowest speed when fed 11 volts, and about 1 amp at highest speed, where it moves a respectable amount of air. It also comes with a 10k ohm potentiometer for speed control. Some I have added to fan case. Some fans have a well removed potentiometer for changing speed from bed

Both of these fans are dual ball bearing fans.

The Silverstone AP182 moves air in a nice narrow column of air, the fm121 at a wider angle with 4 hotspots.

Another fan I like is the 92MM Vantec tornado. To this I have added a ciggy plug style voltage controller, and mounted the fan on a 6 inch gooseneck which is attached to a 2 inch spring clamp. Quite loud at 12v, it also moves a lot of air(116CFM, I feel this rating is low), I generally run it at 7.5 volts or less, but appreciate the volume of air moved at higher rpms when it is really hot.

If there is interest in these products I can provide links to the unnamed voltage speed controllers.
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Old 03-02-2015, 02:23   #9
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Re: Noisey 12 volt fan

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailmonkey View Post
A very small drop of oil on the shaft with the fan arranged so the oil will flow into the bearing is about the only way to save one if the bearings are noisy. This is usually only a temporary fix.


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Thanks,

G2L
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Old 03-02-2015, 02:25   #10
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Re: Noisey 12 volt fan

Quote:
Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
If you can't figure out how to take them apart from looking at them, your best bet is to replace them. Most modern small fans are "permanently lubricated" and not meant to be serviced. As sailmonkey pointed out, anything you do is likely to be temporary at best. There are two bearings, one at each end of the motor.
Got it. There are some extra motors laying around, so maybe just switching one will be the ticket. Not sure if they are functioning, but only one way to tell.

Thanks,

G2L
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Old 03-02-2015, 02:26   #11
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Re: Noisey 12 volt fan

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
If you have friends coming who can bring you things, I like the Caframo 2 speed fans. They're probably the easiest fans to clean I've ever seen. If you do decide to do that, buy at least one spare pair of blades at the time of purchase. They don't get fragile for a while, but they can break from you accidentally getting in their way. I have one mounted so it can blow in the galley or in the saloon, and if I turn it while it's on, I can get into the blades. They don't hurt, only plastic. Just is hard on them.

Ann
I think I may have the same fans. Will check the brand.

Thanks for all your help.

G2L
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Old 03-02-2015, 02:27   #12
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Re: Noisey 12 volt fan

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Originally Posted by capngeo View Post
The small cheap fans are just noisy… right out of the box. I had one once that actually had PLASTIC bearings!

I have real good luck with Hella fans
thanks for the tip.

G2L
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Old 03-02-2015, 02:31   #13
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computer fans etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicholson58 View Post
Has anyone explored using the really large computer fans mounted directly in a port? These are both cheap & quiet. BTW, when you get a new fan, first thing is to access the motor bearings. Many are tiny journal bearings, not rolling elements. If you can find room to add an oil soaked felt pad on the shaft, the bearing will stay lubricated longer and accept re-lube. I have also replaced worn bearings with Nylatron of other engineering plastic. On the computer fans, there is often a peel & stick cover over the bearing. Lift this with a razor blade and add a single drop of oil to the shaft. I just received a Jabsco squrrel cage all plastic 4" blower. Hope is that this will be less noise than the buzzing screamer presently there.

BTW, the noise on most fans is - too high a tip speed & imbalanced rotor. You can manually balance a wheel even randomly by adding & moving tape or those automotive type clip on sheet metal nuts.
I actually have a computer fan that was designed to air out the head, but it is disconnected. May put another one in one day.

Great tip.

G2L
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Old 03-02-2015, 07:10   #14
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Re: Noisey 12 volt fan

Computer fans are inexpensive, designed for a long continuous service life, and are pretty inexpensive.

The problem is, unless you are using them to ventilate a cabinet of some sort, there's no good way to mount them and they are pretty ugly hanging on some home made bracket with the wires exposed.

I have a fan from a marine store mounted in the V berth. It's pretty and it swivels back and forth as it operates and moves the air in the entire area. The PO installed it.

A computer fan would have cost one tenth as much but wouldn't swivel, wouldn't have a self contained switch and could not be mounted easily.
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Old 03-02-2015, 07:59   #15
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Re: Noisey 12 volt fan

Hella fans get noisy and vibrate when the blades accumulate dirt. Also, you may try to isolate the fan from the bracket by using rubber washers from a bike tire.

Ronbo
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