About Me

When not at work with students, I spend my time in my room either reading, calculating something using pen and paper, or using a computer. I read almost anything: from the pornographic to the profound, although my main interests are mathematics and physics. "When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes." -Erasmus

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

electric fans and quality control

I bought a new electric fan for my desktop as a replacement for an older desk fan that stopped working. I suppose I could have had the older one fixed; I suspect that the grease just died on me and that a re-greasing would fix the problem. But I didn't want to do that because I'm quite clumsy when it comes to handling all sorts of mechanical equipment, and I might leave loose screws or damage the unit while doing repairs. (That's the main reason I chose theoretical physics rather than experimental physics--- I'm less likely to cause a mess that way.)

The older fan lasted less than two years. And I wonder why it's so. I remember the old electric fans we had, and I recall that they seemed to last for years. From first grade to at least sixth grade, we kept using the same electric fan and I think that these older electric fans saw use until my high school years. The same thing can't be said for the newer models-- I've never seen the new ones last longer than a year or two. Maybe it's quality control-- I'm not sure though because the problem seems to show up no matter what brand I encounter-- or maybe the grease that's commonly used now is not as good as the older kind.


Tim said...

Look for Hanabishi if you can find it, SM Appliances usually has them in stock. We bought them because they are extremely well constructed (apparent upon inspection).

The motor typically lasts six years of constant use before requiring service or replacement, and almost every place that services electric fans has motors in stock.

It's one of the few brands of anything designed to be serviced and last a life time, instead of being designed to be trashed in a couple of years.

It's funny that you wrote about this just a few days after one of mine finally wore out. I'm going to look for an antique (1930's) desk fan and find a replacement motor to re-wire it. I really want something old on my desk to balance out these monitors, blinking network boxes, etc.

We don't use aircon in any room, so we take our fans quite seriously!

Mike said...

Coincidentally, the new desk fan I bought is a Hanabishi. It looked like it was easy to dis-assemble/ maintain, and it does look well-made. In contrast, cleaning my older desk fan(a Dowell-- a brand I'll never buy again!) was a pain.

Staci said...

You’re right! It’s also possible that the use of electric fans have changed over the years. Electric fans were seldom used back then because the weather wasn’t as hot as it is today, and some people say that this is because of the sudden changes in the environment… I guess people should just make sure they watch their usage closely.

Staci Severns