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Stiff/Stuck Power Supply Fan...


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9 replies to this topic

#1 David Ashcroft

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 09:57 AM

I have a computer at work that is at least 10 years old, for the past 4 years i have been there, the power supply fan has been stuck. The computer has been replaced now, and i will be using it to run our CCTV camera system off. After cleaning it up, i thought id look into the PSU fan, and if i stick something in there to try and move the fan (when its umplugged ofcourse) there is a lot of resistance in the movement. How can i make it move freely again? I dont want to open up the PSU as i know this is a little dangerous as ive heard that the PSU can hold charge even when unplugged.

Like i said, the fan hasnt worked in at least 4 years and the computer is pretty much been on 12 hours a day, every day without issues, however if i can fix it, im sure it would be better for the PSU.

If anyone has any suggestions let me know.

Thanks!

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#2 abauw

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 10:54 AM

You could change that fan if you could find same fan but I think that will quite hard to find replacement fan.
Or you could manually clean that fan with compressed air can.

Edited by abauw, 17 May 2012 - 10:55 AM.

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#3 David Ashcroft

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 11:21 AM

I dont think the issue is dust, it feels like there is a lot of resistance when you try to move the fan, as if it needs oil on it or something? What about if i put a bit of WD40 on it?

Thanks!

#4 abauw

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 11:27 AM

That could make your fan spinning too fast and make some bad damage, so please keep that WD40 away from Computer please :thumbup2:
Replacing that fan will much better or buy a new PSU will be great.

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#5 David Ashcroft

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 04:12 PM

But arent power supply fans wires soldered into place? Not like connecting a simple CPU fan?

#6 rotor123

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 06:06 PM

That power supply likely is near death from running way hot all those years. That can cook the capacitors. As cheap as a power supply are replace it or at least open it and replace the fan, That will take mild soldering skill, some heat shrink tubing so you can cut the wires running to the fan and splice red to red and black to black then insulate with the heat shrink tubing. If you open it look for burnt or bloated parts> Id bet you'll find some. Thus I strongly suggest replacement rather than repair. I do repair sometimes but then I had electronic repair schooling years ago.

Changing the fan only requires to remove the cover, and not the circuit board. Just wear insulating gloves while working in there and be sure it is unplugged.

Most power supply fans can be bought at any computer store as they are mostly standard sizes.

Good Luck

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#7 David Ashcroft

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 06:17 PM

That power supply likely is near death from running way hot all those years. That can cook the capacitors. As cheap as a power supply are replace it or at least open it and replace the fan, That will take mild soldering skill, some heat shrink tubing so you can cut the wires running to the fan and splice red to red and black to black then insulate with the heat shrink tubing. If you open it look for burnt or bloated parts> Id bet you'll find some. Thus I strongly suggest replacement rather than repair. I do repair sometimes but then I had electronic repair schooling years ago.

Changing the fan only requires to remove the cover, and not the circuit board. Just wear insulating gloves while working in there and be sure it is unplugged.

Most power supply fans can be bought at any computer store as they are mostly standard sizes.

Good Luck


After hearing that, it would probably be easier for me to simply replace the power supply haha! As a last attempt though, i think it is still working, there is just a lot of resistance when i try to move the fan, would freeing this up not be an option by attempting to free this up not be an option?

Thanks for the detailed response there! :)

#8 rotor123

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 09:49 AM

Hi,
At that point the bearings in the fan motor are shot.
Maybe if you had caught it when it was going bad you could have removed the fan, oiled the bearings I use 3 in 1 oil the SAE 20 weight version.

When a fan is going bad you will hear a sort of moaning noise when you turn on the computer that goes away as the bearings heat up and the oil starts working. If that is happening and then you turn on the computer one day and the noise is gone that usually means that the fan has seized and is not doing its job.

Cheers
Roger

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#9 lti

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 03:04 PM

I don't see why it would be so hard to find a replacement fan, why using WD-40 would make the fan spin too fast, and why you have to cut and splice the power wires. When I replaced the fan in my computer's power supply, I desoldered the original fan's power wires from the circuit board and soldered the power wires for the new fan in the same position. Replacing the power supply is easier, especially since the heat has probably caused the capacitors to fail. If it wasn't a standard power supply, it would be best to repair it.

Once a fan seizes, it should be replaced. Adding oil might make the fan start working again, but it doesn't last more than a couple weeks before it seizes again. I managed to get a fan to work for a few months by taking it apart, cleaning the shaft and inside of the bearing, and coating the bearing and shaft with oil. Any oil that is designed for electric motors (such as the 3-in-1 20W oil mentioned above - the container is labeled "Motor Oil") will work.

#10 rotor123

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 04:16 PM

WD 40 would just be to thin to last long IMO.

I suggested soldering to the old wires as that way you don't have to remove the circuit board which can be a pain sometimes because of all the wires to the AC switch, Voltage switch, and the socket where the power plugs in. Soldering the wires together and using heatshrink tubing works very nicely.

It is all about saving time and effort. Plus always a slight chance of shock when you remove the circuit board. I got knocked off my feet one time from a power supply board. Those two big capacitors can hold a stiff voltage with some current too.

Cheers

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