Lately I have noticed that a wall-mounted fan I have does not start when the blades are in a certain position. When it is switched on, it just hums but doesn't start. Sometimes it gives a little kick but doesn't get going. If I switch it off and spin it a little (maybe 15 degrees) and switch it on again, it slowly spins into life and works fine afterwards.

What could be causing this and can it be fixed?

The fan is something like this https://n3.sdlcdn.com/imgs/a/i/l/ORIENT-Wall-Fan-White-SDL290668548-1-3064e.jpg but it has no speed control or oscillating feature, and has straight blades.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Does it use a starter capacitor? \$\endgroup\$
    – Andy aka
    Jan 25 at 17:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ In order of relevancy: 1. Bearing as jwh20 suggest below. 2. Starter capacitor as Andy hints to above. 3. Brushed motor with worn brushes or commutator. \$\endgroup\$
    – winny
    Jan 25 at 17:44

1 Answer 1


This type of fan is nearly always equipped with a "shaded-pole induction motor".

Shaded-pole induction motor

(Image source: Wikipedia - Shaded-pole motor)

Basically that means that it has no brushes/commutator which, if present, could provide "dead" spots.

More likely in this case is that the motor's bearings are worn and there are some positions which the motor startup torque is not sufficient to get the fan turning. Low startup torque is a characteristic of this type of motor.

You probably need to replace the fan or try cleaning any collected dust/dirt that might be hurting its performance.


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