Thursday, September 18, 2008

WD-40 Saves the Day

Yesterday, I spent the day home sick in bed. Oh, boo hoo. That's not what this is about.

Although it is getting to be fall around here, I ran the window unit during the heat of the day. It's a little Whirlpool that drives 5000 BTU of glorious coolness into the room. I bought it around 1995, and it has run full-cycle most summers since. That's a lot of fan time. So it's little wonder that yesterday while I was sleeping the squirrel-cage began making a terrible squalling noise, akin to the sound of a rabbit being eaten alive. It woke me up, carnsarn it.

To troubleshoot, I turned it off then back on. The squalling noise was gone. Because the fan wasn't turning at all any more. I reached into the unit and tried turning it by hand, observing that it was jammed good. I could turn it, but it took some oomph.

So, conjecturing that the squealing was from a dry bearing in the fan motor, I sprayed WD-40 through the cooling vanes into the area where I reckoned the center of the fan was hubbed. A fair guess -- most fans are driven by a motor at their center.

After about ten minutes of spraying, turning by hand, and trying the power switch, the fan loosened up.

Will it last one more summer? Will I post about it again? Will anyone read this or care? Well, maybe the dogs will care. They didn't like the squealing any more than I did.

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