I recently bought a fan from Target. The Lasko Multi-Use Home Utility Fan Model# U11300
Something was immediately wrong from the moment I turned it on. The push button starts on High and cycles through the three speeds. I pushed the button to turn it on and a jarring grinding noise fell over the house. It was immediately apparent that the internal fan was rubbing on the fan housing. If I spun the housing up the grinding went away. Thinking maybe it was just a little bit mis-aligned I let it go for a day and enjoyed the nice amount of air it was blowing in my face.
It soon became clear though, this problem was not going to go away. Being a bit brilliant (or daft) I decided to take a shot at fixing it. Why not, right?
I started with the most obvious screws, up by the handle. Handle off it was easy to see the two sides only screwed together in the handle so should easily come apart.
Thinking I could just take the outer portion of the frame off, I worked on the side opposite the power button so I could get a better look at the alignment of the fan and motor. So I moved on to the screws located on each side of the other fan housing. After removing all the screws, I realized they would not come apart without removing screws hidden underneath the base.
I take a look at the base plate and I should of guessed, torx screws. 20 minutes later, I find my torx set and I am able to continue.
From there it was clear the 4 Phillips head screws detached the fan from the base. After that it is a simple matter to unsnap each side from the fan in the middle. Just take out the four screws and it will detach itself.
With the fan in its individual components, it became clear what the problem was. Take a good look at these bad photos.
Maybe someone dropped it after delivery to the store? At the bottom of a mishandled pallet? The motor seems a bit heavy for the frame so any type of drop would produce this, I think. A bit under engineered maybe? Not sure, I do know that out of the box I expect an item to be functional and this was not the case. All three mounting locations for the motor were broken.
Well that sucks, and at this point I can’t exactly return it. I was hoping for a simple fix but this was going to need a new part. I had to wing it a bit.
I removed the 3 screws that held the motor to the frame and I re-installed them with washers on the outside of the frame. The idea being the pressure between the washers and what little plastic remains of the frame will hold the motor in place and allow the fan to continue functioning.
The washers should keep it going for awhile. Not sure how long this fix will last but I have had it running 24×7 for the last two days since I “fixed” it and have had no issues. When working properly this is a nice little fan that pushes out a lot of air without a ton of noise. I’d like to go get another one for my bedroom but this is a bit much to go through to get a $50 fan working properly out of the box.
In retrospect I should have just taken advantage of the warranty or taken it back to target for an exchange or refund but the problem is I’m just too curious for my own good. I have to see things for myself and I just can’t but help to see if I can fix something that is broken. It’s just in my nature.
Worse comes to worse I will just buy the part. Anyhow, I just wanted to share my experience with this fan in case it is an issue for anyone else. I am curious if this happens often with Lasko fans or if my experience is an aberration. It certainly seems like a weak spot as far as durability is concerned.