Exhaust Fan wont start up itself - Help George or others!

One of our two exhaust fans blows a breaker when it tries to start up. The fan spins freely AND when I give it a little push and then throw the breaker, it works fine. Once it turns off again it does not restart without a push. Any off-premise diagnoses?

Thanks in advance.

Patrick Cuezze
Next Door Pizza

Bad start capacitor?

I was also thinking capacitor, if it is, its a quick easy fix.



Find the bad one (probably under a cover that looks like a bump on the motor) - remove it and head to Grainger.

Probably <$10.

I’ll bet $100 that a service call would result in a “that motor need replaced for $600”.

Hi pcuezze

The answers you have received are excelent, Hope it works for you.

George Mills

You need to test your components.


Disconnect your leads(power(s if 208-240)) and neutral) and run a continuity test on each lead.
Lead to Motor Chassis-Each lead; should be isolated. Short to Ground/Chassis is BAD!


Disconnect capacitor and run a screwdriver across the terminals.
If you hear a “Pop” then the capacitor is holding a charge and is fine.
Usually a bad capacitor will allow the rotor to “lock” in place and not spin. It does not trip the breaker. A capacitor creates a voltage un-balanced to start the spin on the rotor/motor.

Black Capacitor - Start
Silver Capacitor - Run

Some motors have both but generally smaller HP motors have only the Start capacitors.

Good Luck!

I had to repair the fan on my ice maker last week. The motor was going to set me back about $180 plus labor…

I found a place in Lebanon, IN called Surplus City Liquidators. All kinds lf new-old stock. I found the fan motor that would fit in my ice maker,30 buck, but it spun the wrong way. So back to the liquidators to get a fan. They had one, with the correct diameter, and correct hole size, pitched the correct way…$3.00. Did it myself, with my tools, and my manual.

I have an old Crystal Tips air-cooled on top of my fountain machine. After I changed the fan out, it runs like a charm. Making better ice too.


Thanks to everyone. This forum is a great resource. I swapped the start capacitor ($9.85) and it works like a charm. You guys probably saved me hundreds. I’m buying you a virtual beer.


I have to fire a long term employee today, make it a shot or two. Sometimes it stinks to be the king.


I feel your pain. Had a bad day yesterday and now have a server trashing me on Facebook and posting reviews on Yelp and Urbanspoon en masse.

Pregnant server who voluntarily requested one Tue night a week only. I’ve had to ask her to stop knitting at the hostess stand during dinner service 3 times. I have had to ask her not to wear a stocking cap 2x . Oct 13 she sent me an e-mail telling me I need to fill out her medicaid form and that she would bring it in. She brought it in on October 19 with a note to my wife stating she had e-mailed us but we had not responded and that she needed it by October 21 (Friday) (her previous e-mail did not solicit a response, simply stated she would bring it in). My wife, who breaks down the money each day, went out of town Thursday morning and didn’t fill it out or leave it for me. I happened across it by accident Saturday (22nd) filled it out and informed her it was done. She told me it was to late and that I would need to contact medicaid and figure it out. I explained to her that I was not going to do that but would gladly fill out another form. She got denied by medicaid and went ballistic on me. She then TOLD me she would not be showing up for her shift the next day because she was taking the opportunity to go to the Medicaid office. I advised her that, in light of her previous reprimands, abandoning a shift would lead to her termination.

And the insane and slanderous rants ensued. I’m avoiding commentary so please insert your own. I guess I’m a bad guy because I invested my own money to employ 30 people in my community and didn’t do my extra part to drop everything and fill out a welfare form for an employee I now is voluntarily choosing not to work more hours because she “hates being a servant”. WTF.

Rant over.

You bring the liquor and I’ll supply some cigars, we can get through this.

“Hates being a servant” …I have to laugh… SHE IS HAVING A BABY! Good luck with this not liking being someone’s servant! :roll: Everyone with kids will know this is so true!!! :!:

Sh#t, now my exhaust fan is doing the same thing. I hates goin on the roof!!!

your exhaust fan is pregnant and trying to get Medicare? :twisted:

Well haven’t you all heard the stories of those South Carolina exhaust fans! :stuck_out_tongue:

Made my day.

It is about 20 feet away from the makeup fan. I though that would be enough to prevent any interaction.