Can spraying WD40 into an electric fan motor damage the motor?

A mobile RV repair guy tried to fix my RV AC by spraying WD40 on the fan motor bushings AND into the motor itself (where the windings are). A few days later and the motor doesn t run, it just gets really really hot.

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  • Anonymous
    6 months ago

    No.

    It was a very short term fix. Enough to tell him it was the "bushings". Not a different problem elsewhere. When it needs bushings it is cheaper JUST TO BUY ANOTHER MOTOR. It is that much of a hassle to repair that, that they DON'T.! Just grab a new motor off the shelf and swap out.

    . There are millions of extra motors sitting on a shelf somewhere, waiting to be used.When I say new I mean still in the original packaging. Unused.

    . When it is getting really hot, that means the electricity is going through it but it won't spin to cool itself off. It is buggered. No amount of praying is going to fix something that will not HEAL ITSELF, so get off of your knees and get another unit installed. Or the rest of your year will be either hot Hell or Cold Hell(depending on what that fan motor does). Fan motors generally move the air from the heating or cooling device. 1 fan for 2 operations. So basically works 365 day per year...day & night. so yes, they will eventually wear out.

    . What happens is that the weight of the motor eventually makes a channel in the round bushing. The bushing holds the armature(the moving part in the center) of the windings field(which is the part that does not move or outer casing) Once it is oval the armature rubs on the field magnets (which essentially work like drum brakes in a car.) The none moving part stops the moving part. There is damage to the armature and to the windings."its coating is exposed and it shorts out killing it" as everything becomes unbalanced.

    It is more info than you needed to know but that is what is happening.

    Replace as the other is now a boat anchor...or door stop. If it is a big motor, they might recycle it, meaning they give you money for it. A "motor rewind shop" is who I would check the yellow pages for as they would know if THEY OR SOMEONE does recycling of that material. If the fan motor is the size that can be grabbed with one hand, then that is generally pitched. Being an RV it is probably small one.

    Handiman 30+y

    • Road Warrior6 months agoReport

      Motors are Expensive. A 1/10 hp fan for a house vent is $40, Worth a Try. If windings burnt on any less than a 1 pony, scrap it.

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  • Anonymous
    6 months ago

    Disconnect the fan, Now. Most have a thermal overload but a Chinees job might not.

    The Water-Displacement Formula 40? Not in itself, no.

    But, it can drive outside dirt into the bushings, or drive out what lube is left. Bushings are often permanently-lubed sintered-bronze, better no lube than dirt forced in.

    It cannot damage windings. They are heavy formvar, good for 400 degrees. Only very old shellacked windings from something from 19th century would be damaged. Unless they had been overheated, anyway, and were ready to go.

    Do as others suggest, take it apart , lube bushings, see if armature rubbing.

    Source(s): Repaired many fans, small motors, vacuum cleaners. I lived in San Diego once, WD-40 was invented there to get moisture out of boat distributors. Never designed as a lube.
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  • 6 months ago

    If the bushings needed lubrication the motor is old and needs replacing. Get a new one before you burn up your RV.

    • Road Warrior6 months agoReport

      Motors have overtemp thermal cutouts. All bearings eventually need relubing.

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  • 6 months ago

    WD40 is flammable, and it would burn where brushes spark and carry high current. Burning would possibly remove insulating varnish from wires, shorting them out, thus ruining the motor.

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  • zeno
    Lv 6
    6 months ago

    It electrically shorted out. You may need a

    New fan motor.

    • Pat F85
      Lv 6
      6 months agoReport

      Yup.

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  • Dan
    Lv 5
    6 months ago

    Wrong thing to do but the motor was probably junk anyway.

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  • 6 months ago

    WD-40 is a short term fix. the silicone component doesn't last at all. You need a proper lubricant.

    • ...Show all comments
    • Road Warrior6 months agoReport

      No: "silicone". WD-40 is Water Displacement Formula 40, to displace moisture in boat distributors. No t as a lube. Use Liquid Wrench or Break Free ; with Cerflon.

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  • 6 months ago

    My guess is that the whatever problem necessitated spraying the WD40 in the first place is the problem that got worse and seized the motor. It's very unlikely that the WD40 had anything to do with the failure.

  • 6 months ago

    The bushing needs lubricant. WD40 is mostly solvent that does a very poor job of lubricating.

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  • Anonymous
    6 months ago

    Isn't WD40 a cleaner more than a lubricant? Shouldn't he had sprayed lube in there too, after running it with the WD40 for a bit?

    • Road Warrior6 months agoReport

      Yes. WD 40 is even a poor penetrating oil. It usually drives dirt IN, and what lube there IS, OUT. Mexican shops here misuse it all the time.

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