I have a water distiller which the electric fan suddenly just stopped working (thankfully I was near by to shutdown everything, otherwise ...). Prior to the failure everything was working fine, there was no warnings. And just after the failure there was a burning smell.

I've removed the electric motor to do some testing:

  • It is not jammed or stuck since I can spin it fine with my fingers.
  • There is no visual damage in it.
  • It doesn't work even if connected directly into the power outlet.

There is a teardown video of a similar model that might be useful for the discussion.


I've tried to find some DIY repair for this kind of electric motor but could not find.
Is it possible to fix it? How?

  • Does this fan have a capacitor? Could be a bulging failed one if so.
    – Jeff Cates
    Commented Mar 13, 2019 at 11:18
  • @JeffCates I'm not sure. But I posted an image of the electric motor. Does it has a capacitor?
    – Mark Messa
    Commented Mar 13, 2019 at 11:57
  • Nope. That little guy...strictly magnetic pulse. I would bet that it ran to long and fried the winding.
    – Jeff Cates
    Commented Mar 13, 2019 at 12:01
  • Your video link only shows the machine teardown. Like I commented, most likely the windinghas shorted from getting to hot. Similar type motor in refrigerators, bathroom exhaust fans, range hoods, etc. Hence the burning smell. Time for a new motor unless you want to rewind that, as it would probably cost more to get fixed than replace.
    – Jeff Cates
    Commented Mar 13, 2019 at 12:05
  • it sounds to me like the problem is not the motor, but something "upstream" of it. A motor should take quite a while between not spinning and smelling burnt, and you say you were right there to stop it. Electrical components smell bad almost the same instant a problem develops.
    – dandavis
    Commented Mar 13, 2019 at 17:38

1 Answer 1


That is a shaded pole motor there is no fixing them if they spin easily, usually the bearings dry out and the motor won't spin a few drops of light oil in each end may fix it but if not, it's time for a new one. These motors rarely burn up it is usually the bearings being dry that causes them to fail. So try and and add oil to the bearings by putting a few drops on the shaft and spinning to help the oil work into it. Do this on both sides and the motor may come back to life.

  • > "there is no fixing them if they spin easily" The motor is spinning easily. While it was working, there were no signs of reduced speed.
    – Mark Messa
    Commented Mar 13, 2019 at 20:05
  • > "These motors rarely burn up" Considering that there is no continuity between the wires that go into the power outlet, my best guess at the time is that the coil is burnt. What do you think?
    – Mark Messa
    Commented Mar 13, 2019 at 20:06
  • I did not see that there was no continuity across the coil, with that info the motor is toast. That is rare for a shaded pole motor usually the bearings freeze up and the motor can be brought back to life with a few drops of oil. The coil could be rewound but by the time you purchase the wire the cost of a new motor would only be a few $ more. If you are really into repairing this you would need to measure the length of wire on the coil and the diameter and rewind I have done this in the past for a specialty motor that cost almost 1K. Your motor can probably be found from 20-50$
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Mar 13, 2019 at 21:30
  • There are usually numbers on the motor if you could provide those we may be able to help you source one.
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Mar 13, 2019 at 21:34
  • > "I did not see that there was no continuity across the coil" After posting the issue, someone suggested a continuity test. There is no continuity across the wires coming out of the coil. Later I will update the original post.
    – Mark Messa
    Commented Mar 13, 2019 at 23:31

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.