My Hunter ceiling fan worked ok a few days ago. Today, when I turned it on the blades begin to spin only a few cm until they hit a point of high resistance and get "stuck".

So I turned off the fan and tried spinning the blades manually by hand. They spin ok for the first few cm but experience gradual increase in resistance to spinning as they approach 1/4 rotation. At 1/4 of a rotation, the resistance is so great that the blades stop and even begin to rotate the other way for a few cm as if being driven by a release in tension.

However, I can manually push the blade a bit harder (not very hard but more than a light push) and it will overcome the resistance at the 1/4 rotation mark with a "clicking" sound paired with a slight shaking of the motor housing. After surpassing this point of resistance with a click, the process (i.e., increasing resistance as it spins) repeats until it reaches the next 1/4 turn (at which point it either stops and rebounds backwards or clicks as before depending on speed of the manual push).

My question: what's going on here?

Doesn't seem like it's a bearing issue because I read that a bad bearing would prevent any spinning.

Any ideas?

  • @Jack but even when I turn it manually it's getting stuck. I think this is a physical obstruction of some kind... Commented Sep 7, 2020 at 0:10
  • could be a bug crawled in there somewhere. clean and lube any moving part, and remember that all moving parts will eventually fail.
    – dandavis
    Commented Sep 7, 2020 at 18:59
  • UPDATE: turned out to be a wire that had popped loose of a dry-rotted zip tie. Commented Jul 17, 2023 at 3:25

1 Answer 1


UPDATE: turned out to be a wire that had popped loose of a dry-rotted zip tie that had been installed with the fan during manufacturing. I guess the fan was old enough for this to happen. The wire apparently gradually eased upward and into the line of rotating components inside the motor casing, thus getting caught.

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