I have a three wire fan, diagram looks like this:

enter image description here
Source: Google

Or this one: enter image description here
Source: https://www.electricalonline4u.com/2016/09/replacing-motor-capacitor-ceiling-fan-capacitor.html

The capacitor swelled but was still somewhat functional so I replaced it, the fan would barely turn.

The problem is I replaced the switch (switch looks like the top diagram, with three pos tied together) and capacitor (except its a purple and yellow wire cap with a value of 1.5 and 2.5uf, now the fan won't turn. But it does get hot (like 110C hot). The hot wire reads 120V at the switch, I can't really measure the other points because of difficulty of reaching them with the meter probe.

I am thinking that the coils could be out... I get 70Ω across the main winding and 150Ω across the secondary of the motor. What could be the problem?

  • you need the right kind of switch.
    – Jasen
    Sep 11, 2020 at 6:38
  • The capacitor "blowing up" rarely indicates a problem soluble by replacing the capacitor, since something caused it to "blow up." Cut your losses and buy a new fan, rather than continuing to throw parts and money at this one...after which you'll almost certainly be buying a new fan.
    – Ecnerwal
    Sep 11, 2020 at 13:47
  • The fan was working somewhat, I did not indicate that the capacitor was functioning even though it had swelled. Sep 11, 2020 at 14:06

1 Answer 1


When fans get old, the lubrication on their bearings is usually gone. Most consumer grade fans have oilite bushings. These wick oil from a cotton or wool to the bushing; as they age, they use up the oil, pull more current, and may pop the cap. I have recovered many fans by using a light oil and saturating the media with oil. When starting the fan, if you give it a flick and it runs but then slows and stops, this may be your issue.

  • The fan does spin freely by hand, but a extra frictional fan does not explain why the fan would spin with a bad cap, but not with a new cap Sep 11, 2020 at 15:21
  • Did you get the same type of cap? Do you have a way to measure the cap? I have received bad caps that were brand new in the past.
    – Ed Beal
    Sep 11, 2020 at 16:00

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