A couple of nights ago, I noticed that my bathroom exhaust had stopped working. It still makes a humming sound but it doesn't spin, so I assumed it's probably the motor.

I removed the motor/fan and then looked for a replacement online. The sticker with the model name has scratched off, although I can see from the cover that it's a Stelpro. Unfortunately, all the potential replacements I have seen connect to a standard power outlet, whereas the one I have has the below connector (Google tells me it's called a Tamiya connector).

Is it possible to buy a replacement, or would I need to replace the whole unit? If it's the latter, is that something that I would be able to do myself? For reference, my electrical experience is limited to installing a couple of dimmer switches.

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  • 2
    And since it's an AC motor, it shouldn't matter which wire is which. The problem here might be finding a motor whose shaft matches, and swapping the fan from one to the other.
    – Huesmann
    Commented Sep 21, 2023 at 13:25
  • 2
    Looks to be a Stelpro SBF, discontinued. stelpro.com/en/products/bathroom-exhaust-fan-sbf Have you contacted Stelpro to see if they offer a replacement part?
    – Huesmann
    Commented Sep 21, 2023 at 13:54
  • @huesmann Thanks, I'll try this first
    – user123965
    Commented Sep 22, 2023 at 9:28
  • Do you have access from above, or is there living space above?
    – Huesmann
    Commented Sep 22, 2023 at 13:23
  • We have an attic, but I don't think there's any floorboards.
    – user123965
    Commented Sep 23, 2023 at 14:31

1 Answer 1


Why replace it? All that lint is likely the only issue, keeping the motor from turning.

  • Remove the two Phillips-head screws holding the bearing, noting the order of any washers on the screws and shaft.
  • Remove the squirrel-cage fan, if the setscrew is not frozen by corrosion.
  • Clean all surfaces thoroughly with a toothbrush and mild solvent, such as 91% or stronger isopropanol (flammable) and allow to dry thoroughly. One could even use some water, but drying time would be much extended. Be very gentle in cleaning around the motor winding (covered in plastic) and attached wires.
  • Put just a drop or two of ordinary motor oil (e.g., 5W-30) on the shaft at each end, and on any felt around the two shaft bearings.
  • Reassemble and check that the fan turns freely.

That bathroom fan should run as well, and last as long, as a new one.

  • 1
    I'm not so sure. I clean my fans regularly, and they often look like that or worse, and they never actually bind up. There's no real resistance in the motor caused by surface lint.
    – isherwood
    Commented Sep 22, 2023 at 21:13
  • I'll try cleaning it and see if that helps.
    – user123965
    Commented Sep 23, 2023 at 14:30
  • I've had one genuinely fail. It happens.
    – keshlam
    Commented Oct 22, 2023 at 23:37

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