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Why Do Outdoor Fans Stop Working?

If you have an outdoor fan you like to turn on while on your patio, it can be annoying when it stops working. This can make your patio suddenly an unbearable place to be. Sometimes, there are easy fixes to get the fan working again. Other times, you might need to replace the fan.

Cord Is Loose

If your outdoor fan is a portable unit that plugs in, the simplest explanation is that the cord has come loose because of vibrations from the fan. Check to make sure the fan is plugged in and that the plug stays securely in the outlet.

Outdoor outlets are notorious for becoming loose over time. You might try bending the prongs of the plug slightly to help them stay more secure. However, if a cord won’t stay secure, you might need to replace the cord and/or outlet.

Circuit Breaker Tripped

If the fan is plugged in or if it’s wired directly, check to make sure the fan’s circuit breaker hasn’t tripped. Circuit breakers can trip if you are pulling too much power on this patio circuit, which might happen if you have a large fan, multiple fans, or other appliances plugged in on the same circuit.

If the circuit keeps tripping, try using fewer items at once, or consider getting the circuit rewired.

Wiring Problem

outdoor ceiling fan for patioSpeaking of rewiring, there could be a wiring problem that is keeping your fan from getting power. If you’re plugging the fan into an outlet, make sure the outlet has power. If you wired the fan in, check to make sure it’s still getting power. Ceiling fans vibrate and sway, so they can work their connections loose if the connections aren’t tightly put together.

If you didn’t install the fan yourself and you’re not experienced with electrical work, this might be the time to call for a professional.

Fuse Burned Out

If you are sure the wiring is good, it’s time to check whether the fan’s fuse has burned out. This can take some trouble to find. While some fans may have fuses in the cord, most have it somewhere in the fan housing. You might have to check the manual to see where the fuse is or do an online search if you no longer have your manual.

Motor Clogged

Outdoors, there can be a lot of dust and debris that can get into a fan. Leaves, grass, sawdust, and more can get into the fan motor. This can keep the motor from turning and, in some cases, lead to fires. Clogging is especially common when you use an indoor fan in an outdoor environment.

You can try opening the fan casing and see if the interior is full of debris. If you don’t see any debris, you can try greasing the motor with WD-40 to see if this helps it move. If cleaning and greasing the motor doesn’t allow it to move when it’s powered, you might have to replace the motor or the entire fan.

Water Fouled

Water and electricity are not a good combination. If your fan is not properly protected from the environment, water can get into the fan, causing short-outs. The shorts can damage the circuitry so that the fan won’t function properly without significant repairs. This is common if you use an indoor fan in an outdoor setting, but even outdoor fans can get water in them over time.

Maybe It’s Time to Upgrade from a Fan

If your fan stopped working and needs either replacement or expensive repairs, now might be a good time to consider upgrading from a patio fan to a Portacool patio evaporative cooler. Instead of just moving around hot air the way fans do, a Portacool can actually cool the air, making your patio, garage, workshop, or barn more comfortable.

Made in the USA since 1990, Portacools have the best-in-class warranties and customer service. This helps ensure you get years of service from your Portacool. To get a Portacool, visit a local or online retailer today.