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Anyone know how to troubleshoot a non-functioning Hella Turbo 12V fan? We are new sailboat owners and one of the fans in our boat is completely unresponsive when turned on. Ideas for what the problem may be? Thanks!

Angela & Cody of Dragonstar
 

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Yeah...you order a new one! $70 part just isn't worth your time to resolve beyond plugging it in and seeing "does it work?" They're all made in china disposable parts now anyway.
 

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The bonus of replacing, as nightowl suggests, is that there are some nice, quiet, low-amp fans out there these days. I like the Caframo Bora 3-speed.

If you do want to troubleshoot, the first step would be to use a multimeter to see if the fan is getting power.
 
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Look for small breaks in the wire. The wire is small, fragile and non tinned. You can gently pull the fan blade assembly off and rewire with some decent marine grade wire.
 
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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks everyone. Good calls on the multimeter and wire checking. We'll do that and see where it leads. nightOwl, good point too, if the initial checking doesn't lead to anything obvious I'm guessing we'll be replacing!
 

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Thanks everyone. Good calls on the multimeter and wire checking. We'll do that and see where it leads. nightOwl, good point too, if the initial checking doesn't lead to anything obvious I'm guessing we'll be replacing!
Good plan. I'm always amazed by how much time sailors will spend on fixing small things like fans, pumps, gizmos, or other "consumable" items. The time spent fixing the little stuff is extensive...and often comes at the expense of the BIG stuff that sailors avoid (like re-bedding hardware, tracing leaks, fixing soft wood or metal corrosion).

My rule of thumb is that if a replacement part is under $200...its just not worth the time to fix it. Replace it and keep the old one for parts if you really want to.

Focus on the big stuff, replace the small stuff.
 

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Good plan. I'm always amazed by how much time sailors will spend on fixing small things like fans, pumps, gizmos, or other "consumable" items. The time spent fixing the little stuff is extensive...and often comes at the expense of the BIG stuff that sailors avoid (like re-bedding hardware, tracing leaks, fixing soft wood or metal corrosion).

My rule of thumb is that if a replacement part is under $200...its just not worth the time to fix it. Replace it and keep the old one for parts if you really want to.

Focus on the big stuff, replace the small stuff.
I agree here, to a point. If the fan is not working and you are hot, then go ahead and replace it. But if you like to fiddle with stuff, then save the old one and on a rainy day you can put it on the navdesk and solder in new wiring. Then you have a backup, but certainly don't waste time that could be spent sailing or doing more pressing maintenance. But in my mind it is better than watching an episode of House Wives of New Jersey Shore Tramps or what ever crap is on TV.
 

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Good plan. I'm always amazed by how much time sailors will spend on fixing small things like fans, pumps, gizmos, or other "consumable" items. The time spent fixing the little stuff is extensive...and often comes at the expense of the BIG stuff that sailors avoid (like re-bedding hardware, tracing leaks, fixing soft wood or metal corrosion).

My rule of thumb is that if a replacement part is under $200...its just not worth the time to fix it. Replace it and keep the old one for parts if you really want to.

Focus on the big stuff, replace the small stuff.
Yep...that why people think Americans believe in a throw away society. If its a fixable problem....why not try to fix it, no matter how much its dollar value is..course if your cruising in the Indian Ocean where there is no West Marine,....I guess you fix the fan
 

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Yep...that why people think Americans believe in a throw away society. If its a fixable problem....why not try to fix it, no matter how much its dollar value is..course if your cruising in the Indian Ocean where there is no West Marine,....I guess you fix the fan
Time....whats your time worth. Sure, if I were in a situation where there was no chandlery near by, I'd try and fix it. But I think OP is living aboard somewhere in Florida....where Defender or West Marine can deliver a part w/in 2 days. I'd rather spend the time sailing or working on major maintenance projects (such as the projects I mentioned above).

Now if all major maintenance is done (ha! I know of NO boat that hasn't deferred SOME big project...especially rebedding hardware)...then go nuts, fix the frayed wire or burned out motor of a $70 part. Just seems like a waste of time.

If you want to be holier than thou, fine...OP, instead of throwing the old fan into the dumpster, spend your time separating metal from plastic and recycle the bugger.
 

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The part that has failed in my several Hella fans is the small, slide-on connectors where the power wire attaches to the printed-circuit board. Soldering the wires directly to the board is a simple fix. There are two resistors on the board and I've had to replace the larger one (.5 ohm, 1 watt) in a couple of fans. After that, the brushes finally wear out and at that point you have to throw it away. I've also removed the whole motor assembly and used the frame to mount a 5" square computer fan. Noisier than the Hella and less air, but computer fans are about $5 on the surplus market.
 
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