I am one of the world’s unhandiest men (the image above is not my handiwork, but it could have been). It goes back to high school when I scored a 7 out of 100 on the Armed Forces Aptitude test for General Mechanical Ability. I’ve used that as an excuse not to fix anything for nearly 50 years.
My idea of fixing something is to basically ignore the problem and hope it fixes it itself. If it doesn’t, I eventually get to the point, usually several months later, when I realize something should probably be done. That’s when I go on the internet and start looking for someone to come fix the problem.
Anyway, our bathroom exhaust fan stopped working a couple of weeks ago, and true to my nature, I waited a few days and just hoped it would start working again. It didn’t, and so I let a few more days go by before I decided something needs to be done.
Over the years, several people have told me how useful they find YouTube for showing them how to repair something. Of course, I would just nod, and then say something about my score of 7 for Mechanical Ability.
But for some reason, this time I decided to take a look on YouTube, and see what I could find.
A quick search led me to the following video:
It seemed almost identical to what my exhaust fan looked like, it was less than five minutes long, and dare I say, it looked easy enough for me to give it a shot. In fact, since I was just replacing the motor, that part of the video was over in the first 70 seconds.
My son Pat helped me take the old motor and fan out (removing the cover was a bit challenging and time-consuming – much longer than the YouTube video made it appear – but nothing that a few silent curse words couldn’t help with.) We then took a few photos of what the motor and fan looked like and headed out to Lowes to get a new set.
Fortunately, Lowes only carried one replacement model; otherwise, I could have been stuck staring at the various options for quite some time. So I assumed it was something fairly universal, and we made our purchase.
We got back home, opened up the box, and it was just two parts, the fan and the motor. All I had to do was attach the motor to the fan (that involved just pressing a hole in the middle of the fan down onto a metal tube that stuck out of the motor), reattach the combined pieces to the metal plate, and pop it back up in the hole. Something that literally should have taken 30 seconds.
I thought I had to take some screws off of the new motor so that I would be able to reattach it to the metal plate. When I took the screws off, a couple of pieces fell to the ground.
So I spent the next 30 minutes trying to figure out how those two pieces went back on the motor. I thought I finally figured it out, so I attached the motor and fan to the metal plate, shoved the whole thing back up in its hole, and plugged it in to see if it worked.
Voila! It worked. The problem was when I tried to put the cover back on I realized that the motor was now sticking out about four inches below the ceiling. So I had to take it all apart and start from scratch to figure out how those two parts that fell to the floor should go back on the motor. Of course, that was nowhere in the instructions that came with the new motor, because there had been no need to take those two parts off.
I then went through several trials and errors. Each trial took several minutes since I had to remove two bolts each time from the end of the screws, figure out a new configuation, put the bolts back on, and try and put it back in its hole again. I was quite excited when one of my configurations enabled me to fit the new unit back up in its hole, but then the fan did not spin at all.
After about 60 minutes, I finally figured it out. (which means I essentially got the new motor back to the way it was when I first took it out of the box). Of course, when I finally got it correct, I realized that I had forgotten to put those two bolts back on, but it seemed as if the screws were still in there pretty tight without those bolts, so those two bolts ended up in our junk drawer.
It was then time to put the grill cover back on, which was once again a challenge. There are four clips that needed to be connected. After 15 minutes, I got three of the four in, and I thought, that’s good enough.
At this point, nearly two hours had gone by, but when I flipped the switch, the fan came on. What a wonderful feeling.
So how did WordPress help me with this repair?
As I was working on it, and getting quite frustrated, I thought “I could write a blog post about this, but only if I got it working”. So that thought kept me motivated, and here we are. A blog post.
In hindsight, the YouTube video was incredibly helpful, and the repair should have easily taken less than 15 minutes.
Given my experience, I think I will be more willing to try some repairs on my own if there is a YouTube video that makes it look easy.
But I am also really hoping that nothing ever breaks again in my house…
*image from FamilyMinded