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Damage a case fan by vacuuming air vents from the outside?



 
 
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  #1  
Old January 23rd 17, 09:37 AM posted to alt.comp.hardware,microsoft.public.windowsxp.general
micky
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Posts: 439
Default Damage a case fan by vacuuming air vents from the outside?

Can you damage a case fan by vacuuming the air vents from the outside?

(I have a Dell Optiplex 775 with the original fan. )

It seems more than safe to me, but I happened to read the manual for a
Noctua fan and it says not to use a vacuum cleaner or it may apply
"excessive force to the fan". I find that hard to believe. I've pushed
on the vanes of other 3, 4, and 5" fans and they don't bend at all with
the kind of force vacuum cleaners exert. In fact I think they would be
hard to break. Are Noctua fans more fragile than others?


  #2  
Old January 23rd 17, 11:22 AM posted to alt.comp.hardware,microsoft.public.windowsxp.general
R.Wieser
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Posts: 22
Default Damage a case fan by vacuuming air vents from the outside?

micky,

Can you damage a case fan by vacuuming the air vents from the outside?


Theoretically ? Yes.

Noctua fan and it says not to use a vacuum cleaner or it may
apply "excessive force to the fan". I find that hard to believe.


Consider this: When a fan rotates by itself it pushes itself *into* the
'puter ('cuz its blowing hot air out). When you put a vacuum cleaner to the
outside of he case you're effectivily pulling its blades *outof* the 'puter.
Which the fan is not really accustomed to ...

Also, most fans rotate rather lazily (otherwise they make *lots* of noise),
and when applying the right (or wrong :-) ) vacuum cleaner you can probably
spin them up above what they are designed to.

In short: its not so much that the blades will be ripped off (not much
chance of that), but that the fans bearings will become damaged, possibly
causing the fan to scew, getting wedged against a non-rotating part and
refuse to rotate anymore.

But also consider that those companies are mostly American, which tend to
warn users for the most obvious things (like putting a sticker on knifes
warning the user that the sharp edges might indeed be sharp), in an attempt
to indemnify themselves in case some numbscull thinks its a good idea to use
an industrial-strength suction device to "clean up" those fans. :-)

Regards,
Rudy Wieser


-- Origional message:
micky schreef in berichtnieuws
...
Can you damage a case fan by vacuuming the air vents from the outside?

(I have a Dell Optiplex 775 with the original fan. )

It seems more than safe to me, but I happened to read the manual for a
Noctua fan and it says not to use a vacuum cleaner or it may apply
"excessive force to the fan". I find that hard to believe. I've pushed
on the vanes of other 3, 4, and 5" fans and they don't bend at all with
the kind of force vacuum cleaners exert. In fact I think they would be
hard to break. Are Noctua fans more fragile than others?




  #3  
Old January 23rd 17, 12:03 PM posted to alt.comp.hardware,microsoft.public.windowsxp.general
Paul[_28_]
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Posts: 1,467
Default Damage a case fan by vacuuming air vents from the outside?

micky wrote:
Can you damage a case fan by vacuuming the air vents from the outside?

(I have a Dell Optiplex 775 with the original fan. )

It seems more than safe to me, but I happened to read the manual for a
Noctua fan and it says not to use a vacuum cleaner or it may apply
"excessive force to the fan". I find that hard to believe. I've pushed
on the vanes of other 3, 4, and 5" fans and they don't bend at all with
the kind of force vacuum cleaners exert. In fact I think they would be
hard to break. Are Noctua fans more fragile than others?


Your local computer store must love you.

"Well, I just got this new fan from you on Tuesday.
I was minding my own business, vacuuming the rug or
something, and the blades just flew off the fan!!!
I want my money back."

*******

To be semi-serious for a moment, even cleaning a fan
with a rag with solvent (isopropyl) on it,
*can ruin the bearing*. I've done it.

Some bearings on fans, have an internal spring to return
the blade to home position. If you tug on the hub hard
enough, you can dislodge the spring.

You need to treat the thing like Royalty, if
you're going to clean it. That means a little bit
of solvent (to act as a dust magnet). Hold the
fan blade from the back, so none of your pressure
is transferred to the hub. And so on.

To do a good job, in some cases you might want
to remove the four mounting devices (screws or
clips), and work on it outside the computer.

Dells tend to be a little special, because they have
a high-power (100CFM) fan as a blower on the CPU
heatsink. And it doubles as a case ventilation fan.
So Dell tries to do everything with the one fan.
When the thermistor says the case is too hot, that
five-wire fan can really speed up. And then it sounds
like a vacuum cleaner.

For one of those, you wouldn't think of being lazy and
taking shortcuts. If you needed to clean it, you'd disassemble
the shroud and take it outside the PC and work on it. While
there are so-called "exact replacements" for fans like
that (with the five pin connector), only one or two companies
source them, so you could easily no longer have a source for
them. Whereas a lot of other computer designs, any old
replacement case fan would do.

Your Optiplex might not be that bad, but before you become
"abusive" with the fan, check on the Internet and see if
a replacement fan for the 755 is even available.

Paul
  #4  
Old January 23rd 17, 12:18 PM posted to alt.comp.hardware,microsoft.public.windowsxp.general
Shadow[_2_]
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Posts: 195
Default Damage a case fan by vacuuming air vents from the outside?

On Mon, 23 Jan 2017 04:37:03 -0500, micky
wrote:

Can you damage a case fan by vacuuming the air vents from the outside?

(I have a Dell Optiplex 775 with the original fan. )

It seems more than safe to me, but I happened to read the manual for a
Noctua fan and it says not to use a vacuum cleaner or it may apply
"excessive force to the fan". I find that hard to believe. I've pushed
on the vanes of other 3, 4, and 5" fans and they don't bend at all with
the kind of force vacuum cleaners exert. In fact I think they would be
hard to break. Are Noctua fans more fragile than others?


Almost impossible with a vacuum cleaner, but possible with a
blower. A fan is a generator. If you spin it fast enough you can
generate enough electricity to damage something.
I use a leaf blower to clean my PC once a year, but I put
clips on all the fans first so they won't turn.
It has nothing to do with "bending the fan".
[]'s
--
Don't be evil - Google 2004
We have a new policy - Google 2012
  #5  
Old January 23rd 17, 12:20 PM posted to alt.comp.hardware,microsoft.public.windowsxp.general
mike
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Posts: 75
Default Damage a case fan by vacuuming air vents from the outside?

On 1/23/2017 1:37 AM, micky wrote:
Can you damage a case fan by vacuuming the air vents from the outside?

(I have a Dell Optiplex 775 with the original fan. )

It seems more than safe to me, but I happened to read the manual for a
Noctua fan and it says not to use a vacuum cleaner or it may apply
"excessive force to the fan". I find that hard to believe. I've pushed
on the vanes of other 3, 4, and 5" fans and they don't bend at all with
the kind of force vacuum cleaners exert. In fact I think they would be
hard to break. Are Noctua fans more fragile than others?


I think the case fan is rarely the problem.
I buy all my computers at garage sales. I've never, ever
had a case fan that had a dirt problem.
I've had MANY CPU fans 100% blocked with cat hair.

If you think you've got dust, take it apart and blow it
out with compressed air, concentrating on the CPU fan.
You don't want it to spin. I stick a toothpick into it
while I'm blowing on it.

Yes, you can damage stuff if you use 200PSI.
Don't do that. Just barely enough is plenty.
  #6  
Old January 23rd 17, 03:08 PM posted to alt.comp.hardware,microsoft.public.windowsxp.general
John McGaw
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Posts: 732
Default Damage a case fan by vacuuming air vents from the outside?

On 1/23/2017 4:37 AM, micky wrote:
Can you damage a case fan by vacuuming the air vents from the outside?

(I have a Dell Optiplex 775 with the original fan. )

It seems more than safe to me, but I happened to read the manual for a
Noctua fan and it says not to use a vacuum cleaner or it may apply
"excessive force to the fan". I find that hard to believe. I've pushed
on the vanes of other 3, 4, and 5" fans and they don't bend at all with
the kind of force vacuum cleaners exert. In fact I think they would be
hard to break. Are Noctua fans more fragile than others?


Theoretically, yes. Practically, no. I've cleaned computers, including
their fans, with compressed gas, brushes and vacuums since PCs came into
being and have yet to have a casualty and we're talking about literally
hundreds of units if you include all of the smart terminals we used at my
last job. If you were to have a fan die after a cleaning then it is far
more likely that it was defective to begin with than that you damaged it.

IMHO fans get ignored far too much (including by me) and people seem to do
nothing with them until they totally die, possibly causing more severe
problems, or at least until they start to sound like a threshing machine. I
try to make a point of listening to my various fan-equipped equipment at
least occasionally and running temperature-monitoring software on those
that are amenable. With five serious PCs, a notebook, and a NAS box there a
lot of fans that could go bad.
  #7  
Old January 23rd 17, 07:23 PM posted to alt.comp.hardware,microsoft.public.windowsxp.general
pyotr filipivich
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Posts: 10
Default Damage a case fan by vacuuming air vents from the outside?

mike on Mon, 23 Jan 2017 04:20:19 -0800 typed in
microsoft.public.windowsxp.general the following:
On 1/23/2017 1:37 AM, micky wrote:
Can you damage a case fan by vacuuming the air vents from the outside?

(I have a Dell Optiplex 775 with the original fan. )

It seems more than safe to me, but I happened to read the manual for a
Noctua fan and it says not to use a vacuum cleaner or it may apply
"excessive force to the fan". I find that hard to believe. I've pushed
on the vanes of other 3, 4, and 5" fans and they don't bend at all with
the kind of force vacuum cleaners exert. In fact I think they would be
hard to break. Are Noctua fans more fragile than others?


I think the case fan is rarely the problem.
I buy all my computers at garage sales. I've never, ever
had a case fan that had a dirt problem.
I've had MANY CPU fans 100% blocked with cat hair.

If you think you've got dust, take it apart and blow it
out with compressed air,


Use the canned stuff. Don't take it into the shop and blow it out
with air from the 120 psi line - with or without the inline oiler.
--
pyotr filipivich
Next month's Panel: Graft - Boon or blessing?
  #8  
Old January 23rd 17, 09:18 PM posted to alt.comp.hardware,microsoft.public.windowsxp.general
VanguardLH[_2_]
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Posts: 1,453
Default Damage a case fan by vacuuming air vents from the outside?

micky on 2017/01/23 wrote:

Can you damage a case fan by vacuuming the air vents from the outside?

(I have a Dell Optiplex 775 with the original fan. )

It seems more than safe to me, but I happened to read the manual for a
Noctua fan and it says not to use a vacuum cleaner or it may apply
"excessive force to the fan". I find that hard to believe. I've pushed
on the vanes of other 3, 4, and 5" fans and they don't bend at all with
the kind of force vacuum cleaners exert. In fact I think they would be
hard to break. Are Noctua fans more fragile than others?


Fans should not be rotated (except by hand to check for bearing wear)
other than under their own power. Spinning the fan not powered will
generate a reverse magetic field that induces current that it may not be
designed to handle. Use an ear swab (a long stemmed one if needed) to
block the fan from spinning when you suck or pass air through it. Your
computer fan is not a simple transformer but has electronics inside,
like to generate a pulse to let the computer know the RPM of the fan.
The fan also was designed for a maximum RPM simply because they are not
that well balanced. You sucking or blowing air through the fan could
result in it spinning at far greater RPM than designed to handle. You
might get away with driving at slow speed with an out-of-round,
separated ply, or unbalanced tire but what happens when you take it on
the highway?

Many fans have the blade hub simply pressed onto the spindle. There may
be an indent in the spindle into which nubs in the fan will press in but
sometimes it is just friction holding the hub onto the spindle. You
sucking on the hub and blades could pull the hub out and cause it to
whack against its cage, protector grid, or case.

When doing a build, I always salivate on getting Noctua fans but they
are just too pricey.

Never use a non-computer vaccum to clean anything electronic unless you
can guarantee that the vacuum (no part of it) touches the electronics.
The air rushing into the nozzle and hose generate static electricity.
There are computer vacuums but they have a price premium. And, no, I'm
not talking about those cheap 1-battery keyboard dusters the size of a
big Sharpie marker which aren't static protected, anyway. You already
know about taking anti-static precautions when working inside your
computer so why oblivious to using a vacuum there? Yes, you might be
thinking you would only use the vacuum on the outside of the closed case
but static shocks to the case have to go somewhere. While the case is
(well, should be) grounded, high-voltage often tends to go where it
wants instead of where directed. I've seen where a static shock to the
case would power it off. That meant the surge somehow affected the
logic on the mobo to cause it to power off the PSU.

Don't use a household vacuum to clean your computer. Take it outside
(when not raining or snowing) and use compressed air to blow out the
dust. That uses more concentrated pressure than your vacuum can produce
through its large hose and you also have better control. Since crud
often builds up on fan blades (the velocity of the dirty air causes the
crud, especially cigarette smoke and cooking oil), you'll want to use a
cotton swab to wipe the blades. That will also get rid of imbalance due
to the impacted crud. You can try to blow off the fans but canned air
often won't have the pressure needed to blow off the stuck-on crud. You
don't want to use excessive pressure, like from a compressor (which
might be oiled), so just use canned air and ear swabs on the fan blades.
Of course, when you take it outside (or, if you're lucky, under a vent
hood) to blow out the fans, you might as well as blow out the heat sink
on the CPU and GPU, through the PSU (both directions, and remember to
block the fans from spinning), and everywhere else inside. Considering
that users rarely blow the dust, lint, pet hair, and other crud from out
of the computers or they have a particularly dusty or linty environment,
you might need several cans of compressed air. I blow mine out at least
once per year but usually twice (spring and fall). I have lots of
carpet (would prefer hardwood floors), pets, and like the windows open
during the non-winter months, and my old furnace sucks at filtering (I
have to replace the fiberglass filter by disassembling a curved frame
instead of buying pre-made replaceable flat ones).

Where in the instructions for your vacuum cleaner does it say that its
use is appropriate to clean out computers, TVs, or other electronics?
Do you use your lawn mower to trim your hedges?
  #9  
Old January 24th 17, 12:40 AM posted to alt.comp.hardware,microsoft.public.windowsxp.general
Paul in Houston TX[_2_]
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Posts: 18
Default Damage a case fan by vacuuming air vents from the outside?

micky wrote:
Can you damage a case fan by vacuuming the air vents from the outside?

(I have a Dell Optiplex 775 with the original fan. )

It seems more than safe to me, but I happened to read the manual for a
Noctua fan and it says not to use a vacuum cleaner or it may apply
"excessive force to the fan". I find that hard to believe. I've pushed
on the vanes of other 3, 4, and 5" fans and they don't bend at all with
the kind of force vacuum cleaners exert. In fact I think they would be
hard to break. Are Noctua fans more fragile than others?


Spinning a fan at 26,000 rpm is not good for the fan.
They tend to violently explode.
(Don't ask how I know this.)
Always hold the blades or stick something in to hold the blades in place.

  #10  
Old January 24th 17, 01:32 AM posted to alt.comp.hardware,microsoft.public.windowsxp.general
T[_6_]
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Posts: 49
Default Damage a case fan by vacuuming air vents from the outside?

On 01/23/2017 01:37 AM, micky wrote:
Can you damage a case fan by vacuuming the air vents from the outside?

(I have a Dell Optiplex 775 with the original fan. )

It seems more than safe to me, but I happened to read the manual for a
Noctua fan and it says not to use a vacuum cleaner or it may apply
"excessive force to the fan". I find that hard to believe. I've pushed
on the vanes of other 3, 4, and 5" fans and they don't bend at all with
the kind of force vacuum cleaners exert. In fact I think they would be
hard to break. Are Noctua fans more fragile than others?



Hi Micky,

A "fan" is also know as a "reservable generator". If you
cause it to spin, you will create a current. This can
damage any electronics on the fan's controller and/or
damage anything the fan is plugged into.

When I blow out fans, I will grab a blade to keep it
from spinning

-T

I learned the above the hard way and yes I did know better.
 




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