ForumsITGeneral • PC Fans
By: raymond25
Hey, I have a fan in a tower that stopped spinning. My question is, is this now a fire hazard in my house, or can i just ignore it.

And what are the main causes for this?
May 12, 2014 at 12:33pm
By: jdorman
This depends on which fan stopped spinning and how much use the computer gets. The short answer is yes this is now a potential fire hazard. PC case fans are designed to remove heat from inside of a closed space which is filled with electronics. Once that ventilation is reduced or removed there is a change for severe damage to the components and for a fire to start. We've seen solder melted on motherboards and smoke come from computers with insufficient cooling.

The good news is a typical case fan is available for under $20 and is typically only four screws so it can be done by the end user safely.
May 14, 2014 at 11:13am
By: eddieng
How can you tell if a fan is failing? Occasionally, I hear a noise that sounds like an imbalanced fan or a fan having issues spinning properly.
June 27, 2014 at 3:47pm
By: adrianswift
In those cases Ed its easier just to swap out the fan. A new fan can cost between $3 and $20... Where as the device its "cooling" might have a considerably larger price tag.
"Most" fans are modular and can be easily swapped because they have a generic socket that plugs into the power. Some might be soldered directly to the device. But all can be swapped out.
July 31, 2014 at 2:14pm
By: johnsams
The fan in my laptop seems to run at different speeds and there are time when it really runs fast. Is this common or is it an indication of a problem?
July 31, 2014 at 3:38pm
By: eddieng
Thanks for the advice. I guess it is probably a safer bet to simply replace the fan. I was just unsure if it was failing or not.
July 31, 2014 at 3:41pm
By: adrianswift
Yes Ed.. If you have genuine concern then a simple fan swap is better than the "wait and see" method.

Modern computers have thermal monitoring. Often they have "triggers" set the will vary the fan speed. As the computer works harder it generates more heat... As it get hotter it triggers the fan to spin faster providing cooling.
Most of the time a fan will run between 60 - 75% its maximum RPM when your working. It will idle to around 25% when your computer is resting. When your stressing your computer the fan will spin upto 100%.
These changes are usually audible, but more so in a laptop because of the design of the fan and the amount of air its forcing across the heatsink.

If your fan runs constantly at 100%, then you might have an issue.
August 1, 2014 at 10:40am
By: johnsams
Thanks, that explains a lot.
August 8, 2014 at 5:35pm