Monday, February 9, 2015

It's all fun and games till you have to work on the exhaust fan.

 

Lead ewe with her twins.  Best color of the year.
I ran out of excuses to not work on the kitchen down draft fan.  Annmarie had suspected I was putting it off but I kept coming up with something else that needed to be done.  I ran out of "other things" to do, so today was day one of the vent fan fiasco.  Now, one might think I was sarcastic by this comment but you need to read more of the blog to understand what my true normal is usually like.  I unpacked the fan and found the fan body bent and the decorative top strip bent.  The fan body was not a big deal, I bent it back into place.  The chrome strip that goes on top of the raised fan had a peg bent and it needed to be replaced or it would not stay in place.  I called the Whirlpool help line.  I was told that the fan I had purchased was made in 2012 and was outside the manufacturer warranty.  I then led with the information that I had just purchased the fan from Fred's appliance last month.  They then countered with wanting to know if I had contacted Fred's to get the part.  I said no, I called them. We then found the part I needed and the helpful person, on the phone, said he would list the part in my file but they needed proof of purchase with a recent date before the part could be sent out.  I of course had thrown that away.  I had to call Fred's and get someone to email me the receipt so I could in turn email it to Whirlpool who may have it on file in two days.  I just need to check back then and if everything is in order they will send me the part.  This only took 1.5 hours. 
fan insert raised, backwards!

After swapping blower motor, lift assembly does not move. 
I then put the fan together and turned the blower motor so it vented to the rear.  I was ready to rock as soon as I had some power.  I dug around in the old house and found a metal conduit ring, now if I only had some wire and a plug.  I wanted a flush plug so I went to the local hardware store and found a 90 degree extension cord and cut off the female end.  I wired the fan and figured out how to mount the legs and what was needed to mount it to the wall.  I scooted it in place and it fit!  A whole 1/4 inch to spare.  I plugged it in and it worked!  The fan extended (see picture to the right) and I was able to adjust the speed of the blower.  All was good with the world, or so I thought.

 I looked at both sides of the fan when extended and noticed that the side closest to the stove was just a piece of smooth stainless steel, but the other side was a couple of metal screens and the place where the air was actually getting sucked down.  This is not good, it is wrong.  Having done a very unguylike thing, I had read the instruction manual several times. I didn't want to screw it up.  There was a way to swap the blower motor to the other side!  I was saved.  I had to remove the blower motor and swap the wiring internally and take off the covers.  But, alas it was not that simple.  There is a lifting mechanism and it cannot be moved.  I continued to swap over all the pieces so I can get the fan opening on the right side near the stove.  Well this makes my fan 4 inches too wide for my opening.  This means I will have to cut into the cabinet to get it to fit and cut out through cabinet wall to vent it outside.  This is still doable, but now I have to build a wooden top with the fan in the center.  Again, this is possible but it is starting to get more complicated.  This puts the raise and lower button next to the window.  You need to reach over 30 inches to raise and lower the fan.  The fan speed switch is a diagonal switch that you physically move up and down.  It would be at the far end of the fan near the window.  You would have to feel it while stretching out to adjust the fan speed. 

So I did some brainstorming, We could go buy a stovetop only and I could build a custom cabinet next to the sink that would hold the fan and stovetop.  This is what this fan is really designed to accommodate.  I had to do some more research.  We would then not have an oven.  So the heating guys are coming tomorrow to install our new downstairs propane freestanding heater in the dining room/living room.  I could ask for a quote to install propane in the kitchen where the sideboard is now.  We could move the stove/oven there and just not fry anything and just use the oven.  Eventually, I could build a custom cabinet and put in a single or double oven in that wall.  I realize that this is not spending less money to solve the problem but it is a solution and one which I came up all on my own.  I will have to consult the boss tonight when she gets home, but truly I am not sure how we are going to tackle this problem.