“How hard can it be?” Turns out, not very

Thom feels manly after figuring out how to fix his range fan

For Your Consideration

I have to admit, I felt pretty manly last week.

No offence, ladies. I grew up in the era of traditional gender roles, so whenever I do something that, at least at one time would have been considered a male enterprise, I feel manly even though intellectually I know it has nothing to do with gender.

You see, when boys my age were learning how to take things apart and fix them, I was learning how to write poetry, paint pretty pictures, cook and play musical instruments.

Consequently, I have always kind of viewed the workings of mechanical things as something akin to magic. So, when my range fan stopped working Sunday evening, I was initially distraught.

How was I even going to figure out what the problem was?

It was a daunting prospect that it was going to either cost me a fortune to bring in a handyman (or handywoman) to fix it, or that I would be faced with a long and arduous self-repair job for which I was woefully unprepared.

Despite that immediate emotional reaction, I allowed my intellect to take over.

“How hard could it really be?” says my brain to my gut.

I had never done troubleshooting on a range hood fan before, but I did spend a lot of years in the computer business.

I figured it had to be fairly simple. I mean, it’s a fan, how complicated could it be? It had to be a tiny motor, probably with a couple, three wires at the most, power, ground, switch and maybe some kind of thermal fuse.

Everything else in the place was working, including the range light, so it had to be the motor or one of the connections to the motor.

But how to get to it? I couldn’t see any way to easily remove the fan itself and realized I was going to have to dismantle the entire range hood.

“This is going to be a nightmare,” says my gut to my brain.

“Seriously gut, how hard can it be?”

It turns out, not very.

Four screws and the hood was off. A couple more and the fan housing was out. Only two wires, easily unplugged from the switch and power supply with ground supplied by a common connection from the light. A couple more screws and the motor was out. No fuse. So, it had to be the motor.

The hardest part of the whole thing was finding a replacement. In fact, I’m still waiting, but I know when it comes I’ll be able to slap it all back together and Bob’s your uncle.

I was pretty proud of myself, but maybe I just underestimate how much I’ve actually learned about stuff in my close to (ahem) decades.

As it turned out, the worst part of the whole job was cleaning all the grease off the parts I can’t get to when the hood is installed. It’s incredible where grease winds up.

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