Author Options:

what is the capacitor for in a table fan motor? Where are they purchased? Answered



The only reason I can see for having a capacitor in a fan is for noise suppression, as moving air is not usually a great effort.  What kind of motor is it?  Most fans use a universal (for AC/DC) motor with brushes; so there is the need for suppressing the spark.  But I wouldn't worry too much about it.  

The other motor that uses capacitors is a capacitive start induction motor.  If the motor won't start, the problem may not be the capacitor, since the starting winding is likelier to fail. I have never seen, in forty plus years, a failed capacitor, although it stands to reason that there are some; the most common culprit is the starting winding.   These motors are most commonly (in the home) used in furnaces, some garage door openers.  They are not easily reversible.

Hope this helps

hello! can you explain to me how a 3 speeds table fan work? what are the factors that are controlling the speed of a normal table fan? Is it by varying the voltage or changing the magnetic field? would appreciate your reply :) thx in advance.

By varying the input voltage through the 3 speed selector, the speed of the table fan is varied.


If you websearch "electric motor capacitor" you'll find multiple vendors. If you're going to purchase it yourself, you should find out what capacitance and what voltage rating are appropriate for that particular motor and order one that has the same values. (Higher voltage rating is usually OK, though.) Those numbers are often printed on the capacitor; if not, try contacting the orignal manufacturer (who might also be willing to sell you a replacement capacitor.)

Do you have a good reason for assuming that the cap is the problem in your fan?