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Grow light timer makes noise

 
steward & bricolagier
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I have these kinds of timers (not this brand, just this kind of thing, several brands) running things all over the house.



The one on my grow light is making noise. I have others I have swapped out because they also made noise. Do these things ever need greasing or something similar? If so, with what? It's a low, not 100% constant, grinding, not bad, just enough that it gets on your nerves after a while. They still function fine, most of them ran for a year or more before they started making noise (which is why I think they might need lubricating.)

Anyone ever greased one? I killed a fan by using the wrong lubricant on it, so I'm hesitant to start randomly trying stuff, I like my timers. (BTW, does anyone remember what I am supposed to use on fan motors? I need to make a good note of it.)

Thank you!! :D
 
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I've never opened one up but have used a few. I sometimes heard what is called 60 hertz hum. Normally not much can be done about that. Mechanical grinding is a different animal all together. For safety reasons I wouldn't recommend opening or lubricating them. BUT if I did lubricate them I'd probably use a light coating of lithium grease or perhaps a dry molybdenum based lubricant depending on construction of the noisy parts.
 
pollinator
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I had one that would make noise or stop turning if there was too much power being drawn. It worked fine with a small grow lamp, but not the bigger ones.
 
Pearl Sutton
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Thank you for replies :)
It's definitely a mechanical noise, I hear the hum too, but it's quieter, and the sound it makes when too much current is drawn is different too. I might try violating the warranty on an old one, see what's in there, I never have (surprising though that is!)  I have both dry lube, and lithium, as well as a spray that's a dry lube spray (which is odd stuff) I can try. I need to choose a sacrificial victim! :D

It's not a LOT of grinding, doesn't sound like it's eating it's gears, going to short out, or anything horrifying. Just sounds like it's straining, or quietly complaining. It's just enough that if your computer desk is 12 feet away it gets old very fast. Mom's reading chair is about 4 feet from it, bugs her even more than me.
 
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