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The Physics of a Bathroom Fume Extractor Fan Gone Haywire

Hah! Here’s a great blog by Jason ‘jasmcole’ about his bathroom’s extractor fan gone amok, and some of the plots and graphs generated from studying the noise patterns (or lack thereof) of the fan. This shows just how far you can an ordinary ‘project’ or study something as banal as a fume extractor fan using tools and resources typically reserved to fields of scientific investigation.

Recently the extractor fan in my bathroom has started malfunctioning, occasionally grinding and stalling. The infuriating thing is that the grinding noise isn’t perfectly periodic – it is approximately so, but there are occasionally long gaps and the short gaps vary slightly. This lack of predictability makes the noise incredibly annoying, and hard to tune out. Before getting it fixed, I decided to investigate it a bit further.

Read more.


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