- Verified purchase
Arlec brand rubbish
I so wish had seen this site prior to purchasing 2 Arlec exhaust fans! I want to remove them as start up noise is getting louder but there’s the cost of getting an electrician! Why haven’t these fans been recalled and Arlec and Bunnings doing the right thing?? Think our complaints just stay here so perhaps a phone call to ACCC might help!
2x fans won't start
Read the notice in the manual that it might oscillate audibly "momentarily" before starting. However it would oscillate for as long as I'd watch it for in the roof. It would only start if I flicked it or turned it off and on again. Very quiet when running. Took it out if the ceiling and when held in hands it would start most of the time. It seems being held rigidly and horizontal the start problems are worse. Which is unfortunate because that's exactly how it gets installed.
Exchanged for another thinking I had a dud unit and tested it in hands. It seemed to start every time. Installed in fm ceiling and it required flicking off and on to start every time.
It's a shame because when running it's great. But I can't recommend it at all.
Purchased in August 2020.
Very poor start-up design
Yes agree with other general comments ... not a great design! I installed two of these fans in a flat I rent out ... initially the start-up noise was acceptable, but less than a year later, the tenant complained that the noise was getting worse and I have replaced both with a different make of exhaust fan (with much better bearings). I've examined both faulty Arlec fans (I'm an electrical engineer) and found that one would keep permanently shaking/oscillating in efforts to start rotating (failing to do so) and the other one, having managed ...to start, would rotate in the OPPOSITE direction 50% of the time! Appalling design ... I don't accept that just because they may be an efficient DC motor that they should give this start-up trouble. I've taken one apart, and note there is a coiled cylindrical spring under a bit of tension around the top of the spindle ... I suspect it may be this which needs adjusting, but haven't had time to test. I'll be phoning Arlec on their advised Melbourne phone number (inside the packaging) and suggest others do the same.
Flawed Design Leads to Loud Shuddering That Gets Progressively Worse
We had one of the standard (non-energy-efficient) versions of this same fan, and it gave us 10 years of faithful service before it started to vibrate too much on startup and eventually died. We bought the energy efficient version and hoped for similar longevity from it, but the momentary (and expected) vibration on startup quickly transformed into minutes of terrible hammering/shuddering that was loud enough to wake our kids, and could be heard from our backyard. Switching the fan off then back on initially helped stop the shuddering, but withi...n weeks the problem got worse and worse until we could no longer tolerate the racket. Examining the fan closely, it seems Arlec achieved the improved energy efficiency and admittedly very quiet operating sound (when the fan is working properly) by suspending the fan blade assembly within a ring of magnets arranged horizontally. Unfortunately, there's nothing securing the blade assembly vertically, so the fan blades are able to fall downward several cm and disengage from the magnets, which in turn causes the vibration when you switch the fan on. Without a device to keep the stem in place, the fan blades just shake themselves back and forth, and often never realign themselves with the magnets, making a terrible sound as a result. I hope Arlec will revise the design of these fans to ensure a more secure retention of the fan blade assembly. I wouldn't risk buying another unit of the same type, so on the recommendation of another reviewer here, I exchanged the defective Arlec fan for an HPM brand extractor and paid the $4 price difference. Because its motor is more powerful, and possibly an entirely different type from that within the Arlec, the HPM fan isn't as energy-efficient, but it has a visible metal rivet/screw securing its fan blade assembly to the motor, and so far we've encountered no vibration problems on startup. It also makes a louder whine when in operation, but compared to the sound of the failing Arlec, the HPM's sound is far more tolerable.
Credit where it is due
Just installed the 200mm fan. It does rattle for a second (no more than that) at startup, and clicks when it stops. Doesn't bother me. In my view the improvement in power consumption from 26 watts to 4 watts is an astonishing achievement and full marks to Arlec for that. I will buy again.
Everything you're all describing is exactly how it is meant to work!!!
Every one is whining about the noise. That is a DC motor. They are efficient but are suspended within the frame and rattle upon start up. You bought them for energy efficiency; why do you expect them to operate EXACTLY the same as an inefficient AC motor?
- Verified purchase
I bought 2x broken/dodgy MEF20 fans!
Sadly I never looked on Product Review before buying 2x of these crap fans! Disgusted to say the least. Upon opening the boxes, both fans had screws loose. DON'T BUY! They can't be fixed.
RECALL THIS GARBAGE
As every other person has stated. There is a noise apon startup. On closer inspection I found that it is actually the whole motor assembly that is loose inside the housing. Ok, bummer, I'll just take it back to Bunnings. A 25 minute wait after a 20 minute drive, then wander right to the back of the store to get a change over. I get home and plug it into a PowerPoint just to check it. Same thing. It has been in less that 36 hrs and it takes about 3 minutes after starting for the bumping, banging and general noise until it spins properly. Though ...now it is about 5+ times as loud as when it was spinning properly. I would love to insert into the Arlec Acquisitions Officer and turn it on. This is a joke. Everything we seem to buy from Bunnings that runs on power or fuel lately either dies completely or doesn't work properly. They should change their name to The Reject Shop
This fan is to noisy it clunks to bad I do not recommend it
Does not suck much air
The blades when cleaning fly out of wack
I do not recommend this product
When cleaning the fan cover falls off of its housing
November 19th 2019 Update: Terrible fan
The Arlec energy saving fan is useless it clunks to much on start up and during running they dont even make the 250mm anymore just 200mm which is worse for clunking
Should be recalled
Purchased this from bunnings, straight out the packet the fan seems to hit the or sounds like its hitting its own frame.
I agree with the other reviews here dont bother with it unless you want your dentures rattled out when turning on!
Purchased in March 2019.
Arlec Energy Saving 200mm Exhaust Fan - MEF20
Very quiet while running and apparently is energy saving as only 4.2W instead of 26W.
The only problem is that there is an audible sound when starting up. There is NO warning of this on the box but there is a tag attached to the power cord inside. Would be better to have a comment on the outside of the box.
The first time I started the exhaust fan I nearly s***t myself as I wasn't expecting the sudden noise.
Once this startup noise has ceased the fan is very quiet - until you turn it off, when it does its audible noise again.
- Verified purchase
Flawed product, thrashes itself about creating much noise, don't waste your time
Such a shame that this product is so bad, as I was looking forward to the lower power consumption – 8w as opposed to 30w or more.
I have tried two, and both have the same issue. There is a warning in the box, both on the instruction card and also a tag tied to the power cable, that the 'motor will oscillate momentarily and produce audible sound'. What this means is that the dangling fan body and blades will hit itself against the frame and thrash itself about until it can balance and spin freely. This sometimes works, but far too often it can...work itself up into a fighting match against itself and never actually go properly. I took it back to Bunnings and exchanged it for another. It appeared to be no different, but still decided to go ahead and give it a try. Same issue as the first. Pieces of plastic even came out whilst the second one was smashing itself away. Immediately took it down and am taking it also back but this time I am not going to buy the same. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. Do not waste your time with this flawed cheap-and-nasty waste of plastic and resources. Unfortunately you won't be able to enjoy power consumption savings unless you want something that resembles a plastic chook fight in your ceiling most times you use it.
Questions & Answers
Please explain why your fan does this jump/skip and a dance before taking up a quiet running mode.
These fans are terrible. They have no (ramping) in the fan as the $5 more HPM ones do. This causes the motor to start at full speed which nearly tears the housing apart. That is what the horrible noise is. I thought I had a bad one. I replaced it at Bunnings and the next one was the same. I took the second one back as well and bought a HPM which starts up slowly and smoothly until it is at top speed. We can turn the switch off and on repetitively and there is not a noise at all. For a toilet or bathroom the ARLEC fans won't last long. Worst ceiling extraction fans on the market.
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