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Hanging box fans safely?

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  • Hanging box fans safely?

    I have heard of fires because of box fans in stalls, and this has never really been a concern to me because I never used them anyway.

    Well, now its 100 degrees and my horses are inside during the day.

    How do you safely hang box fans for stalls? What are the fire hazards - horses messing with them?

  • #2
    saw some interesting nylon box fan hangers at KHP yesterday.made of dog harness type material but forgot their name.sorry

    Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
    I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.


    • #3
      I think the fire hazard is more from dust and/or the motor being overheated from running constantly in an already hot area. Plus a lot of us use box fans that are clearly labeled "indoor use only" and while a barn seems like "indoors" I don't think they're really meant for those conditions.


      • #4
        oldpony66 summed it up well. There are specially made fans out there however with safety features to keep them from burning the barn down such as insulated motors. There was a thread about this recently. If you are going to run box fans, I would only run them while your in the barn and turn them off/unplug them when you leave. The motors on those overheat fairly easily and quickly.
        Another thought is you could put a giant drum fan at one end of the aisle to keep a breeze through the whole barn more safely.
        Also the fire department told me, no extension cords for permanent use. Maybe talk to your local fire department?


        • #5
          My trainer uses zip ties to keep hers positioned in the "windows", and the fire hazard is, as stated, from the dust, poor wiring or overworked fan motors from el cheapo fans more than anything else.
          Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
          Incredible Invisible


          • Original Poster

            Ah, got it. Thank you! Really appreciate it!

            Eventually I would like to do ceiling fans so they're out of the way, and can run above the horses.

            Well, off to the barn to turn that fan off! I had it in the aisle, away from the horses.


            • #7
              After worrying about the threat of fire from the cheaper fans I went and bought an enclosed motor fan from tractor supply yesterday for $90.

              Within half an hour the metal casing around the fan was so hot I couldn't touch it. Called the manufacturer which is Pinnacle fans and they said because it is high velocity it will get hot.

              So do you risk dust getting in the unenclosed motors and potentially sparking a fire, or do you worry about dust or hay bits settling on the enclosed motor casing catching fire?

              At least it puts out an awesome amount of air. My mare stands in front of it with her long mane blowing like a model in a swimsuit shoot!


              • #8
                These are the one's that we've ordered for our horses. Made and sold locally in Texas! So far, we've used them at stalls at shows, custom built stalls, and typical Preifert box stalls. No problems. Box Fans and the high velocity fans fit.

                "I'm holding out for the $100,000 Crossrail Classic in 2012." --mem
                "With all due respect.. may I suggest you take up Croquet?" --belambi
                Proud Member of the Opinionated Redhead Club!


                • #9
                  I hang the fans on the stalls so that they are touching only the metal bars, and I toss them out at the end of the summer.

                  However I do have an "inquisitive" Hessen who has totalled 3 fans, one in FL and 2 here in GA by chewing the cords when the fans were plugged in. No harm apparently and no learning curve for either the Hessen or 3 different BOs.

                  I do buy the box fans that are cheap, the lasko ones which are often recalled, but have had no problems with them.


                  • #10
                    We made our own holders for our fans. We do use the cheapo box ones too, but replace them every year or two and we "blow them out" in the spring before running them.

                    We made 3 sided "box" out of wood. They are angled down so the air blows into the stalls and the cords are up in the rafters where no horsey mouths can get at them. We also take the knobs off so they can't swallow them as our fans are actually upside down in their boxes. The 2 bottom "bars" (pieces of 1" wood) just unscrew so when we replace them, just unscrew, old fan comes right out and new fan slides right in. The holders have been there for about 8 years now and we have not had to repair any of them yet.
                    Check us out on Facebook at EVER AFTER FARM


                    • #11
                      I used zip ties, too. I have the cheap-o ones, one at each stall. They are on during the day, when horses are in (during this incredible heat) and then power shut off to the outlets at night.

                      I throw them out at the end of the summer, too. New ones every year.


                      • #12
                        We use bailing twine to tie the four corners of our fans to the outside of the bars in the front of the stalls, making sure the cord is out of the horse's reach. Make sure whoever does it knows how to tie a square knot. You'd be surprised how many horse people don't.

                        Running the fan at medium speed greatly reduces the load on the motor. Turning the fan upside down allows dust and dirt to get into the switch. Any moisture or condensation and you're looking at potential arcing.

                        And above all, make sure they're on a ground-fault breaker!
                        The inherent vice of Capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.
                        Winston Churchill


                        • #13
                          I purchase new box fans yearly (getting rid of the old ones on Craiglist, advertised as "very dusty, need cleaning, but running, box fans"), and only have them on when I'm home. I do unplug them when not in use.

                          I just read about a new, novel way of "hanging" a box fan by putting it in a hay net. Sounds like it would work pretty well.

                          However, since my horses don't spend very little time in the barn, and I only run them to keep the temp down in there, I just set the fans on the ledge outside the stalls and bungee-cord them to the stall bars.
                          Equus Keepus Brokus


                          • #14
                            Someone mentioned being at a show and seeing box fans inside hay nets... sounds useful, you could hang it from a single point and adjust the corners in the net so you get the angle you want.

                            I'm too paranoid for box fans, Patrick has one of these in his shelter: http://www.farmtek.com/farm/supplies...68_106569.html

                            It's currently running on an extension cord tied off to trees from the house to the run-in shed, but we finally got the last piece of the puzzle for the solar power setup, so that's the next project.
                            ... and Patrick


                            • #15
                              Bungee cords are excellent for hanging fans.

                              Air compressors are excellent for blowing crap out of them weekly.

                              Lasko make a fan with a sealed motor and fused plug, with or without a thermostat.
                              ... _. ._ .._. .._


                              • #16
                                I also run my cheap-o fans on medium speed, plug then into ground-fault breaker outlets, and unplug them when not in use.

                                We also use a big (like 4-ft. diameter) fan in the aisle to ventilate the barn.

                                Those fans really do bring the temps down to comfortable in these crazy heat.

                                However, since I am going to be gone all day today, I went ahead and turned the horses out. I do blow the big fan into the run-in shed, but it is plugged into a GFCI outlet inside the barn. Should it somehow catch fire, the horses are OUT and can run away.

                                I do not trust those fans enough to leave them on at night or to run them with the horses in and me not home. Since I work from home, I am usually here.

                                Electricity in the barn does make me cautious -- but this heat can be a killer, too, especially for my 30-year-old who does regulate his body temp as well. So, today he is standing in the shade of the run-in, with a full water trough beside him and a 4-ft. fan blowing on him. I think he will be okay!


                                • #17
                                  Our whole barn has them. Since each owner is responsble for buying their own, I'd guess that most if not all came from WalMart. They are running during the day as horses are on night turnout. We attach ours to metal stall fronts using bungee cords criss-crossed over the fans. Our barn is designed with outlets between stalls so there aren't extension cords.
                                  A proud friend of bar.ka.


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by BetterOffRed View Post
                                    These are the one's that we've ordered for our horses. Made and sold locally in Texas! So far, we've used them at stalls at shows, custom built stalls, and typical Preifert box stalls. No problems. Box Fans and the high velocity fans fit.

                                    Wow, I like those! What a simple idea, but it looks like the airflow is 100x better than if you just bungee the fan to the bars.
                                    I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry


                                    • #19
                                      We have the ones similar to what BetterOffRed posted. I like them a lot.

                                      However my barn manager thinks it's fine to use rusty old fans in them (she even put one up with a missing blade!). I have talked until I am blue in the face and she still will not take me seriously about the fire hazard.

                                      The other boarders and I all have new fans this year, but she will not take down the old one in her own stall. I think I am going to replace it at my own cost anyway as I'm not OK with the barn burning down.

                                      How can I convince her?


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by BetterOffRed View Post
                                        These are the one's that we've ordered for our horses. Made and sold locally in Texas! So far, we've used them at stalls at shows, custom built stalls, and typical Preifert box stalls. No problems. Box Fans and the high velocity fans fit.

                                        I have used something very similar now for years. Mine have a "picture frame" of angle iron around the face of the fan though.

                                        Had more made just last year. They also travel well to shows. I think they make a wider angle of air too from being high and tilted.
                                        "My treasures do not sparkle or glitter, they shine in the sunlight and nicker to me in the night"