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Condenser fan motors...wtf?

Discussion in 'Residential' started by jamesyarbrough, Aug 16, 2017.

  1. jamesyarbrough

    jamesyarbrough Amateur Gynecologist

    Messages:
    3,707
    Location:
    Denison TX
    Seems 90% of cfm changes are be a use of failed bearings.
    Just got another one today. Got the call at 500. I had just crawled out from under a house and was covered in mud. I showed up and it's a very old couple. They can barely walk.
    I apologized for my muddy unkempt appearance and they offered me water.

    I go out there and the motor is good electrically but locked up. It's an 1/8 up 825 rpm.
    Shit! I don't have ANY 825s left. And it's now 530.

    I broke it down. Had Babbitt bearings with oil wicks. Grabbed a fitting brush and brushed up the bearings and then oiled the shit out of it. It ran good. Pulled exact rla.

    Then I told them the bad news that I didn't have one and the stores were closed but this might get them by til I can get a new one tomorrow....maybe.



    Got me to thinking. Why can't we just stock the end caps for the motors that have Babbitt bearings and bearings for roller bearing motors? Why do I need to carry 15 motors on the van? This is b's
     
    R2D2-TX and Daryl_Dixon like this.
  2. Y7turbo

    Y7turbo New Member

    Messages:
    10,081
    Location:
    Illinois
    I got this one customer, has an old steam unit heater with a bad motor, just like yours it's hard to spin. So, I recommend a new motor like anyone would. He declined the repair. So every year at the start of heating season, he drenches the motor and shaft with wd40, spins it by hand and turns on the switch. He leaves the motor on all winter and never lets it shut off because if it shuts off, it won't start. The thermostat is controlling the fan, so he has to manually turn off the steam supply when it gets too hot in there. Lol 2 freaking winter's and the thing lasted. He's proud of it, I don't blame him, but I found it funny. Sorry to ramble on, your story reminded me of it.
     
  3. flange

    flange Act like you care and do SOMETHING!!

    Messages:
    12,839
    Location:
    IMT--in my truck
    many guys will use one of those zoom oiler things to squirt oil all over the top bearings at the start of cooling season to counteract dry bearings which have sat all winter. they claim it works wonders and the rate of motor changes is way down.
     
    mike1020 likes this.
  4. 404eh

    404eh New Member

    Messages:
    196
    Some guy used wd40 and it caught on fire
     
    somedude and Daryl_Dixon like this.
  5. Septua

    Septua New Member

    Messages:
    55
    Location:
    Southeast
    You know more about motor construction than me...

    I've never gone as far as a teardown...usually just drill holes in the "wick housing" and pump oil into it. Sometimes it works fairly long term.

    I can't correct what's already in the field, but I sure quit buying sleeve bearing motors once the 90% factor dawned on me. Nothing but ball bearing units now, and the higher temperature rating. I usually buy the Century 4-in-1, rated at 70˚C. Johnstone S80-126...

    Century Motors
     
  6. Zman

    Zman Hanging by a Thread

    Messages:
    909
    Location:
    The "I know a Guy" State
    Ya gonna need a new fitting brush too.:D
     
  7. QuickRick

    QuickRick Proud to be a Deplorable

    Messages:
    634
    Location:
    Capital Beltway, Md.
    Guys,

    I get the feeling that ball bearing motors last about 8 years normally.

    Used to be 3 motors in stock was plenty. (heck, used to be that a new car was $8000 too)

    QR
     
    jpb2 likes this.
  8. jamesyarbrough

    jamesyarbrough Amateur Gynecologist

    Messages:
    3,707
    Location:
    Denison TX
    Ball bearings overheat too and loose the lube.

    Had one do this the other day. They NEVER had it serviced and the coil had been clogged for quite some time.
     
  9. R/HVAC

    R/HVAC selfemployed

    Messages:
    455
    Location:
    W-S , NC
    I noticed the oil tube is still on the end bell castings of sleeve bearing motors, just not drilled out anymore. You can pop the end cap of and lube the felt in the middle of the night too.
     
  10. Catpower

    Catpower The Crowd Pleaser

    Messages:
    22,221
    Location:
    in the Cabana
    You could used to buy (probably still can) just the end bells for 48 frame fan motors, but which is more money two end bells or a new motor

    James weren't you the guy bitching about having to replace the compressor in some poor old ladies ancient 9 seer Rheem:rolleyes::lachen::lachen::lachen::lachen:

    Back a few years ago technicians used to fix machines, seems that was long ago and far away
     
    jamesyarbrough and Joeysmith like this.
  11. jamesyarbrough

    jamesyarbrough Amateur Gynecologist

    Messages:
    3,707
    Location:
    Denison TX
    Yeah I was. It just seems like i could carry alot less crap than 12 motors.

    Costs them about the same after I spend an hour fixing one thow
     
    Catpower likes this.
  12. QuickRick

    QuickRick Proud to be a Deplorable

    Messages:
    634
    Location:
    Capital Beltway, Md.
    Can't you tell that this one will get solved by technology because it's so badly needed?

    QR
     
  13. Catpower

    Catpower The Crowd Pleaser

    Messages:
    22,221
    Location:
    in the Cabana
    Back in 1980 when I started at DPCO, the service manager had a little drinking problem and apparently the Ajax motor rep gave him a fix if he bought their motors, and he bought a slew of them, they were the sorriest ****ing motors ever made, I don't think one of them cleared warranty, I had one I could never figure out, when I installed it it was running the right direction, a few days later they called with no cooling, so I go out the ****er was running backwards, I switched the wires, and it reversed, so I said **** it and few days later same call it was running backwards

    So I said **** it and went to Carrier and got the right motor

    Then I went to the parts room took all the Ajax motors and threw them in the dumpster :lachen::lachen:
     
  14. Daryl_Dixon

    Daryl_Dixon New Member

    Messages:
    3,780
    You've pinpointed the reason why we change parts rather than rebuilding components.

    The cost of labor has become disproportionately more expensive than the cost of the parts.

    American Labor is more valuable than Chinese/Mexican parts.

    This was one of the reasons I got out of residential.

    "You're igniter is old and your inducer is squeaky. That'll be $1000. Or I can just send out a Comfort Adviser."
     
  15. Zman

    Zman Hanging by a Thread

    Messages:
    909
    Location:
    The "I know a Guy" State
    ...or for $1,000 we can send out a Chinese or a Mexican Comfort Adviser. Satisfaction Guaranteed!:)
     
  16. mike1020

    mike1020 entitled millennial

    Messages:
    18,168
    Location:
    on the roof of target
    My dad would oil the condenser fan motor on their 1989 Heat Controller outdoor unit every year, if you didn't oil it, it wouldn't work.

    Don't use WD-40, it's a terrible lubricant. Zoom spout works a lot better.

    I finally put in a new motor and the damn new motor run a week and died.

    So I bought another new motor and that one was fine.
     
    R2D2-TX and Catpower like this.
  17. R2D2-TX

    R2D2-TX New Member

    Messages:
    437
    Used to work for a company in the 70's that would only buy the cheapest condenser fan motors...
    The only way to reverse the rotation was to swap the end bells to reverse the polarity... ghetto motors
     
    Catpower and crackertech like this.
  18. crackertech

    crackertech assholiness *

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    91,009
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    Fl/IN/Ga/Ms/TX/NJ/VA/NC/TN

    I hate that
     
  19. Catpower

    Catpower The Crowd Pleaser

    Messages:
    22,221
    Location:
    in the Cabana
    And then the wires would be in the way
     
  20. crackertech

    crackertech assholiness *

    Messages:
    91,009
    Location:
    Fl/IN/Ga/Ms/TX/NJ/VA/NC/TN

    No it can be done