Blower motor confusion. Please help.


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Old 08-16-08, 02:17 PM
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Blower motor confusion. Please help.

Hello All. I have a Carrier FK4CNF002 inside unit and a Trane heat pump outside. Here's my story: My AC unit stopped blowing cool air, so I opened up the air handler. The A coil was completely frozen. I allowed it to defrost, cleaned the air filter, and cleaned the blower but that did not fix the problem. I called an AC tech out to help. He said I was low on Freon and recharged it for $200.

After that it worked fine for about 12 hours when I noticed the air coming out of the vents wasn't cold. I went outside and immediately noticed the compressor was making a terrible noise, and the freon lines were neither cold nor hot. The tech guy came out again and said the compressor is bad and replaced it for $1500.

Again, it ran fine at first, when I noticed the house wasn't cool, I checked the freon lines and they were frozen again. The guy came out again and said my blower motor is running backwards. He gave me a choice: He'll replace the motor for $1500, or replace the entire air handler for $1500. Not much of a choice.

Not wanting to dump more money in I decided to try do it myself with the help of my father-in-law. While trying to diagnose the problem we confirmed the blower was indeed spinning in the wrong direction. It was spinning CCW instead of the correct CW direction. The motor is a GE ECM programmable motor, model #5SME39HL0191. The rotation direction stamped on the motor is CCW!

So I'm thinking the wrong motor was retrofitter to this unit. Is this possible, or is it original? Our unit has a humidifier installed by the previous owner, could they have 'upgraded' the motor at the same time? I have not seen anywhere that this motor is reversible, am I wrong about this? I have no idea how long the motor may have been running in the wrong direction, could some component have failed and changed the direction of operation? Perhaps the control module is shot?

Anyway, I plan on trying to find a replacement motor if this one can't be fixed. One that spins CW. I would not rather spend upwards of $1000 for a variable speed motor if I don't have to. Other threads I've read here seem to suggest that 3 speed motors would work just fine and be pretty cheap too. Any questions you can answer or advice you have would be appreciated. Sorry for the longwindedness, and thanks in advance!
 

Last edited by Porkchopp; 08-16-08 at 02:21 PM. Reason: Found some typos.
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Old 08-16-08, 02:39 PM
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I'm sure there is an A/C guy furiously typing away. My opinion, you are being hosed big time. How long has it worked just fine? Do you know how old the unit is?

Are you talking about the air handler motor running backwards?
Motors in my experience don't just change direction, but I guess if it has some sort of elctronic control, its possible. And I hope that was a typo $1500 for either motor or air handler? Maybe $150 for the motor and $1500 for the whole thing?

Also hard to believe (again, my opinion) that he didn't see some indication of a compressor problem 12 hrs earlier.

Well, I'm sure the A/C guys will be around later.
 
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Old 08-16-08, 03:15 PM
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I don't know how old the unit is, the motor is date stamped '98. We've been in this house for 2 and a half years and this is the first ac problem.

$1500 is not a typo. I've seen prices for this motor at $700-$900, and that doesn't include the $200 control module. My guess is that he'll replace the the motor with a similarly expensive one, or replace the air handler with a much cheaper version, with a $100 motor.

The whole thing has me frustrated which is why I want to do it myself now. They couldn't diagnose the compressor initially until it was charged up and running, according to them. I'm not an expert so I don't know. I trusted their first couple of repairs because they came highly recommended. But I guess that just because I know someone who knows the owner doesn't mean they are trustworthy.

Thanks for the reply.
 
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Old 08-16-08, 03:37 PM
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Similar post for info puposes only.... http://forum.doityourself.com/showthread.php?t=270140

And by golly, it does look like the rotation is programmable...
http://www.pureairsystems.com/go/pur...y/301-research

Ok, time for the A/C pro's to check in.....
 
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Old 08-16-08, 04:01 PM
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Wow, thats good news. Maybe I can just replace the control module to rotate the motor in the other direction...
 
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Old 08-16-08, 04:49 PM
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Sure seems odd to have 3 major problems at the same time.

I would never have gone by what the motor says stamped on it. Many motors can have directions reversed by changing 2 wires around. I would have gone by if air was being blown out the registers!

Now lets say the motor internally screwed up and reversed itself. I'd be wondering if the tech really new if the compressor was bad and if it really needed freon. Or if he needed work and money. THAT is what _I_ would be wondering. The frozen coils were a result of the air not blowing through them properly, likely. It is possible the compressor could have pooped out from the malfunction, but the compressor should have thermal overload to protect it.



Some of the posts I read regarding HVAC scare me from the standpipe I really have to wonder about the integrity and knowledge of these companies or techs, and also the money they are charging for some of this stuff.
 
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Old 08-18-08, 07:39 AM
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Sounds very fishy, not only 3 problems at the same time which should not happen, also the blower's reverse motion that is not common at all. Plus you siad it run fine the first 12 hours. How can it run fine if your blower get reversed. It should not even run for one minute. You may say it changed itslef after 12 hours, that is hard to believe. Well, just like the other poster said, simply check the air register to see if you have air blow out (or blow in) then you should know. In my opinion, the whole thing is not right, I'll call a different AC tech to recheck everything before spend any more money. Good luck to you.
 
 

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