Condenser fan noise and blade broke. Advice please.

Old 09-28-13, 11:45 AM
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Condenser fan noise and blade broke. Advice please.

Hi all. I've got a heck of a head scratcher and was hoping I could bend the forums ear for a moment. My neighbor, a lovely retired senior citizen had me take a look at her outside unit because it was making noise. I've had a hand in a few repairs so I have some knowledge. She had her condenser fan motor and capacitor replaced about 3 months ago.

Tech said to also replace the fan blade, but didn't have one. I contacted the manufacturer and got one for her a few days later and installed it. Her old one would make a growl/vibration sound for about 1/2 a second at start up and then noise would be gone. Tech said the fan was out of balance, hence the replacement. After replacing with one I got from Goodman, #B1086775S-(22", 27 deg pitch), it sounded fine at start up, no noise. Couple of days later it started developing a noise while running, that lasted a couple days and then went away.Funny thing with that noise was when it was running you could give it a little bump with your fist on the top panel above the motor mounting area and the noise would go away, but only for a few seconds. Anyhow, weeks go by and the original growl/vibration sound came back. Well last night it was making a heck of a racket, I could hear it in my house, noise lasted about 1 minute and then a final "crash" sound. I went next door and pulled the circuit breaker, took a peek inside the housing, fan is missing a blade. Further looking and it's lying in the bottom of the unit. It's a miracle in my opinion it did not puncture the coil.

She had her old fan blade so I pulled the broken fan, fired up the motor for a couple of seconds to eliminate it as the problem, then installed the old, original fan. Turned it on, same noise as when it was originally on, that growl/vibration sound. Again, only lasts about 1/2 a second and only at start up. I got to thinking maybe they put in a 1075 RPM motor when the original was an 825 RPM. The motor is an Emerson K55HXCLF-586--1075 RPM, speeds 2, volts 208-230. I did some looking online for what her original motor would be and I found it to be also a 1075 RPM but 1 speed. Her unit is a Goodman CLJ48-1C. I'm afraid that this fan is going to to do the same thing. Anybody have this type of experience?

I'm wondering if I need to look at the height of the blade in relation to the motor when installed on the motor shaft. I'm concerned I'm having a venturi problem with the fan deck. I've tried finding the spec's, but I can't find it. Tech that replaced the motor had installed the fan on the shaft with the hub about 1" from the motor. I replaced the fans in the same location. I wonder if the techs location was wrong and that's what's causing all the noise.

I've attached some pics of the broken fan.
Thanks for any help.
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Old 09-28-13, 12:34 PM
firedawgsatx's Avatar
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Yes, it is very important to have the proper distance from the blade to the motor. Hopefully, the tech that replaced the fan motor set the blade at the same distance as the original. If you see another home in the neighborhood with the same condenser maybe they would let you measure the distance between the blade and the motor.

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