New Gas Furnace Needs New Motor?


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Old 02-10-10, 06:28 AM
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New Gas Furnace Needs New Motor?

Hello all,

I have a 3-4 year old American Standard Freedom 90 gas furnace in a house I purchased a month ago. When the system kicks in it makes a loud rattling noise but settles down shortly after. I had an electrician out to my house a couple weeks ago (on a different issue) and he heard the system kick on and said it needed oil and was "easy to do". I haven't addressed the issue until yesterday when I had an HVAC guy out for routine maintenance (and to try and oil the motor). He said that this particular system could not be oiled...and it could be 5 days or 5 years but the motor would have to be replaced...basically just let it be until it breaks. I find that being the only solution hard to believe. Does anyone have any suggestions as far as this particular model is concerned?

Any feedback would be appreciated!
 
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Old 02-10-10, 08:11 AM
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Replace it before it fails completely and leaves you cold.
 
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Old 02-10-10, 05:17 PM
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Sounds like an out of balance inducer blade/blower or something is stuck between blade/blower and housing. A wobble can be more pronounced during ramp-up. Could be a bearing also. Sort of like the wobble in tires with warped rotors with slight brake rub, or broken belt in tire, etc., the wobble can go away/lessen at a higher speed.

If it is the inducer (you should be able to confirm by opening big panel on furnace and feel it at ramp up), then if so, get make and model number of furnace, and call around(HVAC businesses and supply houses) to see who has a replacement. Or see where you can order one on line. Once you know for a fact you can get one, you have a few choices: Either go ahead and order it and leave it in the box and do not hook it up. Then remove the inducer assembly from the furnace, and take the bad inducer housing apart in half to see if it is something simple causing your problem.

In only 4 years you should not be having an actual mechanical failure yet. Look for what I mentioned about a trapped piece of material and also see if something happend to the springclip that hold the blower wheel or blade on. And see if it is slipping off causing the blade/blower to hit the housing. And grab the motor shaft and see if you have any side to side play which woud indicate a bad bearing if you have play. (End-play is okay).

Then you can decide to try to fix it?, or forget it, and just install the new one you picked up. If you return the new one because you discovered the problem was something easy to fix, you may have a 20% restocking fee if you return the new unused inducer fan assembly. (I.e, cost for inducer assembly $250; restockiing fee $50 if you return it.)

The other option is - if it is not too cold where you are, to go ahead and open up the inducer housing halves prior to even getting a new one, and making all the checks described above.

Rather than writing a novel on the how-to of reassembly, which is critical to avoid carbon monoxide, let us know what you plan to do. We can advise if need be. I have done this procedure many times.

The other option is to have an HVAC man put one in - and it may cost you like $400 or so.

As a note, if you were to dismantle and find the blade or blower wheel say cracked, some makes have replacement kits. But with most furnaces, you have to buy an entire new inducer assembly (the motor and housing as a single unit) -unfortunately.
 
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Old 02-10-10, 05:27 PM
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I agree with ecman that removing and carefully examining and testing the inducer motor is called for. The electrician's advice was that of a lazy nogoodnik, in my opinion.

The inducer motor assembly (including the fan) should be operated repeatedly until the noise repeats itself, which should allow the cause of the noise to be tracked down at least in general terms (motor squealing, not a broken fan blade, or what ever.
 
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Old 02-10-10, 06:42 PM
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Thank you for the help...I appreciate the feedback
 
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Old 02-10-10, 06:45 PM
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I see the solution if it's the inducer, but what if it's just a "wobble"...is that just a matter of securing the housing, etc?
 
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Old 02-10-10, 07:41 PM
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If you can figure out a way to fix it --- do so. I you can't, replace it.


Use that method and you, too, can be a professional furnace repairman!
 
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Old 02-11-10, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Izeldis
I see the solution if it's the inducer, but what if it's just a "wobble"...is that just a matter of securing the housing, etc?
Securing the housing?: No - whatever you mean by that exactly. The motor will always be secured to the housing.

If the wobble were only a result of the blade or wheel sliding off the motor shaft, then you could see if you could get a new retaining spring or spring clip for it. What these little pieces of hardware do is to take the wheel or blade, that has slits in their plastic shafts, and squeeze them more together, so that when you slide the blade or wheel onto the metal motor shaft, it holds tight. With some, the blade, when it slides back onto the shaft, will actually snap into position.

But if say the protruding part of blade, that has the spring clip on it, were cracked or broken, then you'd need a new blade if you can get one.

If that is not the problem, and the wheel or blade got warped instead, then you need a new blade. And you may or may not be able to find one that is available as a separate item for sale.

I also had methioned that you need to make sure the bearings are not sloppy from side to side (end play is okay though).
 
 

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