Why do wax motors go bad?

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Old 11-09-14, 06:42 PM
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Why do wax motors go bad?

Why or how do the wax motors that open and close greenhouse windows with changing temperature go bad? They are amazingly simple and I've never seen any leakage or other visible problem but none seem to last more than 5 years. They just stop moving.
 
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Old 11-09-14, 08:16 PM
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That is pretty strange. I could see if you were using an external/electric heat source and that source went dead.

What is the condition of the shaft that comes out of the guide. If that were corroded it could bind.
 
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Old 11-10-14, 06:44 AM
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The shafts look good with no corrosion. I can grab the rod and extend and retract it until I hit the wax. Heating and cooling the assembly does make it extend and retract but over a greatly reduced range. It's almost as if the much of the wax inside is gone or lost much of it's ability to expand and contract.

I pull the wax motors off during summer and store them inside for 7-8 months of the year. When they are installed they are inside but they are exposed to the humid environment inside the greenhouse. When new they will open the windows wide and react pretty quickly to temperature change. Over time they seem lethargic, taking longer to open and close and don't open as far until they reach a point they just stop working altogether.
 
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Old 11-10-14, 08:04 AM
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The wax is getting on other side of piston (leakage) and then you have less to push and some on other side to interfere with movement. Typical problem with wax motors.

RR
 
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