a/c fan squeals

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My home A/C Carrier brand outside unit fan is squealing. It is probably 15 years old but I don't know for sure since I've lived here for seven years and the house was built in 1990. When I bang on the cover it goes away for a while.
Is this something I can remove and grease the bearings or is it a sealed unit and not worth fixing?
If I call a repairman what should I expect pricewise?
If this is repairable any advice would be welcome. Thanks.
--
No matter what happens someone will find a way to take it too seriously.


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Sounds like the fan bearings are shot. When it starts to squeal, It is usually too late to oil it. However, you can try if it has oil ports on the side of the motor. Add 20 drops of 20 or 30 weight non-detergent motor oil to each port. DO NOT use WD40 or sewing machine oil or penetrating oil. Use a squeeze bottle with a small nozzle on the end to get the oil in.
If that doesn't help, you are looking at $200.00 to $350.00 depending on rates in your area. Should take 1.5 to 2 hours to diagnose and replace the motor. You will pay more if the fan blade cannot be reused.
Stretch
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Stretch wrote:

A squeal doesn't necessarily mean the bearing is shot. And, $200 to $350 for a motor is a rip off. What is to diagnose? it either continues to squeal after adding oil or it doesn't. Replacement, at least in my unit, shouldn't take more than 1/2 hour start to finish no matter how klutzy one is--unplug the fan wires and remove a few bolts.
If the oil doesn't fix the OP's fan and the OP has any mechanical skills, he ought get the model number, go to a parts place and order the motor (and fan blade if needed), and replace it himself.
Glad I don't live where you are. It only cost me $50 bucks to have a tech check the gas pressures and voltages/amps, add a little bit of gas, and oil the motor. Took about 20-25 minutes, most of which he spent talking to me and answering my questions.
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This is Turtle
George , I have never changed a fan motor , from start of figuring out what it is to driving off , in 30 minutes in my life. in most cases you will spend 2 hours travel time , changing the motor, and writting the bill but you might be faster.
Now George did you hear the words Carrier condenser unit fan motor which can be about 15 years of age. That would be the carrier Condenser fan motor with wing ears on it and cost me about $120.00 + Tax, and capasitor. So Figure about $145.00 atleast. Then the truck , me, the help will get about $100.00 out of this. So your looking at $245.00+ atleast if i give the motor to you at wholesale. If not your looking at $345.00 + here.
George , I live in the Depressed income area and these are the prices here and you must be Super Depressed to say Less than $200.00 for a Carrier wing Ear motor.
TURTLE
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TURTLE wrote:

Ah yes, but that 1/2 hour estimate assumes the home owner does it not a repairman. He is already there, tools are there, and he doesn't spend any time writing a bill. I'm probably full of it, as I said replacement, but I really meant removal only. Removal of 6-8 screw would get the top off in 2 minutes; I can't imagine not removing the fan motor would take 28 minutes. I've looked at my Carrier fan motor and never saw anything particularly magnificent about it. Seems to be about the same as any sub $100 motor.
It really doesn't make any difference how you distribute the costs, $350 to change a fan motor is ridiculous. $145 wholesale for the fan motor is ridiculous. Lots of things are ridiculous, including $20 a pound for steak, $300,000 automobile, $5000 TV, etc. Somebody(s) along the line are getting a rakeoff as equivalent motors in other machines are much cheaper, probably just a price upgrade because it is AD. Heck it might cost $3000 to change the fan if you live on a far off island, that doesn't make the $3000 not ridiculous. The simple fact is that a good motor doesn't cost $145 even if some cost $300. My attic fan (although less powerful) is the equivalent of a $50 fan (housing and all, probably a $30 motor) today and runs a lot more than my AC fan and continues to work just fine after 29 years since I change the thrust washers.
BTW, any business in my town can get to my house in less than 20 minutes, more than likely between 10 and 15 minutes as long as they don't stop for coffee. So I would suspect that changing the fan motor would take less than 1-1/4 hours from shop to shop, but why would he go back to the shop, the next call is just as likely only 5-10 minutes away or don't they preplan the maintenance route?. If the customer is 2 hours away, tell him upfront that travel time will cost a bundle, so he might want to consider other options.
No, the area is not depressed, it is actually one of the fastest (way to fast) growing area in the U.S. Why? Do you charge less in depressed areas? My experience is that stuff costs much more in little towns and backwater areas than they do in a growing city. Just the taxes seem to rise fast.
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George wrote: I'm probably full of it, as I said replacement, but I really meant removal only
Yes, I agree, you probably are (full of it). But then, that is your right.
Stretch
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Did the cost include a 6 pack of beer for Bubba too?
Added "a little bit of gas", huh? How did he determined that it needed that?
I hate to see what happens if you have a real problem.
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wrote

This is Turtle.
Bubba is George's Brother in law and had not seen each other in a week or so .
TURTLE
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TURTLE wrote:

No need to get nasty Turtle, just relating an actual experience. I've been screwed a few times but never at the costs that many on this relate. My gas furnace and water heater (no gas before) cost about $2200 5 years ago. A friend of mine at the same time had a much larger furnace unit installed plus he replaced his AC all for $3200.
BTW, anyone with the name of Bubba would have to show real initiative to live this far away from Bubba land. Don't think I would trust anyone with a Bubba name, or Billy Joe Bob either. Would just figure they got lost and couldn't find their way home. :)
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wrote

This is turtle
The words you speak about the Billy Bob that sends people to the cleaner i see everyday and they are getting bigger and bigger by being able to get away with it and no one is saying a ord to them. I have two in my town and they are well educated and can talk the walk about hvac equipment but they just change stuff that has no business being changed out.
just warn everybody you can when you see them again.
TURTLE
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Dr. Hardcrab wrote:

Sceptic and snotty, huh? Well it was relay 15 percent more but they give a discount for old people.
He used pressure gauges, etc. to see if it was running correctly and added 1/2 pound. Highly professional and double checked everything. Same company that installed the AC about 25 years ago.
"I hate to see what happens if you have a real problem." Me too! Probably cost a lot, but I'll call this guy or the company in a heartbeat.
Oh yeah, he didn't give me any bullshit about a relay going bad (about $150) and the compressor being weak (probably going to fail) because it didn't pull enough current which was what the company that installed my gas furnace did on a free inspection of the AC.
Yep, too bad repair persons around here are competent and charge reasonable amounts. Probably will get the incompetents and high chargers in a few more years when all the honest people are replaced by infiltratetees from California.
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George, If he just checked the Freon pressures, he is a hack! No wonder he is so fast, it is easy to do a half assed job quickly. Every manufacturer of AC equipment that I am familiar with uses suction superheat charts to charge systems with piston metering devices and liquid subcooling charts to charge systems with expansion valve metering devices. If he checked the pressures, and added Freon, he did it wrong! He should have checked the indoor wet bulb temperature, the outdoor dry bulb temperature, the suction line or liquid line temperature (depending on metering device) and the pressures. Then he can determine if the charge is correct.
Stretch
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So I guess you blew him too?
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wrote

gas,
give
chargers
Obviously, hes not aware of the market in CA..LOL

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Yea...ok. How about a two speed Trane, or York fan? American Standard two speed? Wholesale is over $200 for those. What about a Carrier OEM motor? Totaline LOVES those...almost $150 for one.

No way he did it correctly then, since in order to " add gas" properly, you have to check subcool, or super heat and this takes at least 15 minutes to do properly. Then, after adding, he has to recheck it again. BTW, the pressures mean NOTHING. Nada....One of my guage sets does not even have pressures on it, but temps, depending on the refrigerant in question. Hint...its not the pressure that matters as much as the temps of the refrigerant in question, based upon the superheat, or subcool.
He stole your $50 man....even if you think its working fine, he stole your money....reached right in your pocket and stole it. 20 minutes for $50...hes charging over $100 per hour for stealing. Damn..I gotta raise my rates since we do it right....
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snipped-for-privacy@carolinabreezehvac.com wrote:

So what makes you think he didn't check the temps? All my wife told him was that it didn't seem to be cooling quite right after she heard a gurgle. (personally I didn't agree with my wife but it did seem to cool a bit better).
How do you check the subcool and the super heat? Do you go inside? I've never seen an AC guy check a unit by going inside the house! Hell I don't know exactly what he did.
Maybe he was here more than 25 minutes. How about 35 minutes, would that satisfy you? No? need to be 45 minutes, may an hour would be better. Not enough money yet for a simple problem? How about an hour and a half?
Ok, I would be more satisfied if he was here for an hour and a half and charged me $200 and added 2 pounds that I didn't need. Hows that!.
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It takes 10 to 15 minutes for the suction temperatures to completely settle out after the unit is started, based on my data loggers. So it should have been running that long before he checked it. Then when he was done charging it, he should have watched it for at least 10 minutes more. A mis-charged unit will not cool properly nor will it get rated efficiency.
George E. Cawthon wrote:
So what makes you think he didn't check the temps? All my wife told him was that it didn't seem to be cooling quite right after she heard a gurgle. (personally I didn't agree with my wife but it did seem to cool a bit better).
How do you check the subcool and the super heat? Do you go inside? I've never seen an AC guy check a unit by going inside the house! Hell I don't know exactly what he did.
In fact, to achieve rated efficiency, it must have the proper charge, the correct air flow, be the proper size, and have a correvct equipment match between the outdoor unit and the indoor coil.
If your tech never goes inside to measure the indoor temperature, he cannot follow the manufacturer's recommendation. I would suggest that you get a new service company to get your unit serviced properly. By your own description, it was serviced improperly.
The price is not the main issue, but the amount of time. Unless he is a super hero who can warp time, he cannot do a proper job using your time estimates. The price will vary with wholesale prices, exact motor models, company overhead costs, labor rates for your area, insurance rates, average travel times etc. Every company is different. That is why I gave such a wide range of prices.
Not trying to be a smart alec, just trying to do it right.
By the way, I can get you a great deal on a YUGO, you seem like the kind of guy who likes to save money that way! Be careful how you save money, it can cost you in the end!
Stretch
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Stretch wrote:

Ok, one last time. I know nothing about AC, but am rather sceptical about the so called science of adjusting the units. First, I have never had an AC on a car that was fixed for some reason or other that provided really cold air. Three experiences, so far. I had one AC on a car that was leaking and just added Freon, I don't know how much, maybe a pound and it worked fine for about 4 months before, did it the next summer, with the same result and then sold the car. I currently have three vehicles ranging from 11 years to 5 years old with original ACs that have never been touched and continue to provide very cold air. That experience leads me to believe that many if not most auto AC mechanics don't know what they are doing. Note that, in one case it cost over $300 just to get one leaking unit sealed dryer changed, and working (but not well).
Second, the house AC we are talking about was working adequately, just a problem with my worry-wart wife. (She also questions the water drip when the car is parked, and the gurgle from the freezer, all of which are natural) The home unit has worked slightly better (slightly colder temps by my perception) for nearly 2 summers since serviced.
Third, Before I retired I saw guys all the time working on building AC units-big AC companies, 3-8 story buildings (one was a Federal Courthouse, one was a brand new building that they kept fixing for years) and the units were always having problems. They dripped water inside, they didn't run, they didn't provide enough cool, the fans would quit, etc.
Improperly serviced or not, it works and I didn't have it serviced every year at a cost of replacing every 10-15 years. Based on the Carrier Manual of what maintenance should include, maintenance is mostly just visual of electrical connections and cleaning filters and coils. Around here they want $50-80 for AC and if you include a gas furnace they want $80 each spring and fall.
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George wrote:
Ok, one last time. I know nothing about AC, but am rather sceptical about the so called science of adjusting the units. First, I have never had an AC on a car that was fixed for some reason or other that provided really cold air.
Since you know nothing about AC, why are you plastering your opinion all over the walls of the internet? Second, you seem to go to companies whose techs don't know what they are doing as well. Do you think that doing things wrong should be the standard of the industry? Why?
Many times I hear "You can't buy anything good any more." The fact is that you can, but if you always buy on price alone, as you seem to do, you won't get the good stuff
Second, the house AC we are talking about was working adequately, just a problem with my worry-wart wife. (She also questions the water drip when the car is parked, and the gurgle from the freezer, all of which are natural) The home unit has worked slightly better (slightly colder temps by my perception) for nearly 2 summers since serviced.
You say it was working adequately, but don't know if it was working RIGHT! Your power company loves you, dude! I don't believ anything you own is ever fixed right!
Third, Before I retired I saw guys all the time working on building AC units-big AC companies, 3-8 story buildings (one was a Federal Courthouse, one was a brand new building that they kept fixing for years) and the units were always having problems. They dripped water inside, they didn't run, they didn't provide enough cool, the fans would quit, etc.
Again, low bid, not high quality gets the job. An d you think that that is the state of the art! Did you ever fly Value Jet? You don't always get what you pay for, but you don't get what you don't pay for! Stop buying cheap, then telling everyone that that is the best you can do! Buy better stuff and hire better techs, your life will improve in the long run!
"I know nothing about AC, but am rather sceptical about the so called science of adjusting the units."
Since you are sceptical about science, maybe you should go back to living in caves. No science there to bother you.
Stretch
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Stretch wrote:

Stretch is a a good name for you. You really reach for conclusion with no data and you don't discern the differences in words and phrases. For example, "science" and "so called science" are miles apart. You like to set up statements and then show that they have poor support. But you can't discern that it is your statements and not mine. Bye.
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