Blower motor died on a 18 year old Furnace. Need advice

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Bubba < wrote:

owners are insane?
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How do you know what you have is only 60% efficient and not 80%, what make is it, most old units are 80%. You really need other bids and a written load calculation for sizing yourself right, A few things this one contractor have said dont sound right, motor price, present unit efficiency, new unit price, pushing a new unit, and no discussion of a condensing furnace that can save you 15% more over an 80% unit.
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On Tue, 20 Dec 2005 06:56:27 GMT, "George E. Cawthon"

HVAC man, not cars. Hell, if I could get all my customers to bring their furnace or central air conditioner into my warm well lit comfortable shop Id probably be happy to give all kinds of free estimates too. Until that day comes, it just aint free. Ive even started charging for most estimates. I do the work and your estimate fee goes towards the install price. Im tired of handing customers all my ideas, paperwork, Manual J's and all just to have the $3hr hack read my work word for word and do it cheap. Let him figure it out on his own. Customers waste tons and tons of man hours by getting 5, 10 and more bids and then some decide "Uh, thats too much, I'll think about it next year." Next year the whole process starts over and it doesnt get done again. Bubba
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Bubba < wrote:

At yet somehow life goes on. Maybe HVAC isn't at the center of the universe after all.
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wrote:

and yet your head is at the center of your ass-hole....
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Bubba < wrote:

You live in a strange place. The main problem the homeowner faces in getting something fixed is generally getting any or multiple estimates. Mostly when homeowners need something fixed they have waited until it is an emergency and they don't get bids they just take the first repair person available. Never heard of anyone getting more than 5 bids unless their was collusion and the bids were ridiculous.
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On Wed, 21 Dec 2005 00:52:37 GMT, "George E. Cawthon"

............and by your own words, Id say you live in a strange place. You've not seen people get more than 5 bids? Ive seen it over and over and over. You learn to recognize it just from the initial call. A few appropriate questions and then I can let them know that if they are looking for the cheapest bid, Im not your man. I usually then give them one or two names of some really cheap hacks if they like. I dont want and dont need every job. I get to choose. Bubba
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Bubba < wrote:

You are probably right. Different, nicer. Most people I have spoken to don't get bids or if they do it is two. Owners of multiple unit rentals or people with some business savvy wouldn't get more than 5 bids, and with future similar work, would probably limit bids to the 3 most reliable businesses. OTOH, I stand by the statement on taking whatever is available based on what people here say about the problem of getting AC and plumping problems fixed. In fact, availability in my town appears to be much higher than in many parts of the U.S.
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Blower motor died on my 13 year old Lennox a few weeks ago .. .. .. went to the local motor rebuild shop & got new Fasco motor, special mount adapter and a new start cap. for just under $90.00. Took all of about 15 minutes to swap.
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<<<__ Bob __>>> wrote:

Oh hell. Don't introduce some sanity, it's just uncalled for. They gotta charge $500, just think of what it costs to run the trucks, hire a receptions, build a warehouse, etc. etc. That's why it takes them 2 hours change the motor and 2 hours to get back and forth from the shop at $100 and hour.
Yeah, I know I'm being a jerk, but dependable motors capable of turning a fan for a 1500-2000 sq ft house shouldn't be expensive. Anything over $100-$150 means the motor is way over-built, way over-capacity, or just way over-priced.
If you want a motor that will run 24/7 for 30 years, then maybe you want to pay $350 for a motor.
Don't bet on a swap in 15 minutes tho.
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George E. Cawthon wrote: <snip>

You could get lucky. But in my case, the furnace was in the attic, which had 20 years' accumulation of dust in it, and the motor was on the back side of the furnace, behind a panel that was, to put it mildly, tightly attached. So it was a dirty, unpleasant job.
That said, it was getting cold in the house, so I was pretty motivated, and I managed to get it done in a couple of hours. It's been running fine since March of '02, so I must have done it ok.
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If 500 is what heating companies charge for an AC blower motor what is the price for a VS DC blower 1000$ ??
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On Tue, 20 Dec 2005 05:21:01 -0600, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (m Ransley) wrote:

Yeah, pretty much. Havent changed one yet for a blower out of warranty. Thats why you get the 10 yr. Even if you wont be there that long, you can transfer the warranty usually one time. Makes for some happy people. Bubba
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Real life experience, just yesterday.
Blower motor on a gas fired boiler had to be replaced, the alleged 15 minute job. Experienced service tech t hat has done plenty of work for us on our boilers.
Removed motor and blower wheel assembly 10 minutes Removed blower wheel from motor 2 hours, lots of penetrating oil two easy outs, one sawzall blade, my help for 30 minutes Replace motor assembly 10 minutes
Shop rate $90/hour plus travel. Add in the cost of the motor.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

FWIW, I replaced the fan motor in my furnace a couple of years ago. The motor cost me about 100 bucks, and it took me about half a day, including finding and procuring the replacement. It was a pretty dirty job, though, so you might want to hire it out.
500 bucks seems high to me.
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CJT wrote:

You said you were handy... replace the motor yourself... it may not be the motor, maybe the run cap is bad, maybe just a bad connection
also depends how cold your family is right now and how long you can afford to wait...
Mark
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another idea,, if it is a multi-speed motor and one winding is bad, in a pinch you might be able to wire it to run at another speed...
Mark
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Mark, it IS the motor. I have removed the assembly and the blower wheel is hard to turn by hand. I lubed what I could, but could not get to the front bearing because that blower wheel got really stuck to the shaft of the motor. I called the service guy out for help and he managed to get the oil to the bearing and make the motor run, but it is very noisy. I don't mind changing the motor myself, I already had the thing out of the furnace. I could use a puller to get the wheel off, but I am not sure about the furnace itself. 18 years old seems a lot and I am not sure I want to band-aid it. I am new to the whole forced air heating thing. Mostly lived with hot water radiators, but I am learning. How do I know the heat exchanger is not cracked? How do I know the furnace won't crap out a month after putting a new motor into it? The furnace is a Bryant, so it is a good unit, I think. The 60% efficiency number came from the service guy. He said the new ones are a lot more efficient, even the 80% ones. I don't know what the truth is. Right now the motor runs loudly and sometimes gets stuck and doesn't start up and I need to give it a push. So I am in kind of a crisis mode.
Thanks for all the advice, I am learning a lot. Vladimir
P.S. I did not get an official quote on the motor. $500 was something the tech blurbed out, but he was not sure of the actual cost. Could be less. Also, these guys have been around for a long time and stand by their work, so if I have them do the replacement I am pretty sure it will be done correctly.
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Where in the DC area are you? I bough a motor at Grainger in Baltimore City (near the stadium) once. There are tons of places in Beltsville and Laurel too. Motor doex not have to be an exact replacement either (meanins exact make model number). They come in standard sizes. Take the old one out and take it to a place like Grainger and get a new motor and capacitor. When you show them the old motor they can pick out the new one for you (although it would be good to know before you go in if the depth of the new motor can be different and if the shaft length will matter. Most likely motor diameter will need to be the same.
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I am in Montgomery County, MD. I just went to Grainger and brought my whole assembly there with me. We took the motor off the wheel and the guy looked up the replacement. My original is a 1/2 hp GE unit, the replacement he found was a Dayton 1/2 hp same rpm (can't remember now exactly what the rpm was, but they matched), same shaft, the only difference is the replacement is 3 speed, the original is 4 speed. I had the high and low connected to what probably is cooling and heating. I noted down all the connections when I removed the original and will hook up the new one the same way. Total cost with the new capacitor: $69.20. If this works when I install after work tonight, I will have saved a lot of money. Thanks to all for encouraging me to replace. My hesitation was due to lack of knoweledge of where to get the replacement. Grainger seems pretty good for that.
Thanks! Vladimir
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