Motor to roof vent not working and just over year old

When I moved into my condo, the motor to the mushroom roof vent wasn't working, so I replaced it in the spring of last year. Now the new one isn't working (completely dead...confirmed on a test bench). Am I correct in assuming that nothing in the motor is user-serviceable...like maybe a fuse?
I'm going to call the manufacturer tomorrow and see if the motor is still under warranty. If not, I may just wind up seeing what Home Depot has available.
**Wondering...what is the typical lifespan of these motors?** (they operate under extreme temperatures, and I don't like how mushroom vents leak slightly or mist under windy conditions when it rains....maybe the moisture helps gradually damage motor.
This time around I'm running a digital thermometer up there to see if a working fan *really* makes a difference My attic already has a ridge vent and soffit vents, but in spite of all the hype about how great a ridge soffit system is...it still gets HOT up there (was almost 130 up there today in middle of afternoon...upper 80s outdoors in shade). Will be interesting to see if the fan really makes any noticeable difference when I get a working motor again....if not then I may not bother to replace the motor a 3rd time if the new motor goes again.
J.
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jaynews wrote:

My personal advice is to forget the powered roof vent idea. If you must use them be sure to get top quality ($$$$) equipment as most of them are designed to work at least 6 weeks and not much more.
Most of the time proper passive ventilation and good insulation will be far more trouble free and work at least as well.
--
Joseph Meehan

Dia duit
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Motor was a Lomanco (replacement for the one that didn't work last year when I moved in...also a Lomanco motor).
I'm going to call them tomorrow and see if it is still under warranty....if not, then any suggestions for a replacement motor that should last several years or more?
Since I'm in a condo, I'm stuck with what I have....I can replace the motor itself, but not the mushroom vent.
The roof does have a ridge vent, which is relatively short in length, since the house is narrower from side to side maybe 25 feet versus 35 feet from front to back. I suppose maybe I could talk the management company into installing more *soffit* vents I offered to be the one paying for it, and the vents I have on the soffit aren't enough....it looks like it currently has a total of six 15x8 soffit vents (3 in on front soffit and 3 on back soffit)....will adding more soffit vents cool things off up there, in other words, will more soffit vents really solve the problem of the attic crawlspace getting 130 degrees or higher?...main concern is the lifespan of the roof.
J.
<<My personal advice is to forget the powered roof vent idea. If you must use them be sure to get top quality ($$$$) equipment as most of them are designed to work at least 6 weeks and not much more.
Most of the time proper passive ventilation and good insulation will be far more trouble free and work at least as well. >>
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Joseph Meehan wrote:

I will second the above advice. Powered roof vents are a pain and a danger until they break down, then they are just another passive vent. n
--
Robert Allison
Rimshot, Inc.
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jaynews wrote:

nearly 30 years. But, only because I fixed it. Stupid thing says on it that it should be oiled every 3 months, but who would do that since you have to climb up on the roof and remove the motor to oil it.
First thing to do is replace any thrust washers that are not steel, brass or nylon with nylon washers. Most of these motors have at least one washer that is a composite material that turns to asphalt and seized the shaft.
Second, the thermostat is often turned up too high , so the motor may not start until the temp reaches 110 or 120. Also the turn off temp will be about 15 degrees lower. If you have any electrical skills you can wire it so that you can use the automatic turn off and turn on or give you the option to turn in on and off manually. Mine is usually set to automatic (turns on at 95 degrees) but we turn it off in the winter and some times we turn it on early in hot weather.
How hot it gets up in the attic is affected by several factors. It could be that you just don't have enough vent area, either in the soffits or the ridge. Color of roof makes a big difference and if you have a black roof, well....... Also, if you live in area of high solar radiation, you will have higher attic temperatures with the same amount of vent area.
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wrote:

I never looked for a motor there, but I doubt they have it. Most cities have an electric motor repair shop, and they stock these things. Take your motor with you.
I wouldn't be surprised if there were a thermal fuse in them, but if it blew, it seems to me the fan got hotter than the fuse allows because the fan wasn't spinning. One year is not very long. I hope they send you another for free.

Although humans think 140 is extreme, that's because our body temp is 98 and we're not designed for much hotter. For machinery, 98 is of no special importance.
Despite that, my experience too has been that, in my roof fan, the first lasted maybe 7 years, the second two years, the third 6 years, and this one 8 years so far. Or something like that. Almost 23 years total, and the best money I've ever spent.
I tried to buy the most expensive fan I could find, but at the time, the difference was only from 65 to 75 dollars. Maybe I could have found better not at a hardware store. The first time Ireplaced the motor, I ordered from the factory, but it only lasted 2 or 3 years, so the next time was at the local motor store, so I think anything I lost by not buying more expensive the first time has been recovered.
Today was the first really hot day out, I think, and like in past years I know it would be totally intolerable on my second floor, without AC, but with the roof fan and not wearing a shirt, it's not bad, and I haven't even turned on the fan next to my desk yet.
This was a cool May. It was warm enough in the day for the fan to go on a couple weeks ago, but cold enough at night that I used my bypass swtich to keep the fan off, to heat the attic so that the house would be a little warmer at night. I turned off the furnace here in Baltimore more than a month ago.

Mine does that, in the attic. It never gets really wet underneath (although I wouldn't store my Rembrandt there) and the plywood floor has shown no damage.

I've definitely wondered about that, and I think I asked here once. The rain hits the roof and splatters into the screen, or maybe it blows into the screen directly sometimes if the wind is enough, and it breaks into a mist when it hits the screen that's there.
I installed this fan myself, but I'm fat now and don't have a ladder so I didn't want to go back on the roof. Thought about putting another screen inside the one it comes with, to let the air in but cause the water to drain out before the motor, but a) didn't know why my screen would succeed more than their screen, b) wasn't obvious how to put the screen in, c) had lots of projects more importnant, and d) I've got replacing the motor down to 20 minutes, not counting going to the store and turning off the fuse, and I've decided replacing the motor isn't so bad.

Absolutely the fan makes a tremendous difference. I know because when I bought this townhouse, with a shingled pitched roof about 10 feet high in the middle, I had a full width ridge vent and front and back full width soffitt vents. They are 4 inches wide with no interruptions for the width of the house, with window screen in the opening. I have 6 inches of fiberglass insulation between the second floor and the attic.
I would come home from work at 6PM and it was so hot upstairs, I couldn't even go there (and I was thin then, although as to temp, that doesn't seem to have made much difference)
I would sleep in the basement and go upstairs the next morning to bathe and get new clothes.
When I opened the trap door to look at the attic, I'd feel the hot air rush at me when I still below the ceiling.
Now I do my work in the attic at dawn.
And only need to use the AC for about 2 weeks a summer. The rest of the time, I have a table fan next to the desk, the bed, the kitchen table, and the living room tv. It's always cool enough in the basement to use my workbench.
After the fan had been working about 18 years, I was up there outside doing something else and noticed a layer of "lint" the whole length of the soffitt vents. None of my neighbors have that because none have that much circulation because none have roof fans.

Very good idea. Do measurements when you have no fan. My fan was factory set (to 85? degrees) and comes on about 9 to 12 in the morning, and goes off between 7 and 10 at night, depending on how hot and sunny the day was. So it's not on when I'm trying to sleep. I put on much lighter colored shingles a couple years ago, so maybe it runs less, but I didn't keep records along iwht outdoor temp and sunniness.
The measurements inside your house should really be done with the AC off for a few days, but I understand why one wouldn't want to do that.
I don't know what danger powered fans present. I have had 3 motors fail with no problem other than the lack of the fan.
I've wondered about oiling my motor, but I don't think any of them had oil cups or oil holes.
I'm going to read George's post in more detail. My currewnt motor is in place and I'm not fiddling with it under any circumstances, but I'll try to save George's post and review the next motor, someday I suppose, in its light.

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<<I wouldn't be surprised if there were a thermal fuse in them, but if it blew, it seems to me the fan got hotter than the fuse allows because the fan wasn't spinning. One year is not very long. I hope they send you another for free. >>
They are sending a new one for free. It got as high as 136 in the attic crawlspace today according to the digital thermometer, so it should be interesting to see how much the working motor improves things. Since they're not asking me to send failed motor back, I'm tempted to pry to cover off and see if there are any signs of a thermal fuse that blew. It does say "Thermal Protection" on the outside of the cover....not sure if that means there is a fuse or some type of circuit breaker....of if that is the reason for the failure.
<<I don't know what danger powered fans present. I have had 3 motors fail with no problem other than the lack of the fan. >>
I'm guessing they likely aren't that dangerous if they have adequate thermal protection.
<<I've wondered about oiling my motor, but I don't think any of them had oil cups or oil holes.>>
The manufacturer of this particular motor stated in the documentation that it is permanently lubricated and doesn't require additional lubrication.
J.
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wrote:

Thanks for writing. YOu were actually up in the attic at 136 or this is a thermometer with a remote? I can't imagine it happening to me of course** :) but my mother would say that someone could collapse up there, and I wonder how many hours it would take to die.
**PARTLY because I don't think I've eever been up there when it is that hot. I hate heat, plus because of the fiberglass, I generally wear long pants and sleeves. It hasn't hurt me, but early on some of it stuck in my skin and was annoying, itchy, for a few hours.

I don't think anyone uses breakers, for the reason I gave, so unless they are relying on their prayers, it's probably a fuse.
They're small, it's probably entirely covered with a soft plastic tube no bigger than the wire that connects to it, but a couple inches long.
Some look like silver space ships, with a nose cone at one end, and a flat cut off at the other. Some are probably not silver and they're always coming up with new shapes for things. Not counting the leads, it may be less than a half inch long.
They sell new ones, but you don't know what temp it should use. You might be able to read a number on it. I'm guessing like 180, or more. It sits right on the hot metal maybe, not counting the plastic tube.
Does it spin easily? Others here will say if there is any chance a new fuse will get it to work again.
I would save the motor, so when the next one burns out, you can take the one before it to the motor store. I saved mine but lost track of which one it is! so next time I'll have to go into the attic twice. It woudl be easier to remove the motor and have the new one there to put right back in.
After they're no longer free, you're not going to want to wait for it to come in the mail, although there is two day. I think my motor 8 or 16 years ago was 70 or 80 dollars, more than the whole fan 23 years ago. I came across the receipt just a couple months ago. Maybe the model number is on it.

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I ran the wired remote sensor of a digital thermometer up there temporarily. That way I can monitor how hot it gets up there without having to go up there.
The motor spins freely when I spin it manually so maybe it is the fuse that went...not sure though.
J.
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