Possible to repair a cracked heat pump fan blade?

I have a 20+ year old York heat pump. It's working pretty good although I noticed that one of the fan blades in the outside unit has cracked.
I'm going to have the unit serviced soon. I don't know if a replacement for the fan blades for this motor is available. The motor has been replaced a couple of times over the years. I seem to remember one of the service guys saying the current electric motor was made by G.E.
Probably the only option I'll be presented with is a complete motor replacement. I think it cost something like $250 the last time it was replaced several years ago. No doubt it will be more expensive now.
The outside unit motor is currently working fine. I don't want the expense of replacing it just for a cracked fan blade.
How would you go about repairing the crack, if that is possible? Or could the fan blade unit be replaced with a generic blade assembly with a similar size?
The photo link below shows the outside motor, if that is any help. Thanks, in advance, for any information you can provide.
http://i108.photobucket.com/albums/n39/wgdus/Heat-pump-fan-blade.jpg
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wgd wrote:

I wouldn't get real worked-up at this stage. Very likely, an off-the-shelf replacement fan will work just fine, and not cost much. Welding either aluminum or steel blades would likely cost more than simply replacing the fan.
Ask your service guys up front.
J
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wgd wrote:

You will pay as much or more for the blade as you did the motor...and they will most likely either tell you they cant find a blade....which they can...or they must sell you a new motor with the blade....
The blade is still available...or a decent replacement can be found...or you could solder or braze the crack or have one of your neighbors with a mig welder weld the crack for you.
With the soldering or welding balance of the blade might be affected.....which could lead to premature wear on the motor bearing.
I have a very ver old oscillating fan from the fifties in my shop...it is ancient....one of the blades started cracking at the rivet like yours many years ago and I fixed it with solder...its held up since...10 years or so but its a smaller fan and not subject to the rpms or run time as a condenser fan.
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wgd wrote:

Anything you patch it with is going to unbalance the fan slightly.
But, if you're just trying to squeeze another month or two out of it, you could drill an 1/8" hole at the very end of the crack to help keep it from spreading any further and then use two pop rivets to attach a strip of steel about the same gauge as the blade across the crack on the hub edge of that cracked blade.
Run it, and if it doesn't sound like it's shaking too much, leave it be. If it does shake more than you think acceptable then pop rivet a half size piece of the patch material to each of the other two blades.
You may get lucky and it'll last longer than I think, but I'd take some measurements of the fan and shaft diameters and start shopping around for a replacecement toot sweet. If one blade cracked, the others are probably near doing the same thing.
From the looks of the rust on the hub, you may have a jolly old time trying to get the old fan off, and the end of the shaft looks like someone has been messing with it before. You may have to use an angle grinder and/or a nut splitter to get that fan off without screwing up the motor.
Good luck!
Jeff
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wgd wrote:

If your A/C guy is honest he should be able to replace the blade for a pretty reasonable price. If you know someone with an account at Grainger you could get one and replace it yourself, they average about $32.00 each and are quite simple to replace.
Good Luck George
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George wrote:

Grainger...didnt think of that...Grainger will sell to anyone over the net.
They MIGHT be able to cross reference the fan for you but if not you are going to need to know the shaft diameter of the motor the outside diameter of the blades...and........the pitch of the blades. Ive found that most folks at grainger are fairly ignorant when it comes to parts... I buy the occasional belt and the occasional bearing from them but you pretty much have to point it out in the catalog to them. They do have a online catalog and search....its worth a try but like I said you are going to have to have the correct pitch blade.... you could try just any blade...and any blade might work but normally you need the pitch. Wrong blade can overwork the fan...not move enough air...best to have the correct blade.
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I would not mess around trying to fix the blade, it will be unbalanced and if it breaks apart while running it can do a lot of damage and be dangerous.
Take the blade and motor assembly to a service place and let them replace the blade onto your motor in their shop, then you can re-install it. That will save you a service call bill etc.
Mark
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Take blade too Graingerb they will match it up.
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Seeing a fan blade through the coil tubes and fins from the outside of the unit will not be fun.
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wrote:

Now I feel good that when my neighbors identical compressor was replaced, I went over and removed all the parts that weren't too big from the old one. I only needed the plastic rain? shield, because the collar of mine was broken and it rattled a lot when the compressor started, and sometimes later, but I also took the contactor, the condensor, and the fan blade. I was going to throw away the fan blade to make space, but now I'll keep it.
I realize this is not available to everyone.
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snipped-for-privacy@florida-knife.com says...

said, they don't sell retail.
I went ahead and made a service appointment with a local A/C company which has serviced the heat pump in the past. In fact, five years ago they put a new electric motor in the outside unit but did not replace the fan blades. It's possible that the fan blades are the original ones nearing 25 years old!
The unit needed a routine maintenace check before winter anyway. In case anyone is interested I'll update this thread with the cost of the fan blade replacement by the local A/C company.
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Yes, please do.
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Now of course I would focus on just replacing the fan blades. In the mean time, I would do one of my expert repairs using duct-tape. ;)
Just to be sure, maybe even a little jb weld.
Now this is just me, but if time is a concern, call around to HVAC guys, with the unit make/model and serial number and ask if they have the part. Time isn't as replacable as money is.
imho,
tom @ www.BlankHelp.com
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