Bleh, mother’s gas furnace fan burned up

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1,121
Location
Wisconsin
Thread starter
This is one I'm not going to fix. Told her to call a furnace place a while back cause the fan didn't sound right and she didn't. Now the fan will buzz but not fire, she said it smelled like burning dust and her floor boards by the furnace were probably 200F I got into Menards last minute got wood pellets and her old pellet furnace is running. Good lord are those a rip-off, used to be $80 a ton on the high end. So thankfully her pipes won't freeze and her house won't burn. But I doubt she will like the 2-5 40lb bags loaded daily . And a cold morning if she doesn't clean it out every 3-5 days. Ah well, probably still won't get anyone to fix the old reliable
 
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1,121
Location
Wisconsin
Thread starter
Originally Posted by Farnsworth
I fixed what sound like that on my 87 year old neighbors furnace motor, new capacitor.
Yeah I figured it was either the startup capacitor or part of the relay off the thermostat if it sat stalled too long it might have gotten too toasty though. I'm just tired of being the only one, at some point you need to take responsibility and call a professional . I live a hundred miles away, hard to be a live in repair man
 
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1,466
Location
Maryland USA
Seeing as how you are pretty far north, is the pellet stove considered your emergency backup plan ? I have 2 hvac units at my house- lower level is propane furnace, and upper is heat pump. If the upper unit failed (which it has in the past) the lower unit can keep the entire house reasonably warm. If the lower propane furnace failed, I also have a kerosene heater. But its not enough to keep the entire house from freezing, especially in the basement. I am wondering if I have enough protection. Being in the mid-Atlantic the temps rarely get below 25 F, but a few days in the winter can drop lower. I think about 0 F is the lowest I remember. Do I have enough ? Sorry for the attempted thread highjacking. I hope your mom learned a lesson, but we all know she didn't smile
 

Ws6

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3,064
Location
South Central US
I actually just changed my fan capacitor on my furnace last night. This is something many people neglect out of ignorance. I was ignorant of it until I had a hvac company check my system over a week ago. They suggested I replace the $10 part myself, as a blower motor would not be cheap.
 
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10,426
Location
Cincinnati, OH, USA
If there is a motor shop around, you may be able to bring it in & have them match up a comparable new one (if the bearings are shot & the old one won't turn). Or be prepared to spend $ for OEM. I don't like the idea of an HVAC company unless ABSOLUTELY necessary-those guys are (mostly forced) to be crooks by their companies-your Mom may wind up with a new furnace she doesn't really need.
 
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145
Location
Pennsylvania
I keep spare parts for our furnace. Fan motor, oil nozzle, electrodes, oil and air filters, oil pump coupling, power and ignition transformers, cad cell and oil burner control, fan belt. I think I'm ready for most but not all possible failures. Biggest risk is power failure generally due to all the trees falling on the power lines. Yes, we have a generator.
 
Originally Posted by bugeye
I keep spare parts for our furnace. Fan motor, oil nozzle, electrodes, oil and air filters, oil pump coupling, power and ignition transformers, cad cell and oil burner control, fan belt.
That's pretty impressive. Do you have similar spare parts inventories for other appliances and your vehicles?
 
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811
Location
Denver
Originally Posted by bullwinkle
If there is a motor shop around, you may be able to bring it in & have them match up a comparable new one (if the bearings are shot & the old one won't turn). Or be prepared to spend $ for OEM. I don't like the idea of an HVAC company unless ABSOLUTELY necessary-those guys are (mostly forced) to be crooks by their companies-your Mom may wind up with a new furnace she doesn't really need.
My son (master HVAC tech) may be the exception. He is absolutely honest with the service calls he goes on. Sure he loses a few bucks here and there by not ripping people off but he sleeps well. And with that said he still makes $75K plus a year.
 
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10,426
Location
Cincinnati, OH, USA
I did say "mostly"-I know there's honest ones out there, but here in Cincinnati a lot of the big residential HVAC companies incentivize, and even force, their techs to sell new systems instead of repairing older ones. We've had a few of their ex-techs work for us. I'm not naming names, but those of us in the business know it's real.
 

Ws6

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3,064
Location
South Central US
The HVAC company that inspected my system just told me what to buy off Amazon to replace the capacitor and I did it myself. Can't get any better than that.
 
Messages
1,121
Location
Wisconsin
Thread starter
No emergency, the pellet furnace used to be the only one they used, the gas was there in case the pellet stove went out during work. When pellets got expensive they would only run pellets in extreme cold cause the floors would be warmer. The true "backup of last resort" is their old fireplace, I don't have wood and wouldn't want to see what is lurking if I mess with that. And yeah that wouldn't stop pipes from freezing.
Originally Posted by bullwinkle
If there is a motor shop around, you may be able to bring it in & have them match up a comparable new one (if the bearings are shot & the old one won't turn). Or be prepared to spend $ for OEM. I don't like the idea of an HVAC company unless ABSOLUTELY necessary-those guys are (mostly forced) to be crooks by their companies-your Mom may wind up with a new furnace she doesn't really need.
Yeah and the newer they are the less reliable, blower motor has an issue every 20 years on this one, never need to touch it beyond shutting it off in the summer and relighting in the winter. My father haD "some" spare furnace parts but no cap. The motor place we always went TJ rebuilder (2 miles away) was cheap and would rebuild anything, sadly they went under a few years back which is a [censored] shame, they would fix a burnt motor of any type, could rewind, replace bearings, housing and fix circuit boards and would likely have a cap on the shelf. Ah well
 
Messages
1,880
Location
Minnesota
Originally Posted by Rmay635703
Originally Posted by Farnsworth
I fixed what sound like that on my 87 year old neighbors furnace motor, new capacitor.
Yeah I figured it was either the startup capacitor or part of the relay off the thermostat if it sat stalled too long it might have gotten too toasty though. I'm just tired of being the only one, at some point you need to take responsibility and call a professional . I live a hundred miles away, hard to be a live in repair man
There IS a way to help your Mom out without being there. Have a HVAC guy in and have him CALL YOU with the diagnosis. That way he knows he has to answer to someone that he cannot cheat and push around. My niece just installed a new furnace/AC on a new to her town home. It's really too bad because her father is quite knowledgeable and could of advised her.....but she is a bullheaded know it all. I highly doubt she needed a whole new HVAC system (it was just inspected during purchase of the home). I notice no one ever tries and cheat me.....I think these guys "read" a person when they first meet and they soon realize with me that I know at least enough that they cannot BS me. You'll be doing your Mom a big favor and it won't take but 10 minutes.
 
Messages
374
Location
Minnesota
Originally Posted by philipp10
Originally Posted by Rmay635703
Originally Posted by Farnsworth
I fixed what sound like that on my 87 year old neighbors furnace motor, new capacitor.
Yeah I figured it was either the startup capacitor or part of the relay off the thermostat if it sat stalled too long it might have gotten too toasty though. I'm just tired of being the only one, at some point you need to take responsibility and call a professional . I live a hundred miles away, hard to be a live in repair man
There IS a way to help your Mom out without being there. Have a HVAC guy in and have him CALL YOU with the diagnosis. That way he knows he has to answer to someone that he cannot cheat and push around. My niece just installed a new furnace/AC on a new to her town home. It's really too bad because her father is quite knowledgeable and could of advised her.....but she is a bullheaded know it all. I highly doubt she needed a whole new HVAC system (it was just inspected during purchase of the home). I notice no one ever tries and cheat me.....I think these guys "read" a person when they first meet and they soon realize with me that I know at least enough that they cannot BS me. You'll be doing your Mom a big favor and it won't take but 10 minutes.
+1
 
Messages
10,000
Location
Waco, TX
Originally Posted by rubberchicken
If the lower propane furnace failed, I also have a kerosene heater. But its not enough to keep the entire house from freezing, especially in the basement.
Get a few cheap electric space heaters. If you are down the kerosene ONLY, that's a tough storm!
 
Messages
10,000
Location
Waco, TX
Originally Posted by Ws6
The HVAC company that inspected my system just told me what to buy off Amazon to replace the capacitor and I did it myself. Can't get any better than that.
Wow, that is RARE! Maybe they were super swamped? or they knew you would appreciate them helping you out like that?
 
Messages
1,894
Location
missouri
The old oil filled capacitors that lasted for years are no more. The oil was the infamous PCB that caused cancer. Lamenting over the loss of that makes as much sense as lamenting over asbestos. It is horrible plain and simple. New ones using modern materials can be reliable,, you just do not know though. My home heap pump was Goodman brand. The capacitor lasted about 3 or 4 years. So what I did was replace very 2 years. My new Goodman is gas heat, and the ac does not run as often. So it will be replaced ever 4 years. Costs about 30 bucks, takes about an hour by the time I get the tools, put down some cardboard (we have chiggers, the cardboard helps keep them away) put on knee protectors (gotta love old age), disconnect power, remove, tighten the spade terminals a bit and replace. Then test. Then put up all the tools and throw away the cardboard. Celebrate with the beverage of your choice as you enjoy the cool air. The first time you need to know the type and size, you will probably need to buy locally. You can order off the model number if you trust that, just know that you may end up putting the old one back, since it still functions, and get the correct one. if it says 5 ufd/40ufd, it means 5/40, not 7.5/45 which will work but use more electricity, shorten life etc. Keep the old one, you can use next time you order one, and if the new one is crap, you have a spare. I typically stick with the OEM for a few bucks more. This way I avoid a failure on a 105 degree day and the 3 to 5 day wait for service. Rod
 
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wdn

Messages
1,197
Location
NH
I keep spare furnace parts for 2 York 95.5% propane furnaces I have (upstairs and downstairs zones). It pays off. I keep a large stock of Aprilaire air filter elements. I have a main circuit board (microcontroller PCB) that fits either of them. I have a flame sensor spare. What I don't have and one just failed, is a 0.9 atm pressure switch. It has a rubber hose that connects to the furnace fan and closes when the fan is on an drawing a proper draft. Otherwise York will shut off and blink red 3 times code indicating 'pressure switch stuck open'. I tested it with Fluke multimeter and applying suction to hose, it really was stuck open. Kaput. Ordered one on eBay and it came last week $42 delivered in 2 days. It was exact perfect fit, identical to broken one. Only a few days ago it was 63 degrees out for 2 days lucky me, that's when it arrived and I replaced it (a 5 minute job by the way). Today it is 6 degrees out.
 
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851
Location
Under the Hood
Originally Posted by Ws6
I actually just changed my fan capacitor on my furnace last night. This is something many people neglect out of ignorance. I was ignorant of it until I had a hvac company check my system over a week ago. They suggested I replace the $10 part myself, as a blower motor would not be cheap.
Not to hijack the thread, but, I'm all for doing any repairs myself. Question: Would a person change the Start Capacitor on Furnace Motor as PM or wait for it to go and have an extra on hand ? I know there are three tests for a Capacitor using a Multi-Meter 1) Confirm Capacitor is 'not' shorted to housing 2) Storing and releasing its electrical charge 3) Measure capacitance Also, look for bulging and leaking.
 
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