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How long should evap cooler motors last?

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by Joerg, Apr 30, 2013.

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  1. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Just had a major tzzzzt ... *PHOOOF* event. The evap cooler
    (Champion-Essick) burned up its windings and a major blue cloud wafted
    through the living room. It's only been three seasons. Plus one of the
    squirrel cage wheels has thoroughly rusted itself in place, won't come
    of the shaft.

    Is that normal?
  2. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    The _motor_ is stainless steel? I seriously doubt that. But anyhow, I
    didn't have much of a choice given that there has to be a remaining path
    for walking left where the coolr is. Only the Champion fit.

    What I do know is that similar type motors on the Lennox system that
    completely lives outdoors last >15 years. This one lasted three.

    Sure. And I cleaned it thoroughly. Plus made a nice custom wood cover
    for the inside grille because it hadn't dawned on the designers of these
    coolers that people may prefer there not to be cold coming in during winter.

    In fact, it is better that way because if you only cover the outside
    then moisture from inside will condensate on the cold cooler parts -> rust.
  3. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    The cage and bearings are ok. The motor has the shaft come out both
    sides and each has a squirrel cage. One cage pulled off the ease, the
    other one is solidly rusted onto the shaft.

    What happened was that the motor windings burned up, very visibly. Some
    of it wafted through the house in vaporized form. The motor itself still
    spins easily.

    Very cumbersome to do with this one. And no belt. Took me almost half an
    hour plus some suppressed cuss words to get it out of there.

    Not on these coolers. They have a grille with integrated control knob
    sticking inside by about a couple of inches. Sort of like a hotel room
    A/C, just not as bulky on the inside.

  4. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    As I said, there wasn't anything else this compact and >2500cfm. Except
    one Autralian unit but all from plastic and the evap media was some
    weird stuff where I was not able to find a spare part supply (which I
    always scope out before buying anything).

    What brand was your cooler?
  5. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Their brands appear to not be all that different from ours, regular
    coated stainless steel:

    Has 10 year warranty against rust-through, ours has 8 years. Oh well ...

    I sure wish I could install one of those.

    The only place where that would have been possible here is already
    occupied by a huge Lennox heating plus A/C combo. Which is only used for
    emergencies but needs to remain there. We are on a rocky slope so things
    ain't as easy as in them flatlands.

    I did not install a bleed kit because the water is not very mineral-rich
    out here. Also, I am quite meticulous when it comes to maintenance.
    About every three weeks depending on usage I open the unit and clean it
    out. I ran a wastewater pipe for it so that the procedure will not leave
    a wet mess. The aspen pads remain so clean that they are good for two
    seasons. Same for the water, it's always clean.

    I have seen folks who let a major sludge deposit build up in their
    cooler, algae floating around and all that. Yuck. That would be a recipe
    for legionaire's disease.
  6. Klaus Bahner

    Klaus Bahner Guest

    Which indicates that there was condensing moisture.
    Assuming you mean the stator windings, then the most likely scenario is
    the moisture has "soaked" into the windings. Operating the motor caused
    partial discharges, destroying the insulating varnish of the windings to
    the point where you get a full-blown short circuit.

    As to the question whether this is normal, no of course not. Perhaps the
    motor winding weren't vacuum impregnated. Low quality of the
    insulation/poor workmanship is another likely cause. An educated guess
    would be that the motor is of Chinese origin :-(

  7. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    This is why I don't really understand how people can have roof units.
    None of the owners I know ever goes up there until season is over.
    Especially once age-relative aches set in and they don't feel
    comfortable on a ladder anymore. When I saw the inside of one roof unit
    I almost threw up. Mold everywhere.
  8. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Not condensing but there is always moisture in the air path of an
    evaporative cooler, by the nature of its operation. They are supposed to
    at least plate stuff accordingly.

    Possible. The enameled wire is totally in the open. Or was because now
    it's all a charcoaled mess.

    As they all are, but they want around $100 for a new one, of course. If
    I can find one in stock, that is.
  9. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    From my window at a hotel in Puerto Rico I saw a major advantage of
    roof-mounted units: The maintenance guys would climb up there with their
    tool bags to "check on something", crawl underneath a unit and then doze
    off for a couple of hours (probably while on the clock ...).

    You should have put a little umbrella up there, a lawn chair, plus a
    nice assortment of beverages :)
  10. Mark

    Mark Guest

    that is meticulous..but consider the bleed kit anyway

    without a bleed kit, every molecule of "mineral" that enters with the
    water, remains in the cooler, it has no way to escape. The water of
    course evaporates.

    with a bleed kit, the concentration of minerals entering and leaving
    reaches an equilibrium depending upon how much water is bled vs how
    much evaporates. You may find you can defer the maintenance a bit

    use the bleed water for the plants etc

  11. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Hot weather is exactly what they are made for :)
  12. Jamie

    Jamie Guest

    I am getting my list of medical defects documented, our state recently
    adopted medical pot.

    I think all I would need is a transcript of quotes made here about my
    mental condition and that should be more than adequate to qualify.

  13. Except that it is for physical conditions, not mental.

    For that... and you... Chlorpromazine, AKA Thorazine, AKA
    M&Ms. I would suggest 500mg, at least twice a day.
  14. Sjouke Burry

    Sjouke Burry Guest

    Of course Made in China.
  15. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    In Mexiko, and sold at probably 90% profit margin. IMHO not a very good
  16. Soak in PB Blaster, might come off in a day or two. And rewind the
    I think PB Blaster is better than liquid wrench.

  17. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    That motor is toast. The shaft rusted and one of the squirrel cages
    didn't come off. I have never seen this much rust on a motor after only
    three years. So I had to saw the 1/2" shaft off with a bare blade by
    hand (!), with an old sock as a handle. Took me a whole hour but I find
    the results show of Dancing with the Stars that SWMBO always watches
    boring so did it then. Pounded out the remnants of the shaft.

    The motor has also thoroughly cooked itself out because the overheat
    protection (if it really has one as stated ...) didn't come on. Cinged
    paint, twisted metal, a mess.

    The cooler manufacturer was not willing to pick up part of the tab, made
    me pay over $100 total at full price. So if anyone thinks about buying a
    cooler you now know. It's from Essick (also sold as Champion) and IMHO
    the quality is rather poor. Next time I will look at other brands.

    Which brings up a point: Since I must use this lousy motor design again
    so it fits, would a slight brushing of oil prevent it from rusting
    again? Or silicone grease? Vaseline?
  18. Ecnerwal

    Ecnerwal Guest

    If you mean where the fan is on the shaft (or similar) use anti-seize or
    loctite (different aims but similar in the rust realm - they fill the
    gaps so rust can't.) loctite aids in staying put, can be helped off with
    heat when the time comes. If things stay put well enough anti-seize is
    less fuss at removal time.

    Other than that, something like LPS3 or Kano's prev-ox may help with
    overall surface rusting. So might vaseline/grease, though it will
    collect more gunk, probably.
  19. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Well, I did it the old-fashioned way. Sawed it off, put the squirrel
    cage mount on a pipe fitting sitting on an anvil, then pounded the sawed
    of shaft until it flew out the other side.

    Here's hoping that the new motor arrives before it gets hot out here.
  20. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Did it during the Dancing with the Stars results show. I like to see the
    ballroom dancing on Mondays but the results show is boring. However,
    SWMBO absolutely disagrees with that assessment, so ...

    In this cooler there is barely any space to mount a belt and external
    motor. Plus it would have cost a bundle, new bigger squirrel cage + two
    mounts + shaft + pulley + belt + motor + motor mount = Lotsa $$$ plus
    work. And with some luck it'll start massive corrosion where I have to

    Also, I didn't want to make a science project out of this. Just received
    confirmation that Fedex will deliver the new motor this coming Tuesday.
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