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How long should evap cooler motors last?

J

Joerg

Jan 1, 1970
0
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?
 
J

Joerg

Jan 1, 1970
0
Jim said:
Cheap is as cheap does. When I had a cooler, it was stainless steel.


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.

Did you drain, dry, and cover it during the off-season?

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.
 
J

Joerg

Jan 1, 1970
0
Jim said:
Sounds like you had a bearing/cage mount rust to the point of jamming,
which then burned out the motor.

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.

I presume the motor was attached with the usual adjustment bracket for
tightening the belt. Just take that and the belt inside during
Winter.

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.

That's a standard duct part at Home Despot. At the old place, during
Winter, I simply reached inside a closet and dropped the slide into a
slot. (Sheet metal was my fun shop course during Junior High School
:)

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.

[...]
 
J

Joerg

Jan 1, 1970
0
Jim said:
[...]
Did you drain, dry, and cover it during the off-season?

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.
That's a standard duct part at Home Despot. At the old place, during
Winter, I simply reached inside a closet and dropped the slide into a
slot. (Sheet metal was my fun shop course during Junior High School
:)
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.

[...]

Cheap, cheap >:-}

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?
 
J

Joerg

Jan 1, 1970
0
Jim said:
Jim said:
Jim Thompson wrote:
Jim Thompson wrote: [...]

Did you drain, dry, and cover it during the off-season?

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.
That's a standard duct part at Home Despot. At the old place, during
Winter, I simply reached inside a closet and dropped the slide into a
slot. (Sheet metal was my fun shop course during Junior High School
:)

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.

[...]
Cheap, cheap >:-}
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?

Trying to remember now, after 20+ years, I think it was this one...

http://www.evapcool.com/products/

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

http://www.evapcool.com/products/residential/whole-home-evaporative-cooling/brisa-window-coolers/
http://www.evapcool.com/products/residential/whole-home-evaporative-cooling/aerocool-trophy-series/

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

But it was huge, 6500CFM >:-}

I sure wish I could install one of those.

You know me, I'm undeterred by anything... I cut away block on the
side of the house, inserted a steel beam to keep it from collapsing,
added ductwork under a closet into the furnace "room", with a duct
"slide", in or out, appropriate to the season.

Had a steel stand custom-size-welded to align it with house, did the
electric myself, etc... >:-}

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.

Your post reminds me, there's some bleed-off (?) kit that "wastes" a
percentage of the circulating water to minimize scale build-up. Did
you have that?

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.
 
K

Klaus Bahner

Jan 1, 1970
0
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.

Which indicates that there was condensing moisture.
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.

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 :-(

Klaus
 
J

Joerg

Jan 1, 1970
0
Jim said:
Jim Thompson wrote:
[...]

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.

Scary stuff, Legionnaire's. Apparently quite prevalent, according to
my daughter who runs the City of Phoenix Water Labs. She has some
fancy name for it >:-} It occurs a lot but, fortunately, the really
virulent form is rare.

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.
 
J

Joerg

Jan 1, 1970
0
Klaus said:
Which indicates that there was condensing moisture.


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.

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.

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

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 :-(

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

Joerg

Jan 1, 1970
0
Jim said:
Jim said:
Jim Thompson wrote: [...]


Your post reminds me, there's some bleed-off (?) kit that "wastes" a
percentage of the circulating water to minimize scale build-up. Did
you have that?

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.
Scary stuff, Legionnaire's. Apparently quite prevalent, according to
my daughter who runs the City of Phoenix Water Labs. She has some
fancy name for it >:-} It occurs a lot but, fortunately, the really
virulent form is rare.
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.

I started out on the roof, but the heat was nasty during service. Then
I had the roof foamed (flat Arizona ranch-style roof), so snow blind
;-)

So I moved it to the side of the house.

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 :)
 
M

Mark

Jan 1, 1970
0
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.

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
longer.

use the bleed water for the plants etc

Mark
 
J

Jamie

Jan 1, 1970
0
Jim said:
Bwahahahahahaha! Let's all hear it for free Marijuana for all >:-}

...Jim Thompson
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.

Jamie
 
D

DecadentLinuxUserNumeroUno

Jan 1, 1970
0
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.

Jamie

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.
 
S

Sjouke Burry

Jan 1, 1970
0
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?

Of course Made in China.
 
M

Martin Riddle

Jan 1, 1970
0
Joerg said:
In Mexiko, and sold at probably 90% profit margin. IMHO not a very
good
design.

--

Soak in PB Blaster, might come off in a day or two. And rewind the
stator.
I think PB Blaster is better than liquid wrench.

Cheers
 
J

Joerg

Jan 1, 1970
0
Martin said:
Soak in PB Blaster, might come off in a day or two. And rewind the
stator.
I think PB Blaster is better than liquid wrench.

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?
 
E

Ecnerwal

Jan 1, 1970
0
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?

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.
 
J

Joerg

Jan 1, 1970
0
Michael said:
The original 'Breakfree' was the best I ever used, but I can only
find a different version that is made for guns and sold under the
'Winchester' name. Walmart has it in the sporting goods section.


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.
 
J

Joerg

Jan 1, 1970
0
Jim said:
After all that work, you should have installed a pulley, thus making
the next replacement easier... maybe use a quality motor next time?

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
drill.

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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