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Tips for Replacing a Universal Condenser Fan Motor

Tips for Replacing a Universal Condenser Fan Motor pic

As we're in the heart of air conditioner season, you may find yourself dealing with an expired condenser fan motor. Fortunately, this is a repair that can be done by non-professionals. Start by confirming the issue is in fact a motor in need of replacement. Begin by turning off the power to the A.C. unit. Then manually try spinning the fan blade. If the blade does not turn freely, the motor is in need of replacement.

Most air conditioner models will allow you to replace the expired part with a universal condenser fan motor. But in using a substitution, certain criteria must be met. So before purchasing a replacement make sure you taken notes from the original unit on the following:
• Motor Diameter In Inches
• Horsepower Rating-be aware the some A.C. units have more than one
• Operating Voltage-units can range from 115-460
• Motor Shaft Size In Inches
• RPM Speed
• Direction Of Rotation
• Mounting (not all units are mounted in the same way)

This is not exactly a DIY project unless you have the technical expertise to do it. Please do not attempt to perform this service unless you are a qualified professional and have all the proper tools and safety equipment. If in doubt, please contact a reputable local HVAC company that can install your new fan motor for your condenser.

Once you're ready to install your universal fan motor, start by shutting down all electric supply to the AC unit via the breaker box for safety precautions; it's very important that you do not skip this step. Before removing anything, take note of the motor's wiring (what colors of wiring, how they are connected, etc.). The fan and motor can now be dismantled, which is generally done by removing bolts on the band that secures the motor. In some units, these bolts are actually attached directly to the motor. Now remove the fan blade. Before doing so, take note of the blade's position on the shaft. Loosen the screws, and remove the blade from the motor shaft by twisting and tugging. Once the old unit is out, to install the new one, simply reverse the process described above. Be especially careful when reinstalling the fan blade. Make sure the blade is centered in the fan motor's opening.

But you're not quite done. Every time you replace a condenser fan motor, you should also replace the A.C.'s run capacitor, which is a cylinder-shaped device that helps to start or run motors. To replace it, again take down all technical data on the unit, and note wiring colors and positions before removing it with a screw driver. As with the fan condenser motor, your run capacitor replacement selection is based on its technical data, not shape or size.

To install the new capacitor, reverse its removal process, but before replacing any covering and reactivating the A.C., go stand outside by the A.C. and wait for the contractor to come on. When it does, it will buzz or hum and may take several minutes to do so. After hearing the contractor, replace the covering and restore power. Test the A.C. to make sure fan and cool air production are normal before you resume using it.

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