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overheated blower motor

Paul_69
Paul_69 Member Posts: 251
i am a contractor. my question is if you have a furnace blower motor that is exstremely hot and off on thermal and is not resetting because of excess heat would you wait for it to cool and try a capacitor replacement first or relace motor and capacitor.you have to gaurentee what work you do,so if the motor did reset and started up my fear is it may do the same thing and i am on the hook for this repair.i always thought that if it had a capacitor problem it would have starting problems and not cause motor to be smoking hot.  thanks

Comments

  • lchmb
    lchmb Member Posts: 2,997
    edited October 2011
    I would

    Depending on the age of the motor I would probably replace it to be safe. I would rather air on the side of caution than have an unhappy customer...As far as temp, it can over heat trying to start. So that could damage your start windings...You could ohm out the motor looking for inconsistancy, but I've been bit by that before..
  • Paul_69
    Paul_69 Member Posts: 251
    overheated blower motor

    the blower motor i talked about was diagnosed by me. i told customer i would replace motor with a new one and capacitor. i gave them price and they said they wanted to upgrade the whole system instead. so i collected for my call and they said they were going to get estimates. i felt that was a lie and they either didn't believe me or didn't like my price for complete repair. then i get a email that they got another company in to look at motor and the motor now was cool 1 day later and they said it was the capacitor and the motor started and was ok. i really believe i was doing the right repair and not taking a chance on motor being bad or damaged from overheating. i sent them a email back and told them i am not 100% sure that its solved. if it dies soon i am wrong and if it lives i was right.but i did give them their money back for my call because it aint worth the trouble. but i felt i was set up. the service call was already 30% of motor job and if i did capacitor it would have been 50% and i would be taking a chance on that repair.and thi tech comes in and now i look bad. first time in 6 years in buisness i ever had this happen, and my reputation is well known for being honest and doing the right thing.i have always stood behind my work. and if anything i may have made a mistake.but they acted like they are perfect.
  • lchmb
    lchmb Member Posts: 2,997
    Paul

    I honestly would not have refunded their money. They are asking you to perform a service and warranty your work. There is no way for you to be able to say how much damage the motor suffered. If in 2 month's the motor fail's they will be out another service call and probably complain the second tech didn't do it right. You can find anyone to say what you want, it's another thing to do whats right. The second tech is banking on the motor not running much for the next 30 days (or til the check clears) and he's on to the next... I wouldnt however,  return when the motor quit's, let the other guy take care of it...
  • Techman
    Techman Member Posts: 2,144
    edited October 2011
    Motors

    Many times an overheated motor will run a long time(years) after replacing a run cap . Many times the motor will cool down pretty quick if you (power off) spin the squirll cage by hand for awhile.Many times once the reset resets ,you can check the motor by re-powering the unit ,fan energized, hand spin the motor (at your own risk!) in the correct rotation ,many times the motor will run. Replace cap,restart and run &test. Check the motor nameplate(usually a paper looking thing)  look for discoloration. Check squirll cage for dirt. Then present  the customer a picture of new vs. old and let them decide.Let them keep you off the hook. They should (all things being equal) like you and trust you and pay you,and call you if/when the motor does fail. Keeping that pay or giving it back , in a given situation, is your call.You have to look at you in the mirror!
  • Steve Whitbeck
    Steve Whitbeck Member Posts: 669
    edited October 2011
    Capacitor tester

    They called you because you are supposed to be the expert - If you don't have a capacitor tester I sugest you get one. They only cost about $100 to $150.

    you need to have the right tools to do this job.
  • lchmb
    lchmb Member Posts: 2,997
    many times

    and then there are the times it fails..and they expect him to cover it..I do like the idea of letting the customer decide (in writing) then it's on them..Offer up your thoughts and let them make your mind up...btw I do have a capacitor tester, and have still been bit when a motor tests and looks fine and then quit's a week or two later...
  • Paul_69
    Paul_69 Member Posts: 251
    overheated blower motor

    thanks everyone for your input. it is really about how to make it fair. i am 30 yrs. exp. in trade but only 6 years being in business.i do know how to test capacitors,i have capacitors on the truck. but i was afraid to eat the call if the capacitor didnt keep it running for a period of time.so i felt the best bet was to do the motor as well as the capacitor,and then warrentee it for a year. so now looking back i like the suggestion to put it in writing if they dont want the complete repair and they can decide what they want and if it craps out they have sighned what they wanted to do that day.thats all i wanted was to be able to back up the repair not that i didnt know what was wrong.i never thought they would call another company. i have alot to learn still about how to c.o.y.a.and get the customer to pick his picture and then sighn the work order. then it is in their own lap not mine.and i may never know as was said that maybe it will die again and i was right. i just didnt cover all angles!!  thankyou alot you were all helpful
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 22,916
    Not a pro...

    just a humble (?) building super.  For what my two cents is worth, I would never, ever expect a serviceman, whom I had called in to diagnose something, to refund what I paid him for a legitimate service call -- and it sounds to me as though you had a perfectly legitimate service call, and did the job you had been asked to do.



    There are times I don't like what the service man has to say... there are times which I have gotten hold of a service man who wasn't really competent (sorry guys, but we all know it happens) -- but I always do the best I can to avoid that.  More to the point, if I have hired you, and it turns out you're not really up to the job, I figure that's at least partly my fault and I will pay you your bill.  I may not hire you again -- but I will pay what you asked.  But this doesn't sound like one of those occasions.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Paul_69
    Paul_69 Member Posts: 251
    overheated motor

    thanks jamie but i returned the service call money because after i got a email from them i searched my insides and felt that they were thinking that i was trying to just make a motor sale. i didnt want any problems with the bbb etc.as stated i should have put the option in their lap. i made a mistake.i dont want their buisness anyways because i believe they were trying to price shop my repair. in the future as stated if i can get the motor to run with a capacitor than i will have the customer sighn that if motor fails its on them not me. again i felt i was doing the right thing by replacing the motor so i could warrantee it for a year,and not take a risk on my dime that the motor might fail again. thats all ok. i am knowledgeable and very honest. i am human and let my guard down. like i said i am fairly new in buisness and used to never have to deal with all this stuff and i am constantly trying to improve when trouble shooting and gaurenteeing my work.
  • Techman
    Techman Member Posts: 2,144
    edited October 2011
    Paul

    If I make a diagnosis and condem ANY part , my ENTIRE reputation(with that customer) is on the line.Now Heaven Forbid ,someone else fixes the unit . To the customer, I think, they think I don't know how to think! I think I am better( professionally) than  that. So I gladly( not really) return the service charge, to prove to the customer, and more importantly to MYSELF that I DO try harder to be better and MORE professional then  "I showed up so pay me".Each to their own way . I would NOT leave the choice of new/old motor in the customers hands completely.Just talk w/ them for their choice or preference.WE can try the cap if you like and let it run. If the customer says O.K.  and the motor stops working then you are C.Y A.  A repeat customer is a GOOD customer.
  • Paul_69
    Paul_69 Member Posts: 251
    techman

    techman tanks for you insight. it is good solid advice. i have read your replies alot and you know your stuff. again i used to work for oil companys for 25 yrs. and newer in buisness where i am on the hook for every move i make.i have never had someone do this to me b4.and i have learned alot already but need to learn more and to bad i had to learn the hard way.....thx paul
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