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1/2 HP GE motor.... has a boo boo :(

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Forum topic by Holbs posted 07-11-2017 12:32 AM 516 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Holbs

1721 posts in 1864 days


07-11-2017 12:32 AM

Backdrop: I was planning to use my 15,000 BTU window A/C for my garage workshop. My main house A/C has a squeaky bearing so do not want to use it til I get A/C folks out here. I won auction lot of a 5,500 CFM evaporative cooler for $10 and was going to use that for house. Well, the evap cooler 1/2 HP motor is non functional :( This is the first time I’ve bought something used where the motor did not work (for those that know me, remember I have the 8” Geetech jointer, 15” jet planer, 14” bandsaw, PM66, unisaw, rockwell lathe…all used and all motors worked).
I took the motor apart and do not see any scorch marks or burn marks or anything that would visually indicate something amiss. With no power applied, I can rotate the pulley. With power applied, the motor hums, the pulley does not rotate on it’s own, and I can not rotate the pulley by hand.
Is this motor simply….gone? This is why I have not ventured much into the wood working last couple weeks to finish my plantation shutters. It’s almost 95-100 daily in northern NV :) I think I’ll just move the window A/C back to garage this weekend and use house A/C again if nogo on the evap motor (til I can afford $80 for new motor).

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter


6 replies so far

View AZWoody's profile

AZWoody

1138 posts in 1059 days


#1 posted 07-11-2017 01:09 AM

Is there a start and run capacitor?

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Holbs

1721 posts in 1864 days


#2 posted 07-11-2017 01:13 AM

Surprisingly no, Woody. All my wood working machines have a run capacitor. This one for evap cooler does not. And the replacement ones I saw do not either. Maybe easier to start turning a squirrel cage fan than 8” cutterheads :)

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

1695 posts in 1057 days


#3 posted 07-11-2017 05:04 PM

Ahh, swamp coolers 8^)

These use a centrifugal switch to go between the start and run windings, no capacitors.

Humming means the motor is trying to start on the “run” winding, chances are you can give the motor shaft a spin by hand and get it going, but either way the common fault is the centrifugal switch is stuck..

When using a swamp cooler, one gets used to listening for the motor to spin up after switching the unit on. The humming is a tell-tale sign that the cent. switch is stuck and you have a few seconds to turn the unit off or burn out the motor.

You can disassemble the motor and use some emory paper to clean the switch contacts and free up the switch or just replace the motor (about $50 around here, they sell them by the pallet load).

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Holbs

1721 posts in 1864 days


#4 posted 07-12-2017 12:15 AM

Thanks Splinter. Centrifugal switch. Is that switch located on the shaft? I’ll have to do some research. Maybe easy to swap out or clean up that switch.
The motors I saw for 1/2 for swamp coolers run $80 online, not $50.

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter

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splintergroup

1695 posts in 1057 days


#5 posted 07-12-2017 02:42 PM



Thanks Splinter. Centrifugal switch. Is that switch located on the shaft? I ll have to do some research. Maybe easy to swap out or clean up that switch.
The motors I saw for 1/2 for swamp coolers run $80 online, not $50.

- Holbs


Yep, on the shaft behind one of the end caps. These (cheap) motors usually use bushings so be sure the shaft is free of dents or burrs before trying to slide off the end cap.

Pricing depends on where you are. Around here in the Southwest, swamp coolers are “standard issue” and every spring as people prep them for use, there is a flurry of activity buying new motors/belts/pumps/pads, etc. I’d imagine Reno to be similar, but that may be outside of the “golden zone” for swamp coolers (low humidity and non astronomically high temperatures).
All the hardware stores seem to dedicate an entire aisle to parts, including cheap motors.

Anyway, if your motor is still “humming”, it should have intact windings an just needs the switch cleaned.

As you surmised, spinning up a squirrel cage does not require much torque hence no capacitor. The old Powermatic BS I bought at auction had a 3/4H swamp cooler motor installed as a replacement. It does take a few seconds longer that what would seem normal to spin up, but once running it works fine. I’d hesitate to use one on anything that has a significant startup load.

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Holbs

1721 posts in 1864 days


#6 posted 07-16-2017 12:21 AM

Splinter…you saved a motor :) Yep, it was the centrifugal switch. I did light sanding on the switch contacts, and whalla… a fully operational deathstar…I mean swamp cooler motor. Though, the switch was bad so had to go buy a $10 swamp cooler switch. I also bought a new pump even though the old one did power on. Figured these $25 pumps go out yearly or every couple years so doesn’t hurt to have a spare.
I have a mobile swamp cooler on my 2nd floor but that is 300cfm or so. This big swamp cooler has some serious CFM output! Never stood infront of a swamp cooler before. It was refreshing :)
So, everything works (motor, pump, spider). But have to get a new valve and float valve. But that’s ok. Really glad this $10 swamp cooler has panned out.
Now to see if possible to vent to upstairs 2nd floor where it is always 10-15 degrees hotter than first floor. Then I can move window A/C back down to garage and finish plantation shutter project.

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter

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