Last night my home A/C fan made that “start up noise.” It’s that noise that any heavy duty electric motor makes when you first start it up. Except this time the “start up noise” didn’t stop, and the fan didn’t turn on! I shut off the A/C breakers and manually rotated the fan a little. After that the fan started up normally, but that whole event still bothered me. What if the fan never started? I would have certainly burned up the motor, may have started a fire, and may have damaged the condenser.
Several people suggested that the fan’s bearings may need oil. Indeed, the label on the side of the fan housing says to oil the unit once every 5 years during intermittent service (or once every 2 years with constant service). I wouldn’t be surprised if this fan has never been oiled.
Tonight I oiled the unit. Here is what I started with:
That’s the blower sitting horizontally behind the heater exhaust.
10 minutes later, and I have extracted the blower:
Looking at the side of the blower motor, I could not figure out where the oiling spot is:
Then I called someone who has done this before, and he helped me discover the little aluminum piece above the rear of the bearing:
Look towards the rear and you see another identical piece, just 100 times less accessible.
Per the suggestion of several people, I got some 3-in-1 oil earlier:
This is what I used to lube up the fan’s bearings.
Oiling the rear (closest to camera) was a piece of cake. The front (furthest) was hard. If I was to insert the oil can in there, the best I would is squirt stuff everywhere. To improvise, I got some extra nylon tubing from my Nova’s vacuum gauge and used it as a line:
I slapped everything back together, turned on the A/C, and it runs great. Now time will tell if oiling was all it took to fix this!