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Thread: HELP! Ignorant Woman Seeks Truth!!

  1. #1

    Question HELP! Ignorant Woman Seeks Truth!!

    Okay, my husband and I bought a beautiful 1960's brick ranch home two years ago. It was built by a millionaire (back when a millionaire was really a wealthy man) so it was built well and had built-in everything, etc. It is a ranch with a walkout basement under about half of the first floor. Since it's built into the side of a hill and is brick, it is quite efficient, even with an old furnace our heating bills are just $100 per month on a budget plan. The furnace is a Williamson 5-in-1 natural gas furnace and it runs well. My husband is a terrific musician, but not much of a handyman. And that is why I'm here. Last year we had the bearings replaced in the blower. This summer a belt came loose and it was making that whiny loose belt noise. I found some on **** and my husband was able to replace the belt, so the whining stopped, but the fan is shaking/rattling when it runs. My husband says we need to replace it but the serviceman he called last year said they don't make replacement parts anymore. First, is that true? Isn't there some way if we pull the old one out, some service company could find one that is compatible? It seems like every service company I look up here in Indianapolis also sells HVAC systems and I'm thinking they're all going to say it has to be replaced since it's 20-30 years old. So, what advice can you guys give me?

    Thanks.

    Janet
    Last edited by Janet_Eich; 11-04-2008 at 02:52 PM.

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    The fan on any furnace is balanced. If in the process of replacing bearings, the fan got bent or you lost a weight (like on a tire), it would become unbalanced and shake. A furnace that old is probably in the 60-70% efficiency range. New ones are over 90%, so maybe a third more efficient. And, some of them are two stage and could have a multispeed blower that makes the overall comfort higher because the furnace can match the load.

    If the blower motor is still good, you might be able to find an old tech that could balance the fan, but that is almost a lost art done by machines in the factory now, rather than by eye, hand, and skill manually. There are probably numerous motors that could be substituted. It would be hard to tell without the manual or having the old one in hand, though.

    You might get lucky and find a compatible replacement but I'd think about maybe it's time to bite the bullet.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3
    Master Plumber nhmaster's Avatar
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    Williamson has not made the five in one in over twenty years. Very nice piece of equipment but the chances of finding a blower are pretty slim. You could have the blower balanced but it might be hard to find a shop that can do it. You could also try to find a direct drive blower that might fit. www.graingersupply.com. The furnace, with a new oil burner in it is still capable of pretty good efficiencies. Definitely in the range of similar modern products. Not much has changed in the furnace industry in 20 or so years as far as standard oil fired equipment is concerned. I think that because of the age of the furnace though, rather than put a lot of money into it only to have the heat exchanger go south in a few more years, I would look into a new unit. I like Thermo-Pride. They have a lifetime warranty on the exhangers and are top of the line quality.
    Last edited by Terry; 11-07-2008 at 12:21 PM.

  4. #4

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    Had my a/c serviced this past spring--part of the service was replacing the belt in the furnace blower as you did. Afterward there was considerable vibration and noise from the fan whereas before there was none. The techs position was "hey we increased your cooling abilities, which is why you called us---I can't or don't know how to fix this--so that's your problem."

    Luckily I was able to fashoin shims from wood scrap wedges I had and place them strategically under the squirrel cage housing. Just had to play around with them to find the right spots, Problem solved.

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