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Old 08-16-2009, 03:18 PM   #1
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23 year old rheem


suggestions? opinions? the 23 year old outdoor rheem has a bad condenser fan motor. repair quoted at $500 - do I repair or replace?
live in nc -it's hot&humid, I would like a/c and would like to do the thing that makes cents/sense.
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Old 08-16-2009, 03:23 PM   #2
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23 year old rheem


I'd replace the system but if it was workng fine before the fan died and if money is tight then replace the fan motor.

With the system being 23yrs old it really is at the end of its life.

If you upgrade you could qualify for the tax credit.

If you feel OK with replacing the motor yourself it really isn't that hard to do and you can find one online for around $150. Just if you replace it yourself repace the capacitor too.
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Old 08-16-2009, 04:22 PM   #3
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23 year old rheem


500$ for a condensor fan motor replacement...WOW. Sounds like someone is making a big profit, call someone else.
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Old 08-16-2009, 04:38 PM   #4
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23 year old rheem


ok with replacing but feel overwhelmed with decision process - I will need to hire out any work done.
I agree I need to find another contractor (I got this one from a friend's recommendation). So do I just call a/c people in the book and ask them to do a load calculation?
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Old 08-16-2009, 07:35 PM   #5
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23 year old rheem


If you get enough bids, you can probably tell what you really need. To get 5 bids you may need to call 10 or 15 contractors.

.........a...bcd...e.........f
$0....1.....2.....3.....4.....5
........^relative price^

Bids a and f are probably outliers, and bcd seems to be the true price of doing your job in your zip code, today.
Incompetence and/or greed may cancel out to some extent with this method.

Grainger might have a replacement fan motor for $40. It needs to stand a 60 C ambient.

Has this unit been good so far?
HVAC lifetimes, courtesy of many knowledgeable posters

12 to 15 years for high end heat pumps,
7 to 10 years for builders grade heat pumps. Ocean front, 1 to 7 rears depending on brand and grade.

gas furnace 56 YO, HE (stainless) still in good shape,
AC is close to 35 YO, still the original compressor.

If you get 10 years out of air cooled equipment of any kind. You're doing well.

Midwest, we get 15-20 years out of a furnace and
20-30 out of an A/C,
20-50 out of a hot water boiler,
about 20 out of a cast iron steamer.

13 years HP,
15 to 18 for straight A/C,
18 to 20 gas and oil furnaces,
25 to 30 for gas and oil boilers.

Average is 12years for a heatpump, and
20for a straight A/C..

Last edited by Yoyizit; 08-16-2009 at 07:38 PM.
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Old 08-17-2009, 04:46 AM   #6
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23 year old rheem


At 23 years old.
Replacing that fan motor is a gamble.
Often. The motor was spinning slow for sometime before it went out the whole way. And caused damage to the compressor.

Replacement can save you money in the long run.
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Old 08-17-2009, 10:12 AM   #7
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23 year old rheem


Quote:
Originally Posted by klrlettuce View Post
suggestions? opinions? the 23 year old outdoor rheem has a bad condenser fan motor. repair quoted at $500 - do I repair or replace?
live in nc -it's hot&humid, I would like a/c and would like to do the thing that makes cents/sense.
If the system ran good prior to the motor going bad then I'd replace it.

How do you know it's the motor and not it's capacitor??

It should be easy to replace but getting the fan blades off might be a PIA. Those fan blade hubs tend to corrode themselves onto motor shafts. If you get the blades off then take the motor to Grainger or Johnstone supply and they could match it up for you. I'd replace the capacitor at the same time.

It's a gamble. Your system could go on for another 10 years or die tomorrow. It's definately at the end of it's average life.
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Old 08-20-2009, 02:36 PM   #8
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23 year old rheem


From my earlier data samples only ~1/4th of HVAC equip has lived as long as yours and 3 out of these 25 died in less than 10 years.
10 out of 25 lasted more than 10 years and less than 20.

At the other end, 2 out of 25 lived 50 & 56 years.

The sample average life = 20 years.

yrs.|number
__________
<10|xxx
<20|xxxxxxxxxx
<30|xxxxxxx
<40|xxx
<50|
<60|xx
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Old 08-20-2009, 05:24 PM   #9
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23 year old rheem


I get 8.4 to 10.6 years on average depending how the calculation is done.
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Old 08-20-2009, 07:59 PM   #10
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23 year old rheem


We now have a thread in the Mod trash bin with over 40 posts from this bickering

If you don't have something of value to add then please do not start things
I've asked nicely 2x, won't be a third time unless its another Mod
Maybe its the heat but I'm not in the mood

Thanks
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