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Old 05-01-2008, 05:34 PM   #1
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Trane outdoor fan

I have a fairly new (2003) Trane dual compressor split system. I noticed the indoor air was blowing but not cool. I went outside and discovered the outdoor fan was not running. When I demand cooling from the thermostat, after a short delay, the HI contactor closes, and the outdoor fan tries to start. The blades jerk a few inches a couple of times a second. I tried manually moving the blades to help it start but this was no help. I measured voltage to the motor and the 220VAC was OK. According to the nameplate, the motor is a 1/3 HP GE ECM 142.

Is this problem likely to be the motor, the PC board controller, or something else and what should I look for? I have an oscilloscope I could use to look at the control signal from the printed circuit board controller to the motor, but what should I expect to see - a PWM signal, DC voltage, or what?

Thanks in advance. It's starting to get warm here in Texas.



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Old 05-01-2008, 09:07 PM   #2
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This is complicated, but i'll give it a try. Your ac circuit board should be giving you a fault code of flashing lights count the flashes then find the service manuel normally in an envelope inside the electrical cover or maybe the installer manuel that should have been left for you and translate the code. It's one of two problems board or motor head. Never used an oscilliscope, but you are looking for dc voltage communicating from the motor and the board. Without the service manuel you really should call a professional like I said it is very complicated. Be prepared to spend some money although you may still have a warranty because most manufacturers give a 5 year wnty on the parts.


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Old 05-02-2008, 07:49 PM   #3
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with the condenser power off the motor/fan blade should spin free when turned thru the top grill cover if is hard to turn or stops short after a push the bearings are shot dried out.(POWER OFF)before replacing it remove the top grill and give the shaft a good shot of WD40 and let it work its way down the shaft turn it CCW the CW and see if it frees up...if it does run the unit from the stat for 10 minutes and standing at the condenser shut the disconnect down after that run.see if you get a free spin now f it spins a little better but stops hard you need a new motor.QUESTION...did you get much rain out there since the first ac run and if yes was the condenser covered on the top with plastic to keep the rain from rusting the bearings that is why the motor is TIGHT.
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Old 05-06-2008, 07:04 PM   #4
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Thanks for the responses. This story has a happy ending. I found out the previous owner had a 10-year transferrable warranty good until 2012. So I am in the process of transferring it now. After this great news, I called the company that originally installed the unit and they came out and replaced the motor.

What a relief! I found that ECM motor listed on the Internet for $290. I was told by the company I called that the motor would be $600-$800 without a warranty.
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Old 06-11-2008, 06:56 AM   #5
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GE ECM Motor

Can you tell me where you found that motor for $290? Was it a GE ECM 142 series? Thanks.
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