DIY Home Improvement Forum banner

1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A week ago, the blower on our furnace quit working. It's a Rheem and is less than 5 years old.

Around the same time it failed, we smelled a hot electrical component and traced it back the furnace and its variable-speed, ECM-controlled blower motor.

I called a service tech in and he confirmed my worst fears. It was the ECM module that hangs off the rear of the motor. It cost $425 to repair, but is working fine again.

Perhaps coincidentally, the day before the failure, we had an abrupt power failure that lasted 4 hours. There was no bad weather that day and the power company blamed it on a "transformer failure." Power was out for 20 square miles.

I was a little skeptical because the power coop had a contractor working at replacing the entire service line for our canyon with super-heavy-duty lines around the same time.

Is it possible that a voltage spike triggered by this contractor could have fried my furnace's brain? Should I consider putting a surge protector on the power supply to the furnace?

All our home electronics are protected - but not the furnace.

Thanks for your help!
 

·
Hvac Pro
Joined
·
23,681 Posts
It could have damaged it.

I know of a case where the power co in my area damaged a transformer while replacing one and blew out the power for several houses and did lots of damage.

I am not sure there are good surge protectors for furnaces and whole houses but I have seen whole house ones advertised.

ECM motors draw a huge inrush current when starting a probably will screw up a surge protector. They are actually DC motors with 3 big capacitors.

If you can prove the power co was at fault or scream loud enough then maybe they will pony up for the repairs.

They had to in my city as someone saw sparks flying in the back lane when they were working on the transformer on a pole so they could not deny it. They tried but failed. As far as I know they paid for the damages later.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,381 Posts
There are whole house surge protectors available.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
706 Posts
I've had 3 ECM fan motors go out on one of my Rheem condensers over the last 5 years. Service company say its a power company issue, but it only happens on one of the condensers. Go figure. Fortunately, I had a 10 year parts and labor warranty on the systems (but that recently expired).

:(
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Top