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So I'm sitting there watching TV last night in my new house, that I just bought THREE WEEKS AGO, when I suddenly hear this horrendous "bang bang bang squeeeeeeeeeeel" come from the HVAC closet. The unit had been making an annoying ticking sound for about a week, and I had someone scheduled to come out next week to inspect and clean the whole thing, but I guess it couldn't wait that long.

I pulled it apart last night and it looked like a small bomb had gone off inside of it. The squirrel cage had completely seperated from the hub at high speed, turning the fan into a mass of twisted metal and banging the heck out of the housing. It's a real mess, considering that no more than two minutes passed between the first "bang" and me yanking the power to the whole unit.

I obviously need to replace the whole blower wheel, but I'm not sure whether or not to trust the motor. I gave it power after removing the hub (I grew up the son of an electrician, and he informally apprenticed me in the trade until I was 17 when I decided to go in a different direction, so I know how to do that part), and it spun up cleanly and without any excessive vibration or noise. The motor shaft has about 3mm play along its axis, and has a barely perceptible but definitely "there" (probably a half mm or so) amount of side to side play in its bearings. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that's an acceptable amount of play in the shaft. According to the sticker, the motor is about eight years old.

I should also mention that the whole thing has been VERY poorly maintained. The inside of the housing was caked in dirt, and it doesn't look like it's been cleaned in years.

Would you suggest replacing the motor anyway? Or just replace the blower wheel? I'm not seeing any sign that it's bad, but I don't know whether or not I'd trust it considering what it's just been through. Any thoughts?
 

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Hvac Pro
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The lack of maintenance has DRASTICALLY shortened the life of the motor so I would replace it. They are not that expensive when DIY. I would also want to check the underside of the AC evaporator coil for major dirt/blockage if you have AC. If the motor fails when you are not home then the AC freezes up and the compressor can get damaged.
 

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I'm Your Huckleberry
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Since I'd be in there anyways and the motor has taken a beating as it was trying to work against the wheel restricting it during it's fall from grace, I'd replace the motor as well.
 

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Did it damage the blower motor support or the housing?
Check for cracks etc...
You may be better off going with a complete blower assy. (housing, motor, wheel and support.
 
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