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Old 12-07-2010, 11:40 AM   #1
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Centramatics for the furnace blower

OK Gang so Andy noted in jest in another thread that they don't make Centramatics to fit a furnace blower. That got me to thinking.

I have noted elsewhere that I have put some sound absorbing foam around the air return area which has been effective in cutting the noise. At this point most of the noise is rumble transmitted through the frame combined with a little bit of air noise from the supply vents closest to the furnace (the two right by the door).

I have considered trying to use rubber vibration isolators to try to decouple the furnace from the trailer frame but that has the potential to be a huge project and require a fair amount of experimentation to get right. So instead....

I called a local place that does dynamic balancing. And they say that if I pull out the motor and blower wheel assembly and bring it to them, that they can balance it so that it won't vibrate. At all. That should take care of the rumble at its source.

They charge $160 for this service which is a lot but is cheaper than, say, replacing the whole thing with a two-stage furnace, or, realistically, the parts and labor cost for putting in vibration isolators.

They guy said they get a few automotive blowers in a year so they're used to doing them. The place I'm working with is an industrial machine shop and mostly works on process equipment and large HVAC systems.

So, I haven't pulled the furnace apart yet. Anyone have any opinions or experience on the wisdom of this?
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Old 12-07-2010, 11:54 AM   #2
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a small motor repair shop would be a better source IMO $160 sounds like a lot of overhead! You probably need new bearings in the motor anyway!
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Old 12-07-2010, 12:34 PM   #3
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OK Gang so Andy noted in jest in another thread that they don't make Centramatics to fit a furnace blower. That got me to thinking.

I have noted elsewhere that I have put some sound absorbing foam around the air return area which has been effective in cutting the noise. At this point most of the noise is rumble transmitted through the frame combined with a little bit of air noise from the supply vents closest to the furnace (the two right by the door).

I have considered trying to use rubber vibration isolators to try to decouple the furnace from the trailer frame but that has the potential to be a huge project and require a fair amount of experimentation to get right. So instead....

I called a local place that does dynamic balancing. And they say that if I pull out the motor and blower wheel assembly and bring it to them, that they can balance it so that it won't vibrate. At all. That should take care of the rumble at its source.

They charge $160 for this service which is a lot but is cheaper than, say, replacing the whole thing with a two-stage furnace, or, realistically, the parts and labor cost for putting in vibration isolators.

They guy said they get a few automotive blowers in a year so they're used to doing them. The place I'm working with is an industrial machine shop and mostly works on process equipment and large HVAC systems.

So, I haven't pulled the furnace apart yet. Anyone have any opinions or experience on the wisdom of this?
You can balance the blade yourself.

Remove the motor and blade. Set it up in a vice, and apply 12 volts DC.

You should find some clips that are already on the blade. Remove them and start the balancing from the beginning.

You can also make some of the balancing clips from most any kind of metal.

Andy
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Old 12-07-2010, 01:54 PM   #4
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a small motor repair shop would be a better source IMO $160 sounds like a lot of overhead! You probably need new bearings in the motor anyway!
The furnace is less than one year old and I doubt if there's anything wrong with the bearings. I suspect that it just vibrates because they don't try especially hard to get them not to at the factory.

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You can balance the blade yourself.

Remove the motor and blade. Set it up in a vice, and apply 12 volts DC.

You should find some clips that are already on the blade. Remove them and start the balancing from the beginning.

You can also make some of the balancing clips from most any kind of metal.

Andy
That's a possibility that I considered but I'm not sure I'll be able to get the results I want from a trial and error method. I understand that the shop uses a strain gauge setup with some computer software that calculates the weights. Then it shines a laser on the proper locations for the weights on the blower wheel as it spins, much like the newer tire balancing machines.
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Old 12-07-2010, 04:39 PM   #5
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The furnace is less than one year old and I doubt if there's anything wrong with the bearings. I suspect that it just vibrates because they don't try especially hard to get them not to at the factory.



That's a possibility that I considered but I'm not sure I'll be able to get the results I want from a trial and error method. I understand that the shop uses a strain gauge setup with some computer software that calculates the weights. Then it shines a laser on the proper locations for the weights on the blower wheel as it spins, much like the newer tire balancing machines.
As I see it, you have 3 choices.

1. Trial and error.

2. Pay $160.00, plus you still have to R & R the furnace and then the motor and blade.

3. Wear earplugs and leave it alone.

Andy
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Old 12-08-2010, 12:02 AM   #6
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Duly noted. I suppose, once I have it out, I can see how much error is involved in the first few trials.

Option 3 is a non-starter. Loud heating systems are, for me, one of the defining shortcomings of hotels and motels. I have hot water heat in my stick house and it doesn't make any noise at all. I know I'll never achieve that with the Atwood but I think I can improve it.
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Old 12-08-2010, 12:03 AM   #7
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I was under the happy delusion that the motor and fan assembly could be pulled out through the outside access door without first removing the furnace from teh traylah.
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