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I have a Ruud model number: uamb 042jaz Apparently the fan motor (the one on top of the unit below the grille) is failing. It has some oil around the bottom edge of the motor. I had someone call out to estimate the repair and was told it would be more than $1,000.00. That seems high for such a simple part/labor. Should I replace it myself? Is it a difficult thing to swap out. I am technically minded, so that part does not bother me. Thanks, D.

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  • david75424
    david75424 Aug 25, 2010

    Thank you. That is immensely helpful.


    Can I rent the "puller" you described for use extracting the fan blades, or is that a specialty tool that is only available to the trade?



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Hello David,

$1000 does seem quite steep for changing the blower motor. The hardest part likely will be finding a replacement motor. There may be a reason why the high price tag. Look in the phone book, for electric motor repair / service / rebuild etc. They should be able to replace the bearings if need be.

On a different note, why do you say it is failing? Is it making loud noises, not turning very fast, not turning at all, tripping breakers, throwing GFI, etc?

A lot of motors will have sealed bearings, and should not leak unless they fail. Some motors will have bearings that need to be oiled occasionally. It is normal for these motors to leak a bit (small amount). Look closely at the motor that you have. You are looking for a small hole or oil cup that is filled with machine or bearing oil.

Posted on Aug 25, 2010

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The only problem that I have is the price that was given to you. It makes me think they have found something else wrong with your unit, but then again, some people in this business are shady sometimes. Anyways, yes, you can replace the motor yourself and it isn't that difficult. One tool that you will need is a fan blade puller, but there are a lot of pulley pullers and such that will work and you can rent them most of the time through a auto parts store, just be careful not to bend the fan blades as the can become unbalanced and cause a lot of problems. All you do is-
1. Pull the disconnect or cut all power to the unit.
2. Unscrew and gently pull the top of the condenser off. It will not come off all the way at first since the fan motor wires will still be connected. Usually they have enough play to move the top around to set it out of your way.
3. Trace back the motor wires that go into the electrical panel. Remember where each wire is connected for re-installment.Disconnect all wires and pull the top completely off the unit.
4. The capacitor inside the electrical panel will need to be replaced also. It will be a round or oval object that 1 or 2 of your fan motor wires went to. Capacitors hold electrical charge so discharge it by grounding all terminals before handling.
5. Unbolt the motor from the frame.
6. Loosen the screw that tightens the fan blade to the shaft of the motor and use a puller to remove the fan blade. Sometimes it's necessary to use some sand paper and WD-40 or other lubricant on the shaft.
7. Once everything is disassembled, take the motor with you to a local A/C supply store to get an exact replacement. The new motor will have the right size capacitor listed on the label, your old one may differ. Just ask them for the capacitor as well.
8. Now that you have everything back home, installing it is reversed from removal. Be sure that when the system comes back on, the fan is rotating in the right direction. Most new motors are reversible. The air should be blowing up towards you. The motor can still cost $90.00 and more, but not anywhere near a grand. The capacitors usually run for around $10.00. Hope this helps and good luck!

Posted on Aug 25, 2010

  • Brandon Berry
    Brandon Berry Aug 26, 2010

    I'm not 100% sure, but I have seen the "pulley pullers" for automotive used before. I guess it depends on the auto parts store if they will loan you one. I'm glad that I could help and feel free to ask more if needed.

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