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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Millsboro, DE
    Posts
    100

    ECM vs. Drywall Dust

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    I just looked at six geothermal heat pumps being used for temporary heating that've been circulating drywall dust for a few weeks now, wondering if I should be concerned about their ECM's. The clear area on the blower is where I swiped my hand.

    Many thanks for any info provided.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Dry as a bone Tucson
    Posts
    4,398
    Looks pretty clean to me..................usually there are white trails on the edge of the blower housing. I would take apart the motor from the blower and take it to a car wash and wash off the leading edges of the blower. Then take some nitro and blow out the ecm. Also wash down the coil and flush out the drain lines. I will warn my re-modelers that there are hefty clean out charges if they run the equipment while sanding or spraying.
    Almost looks like you cleaned it already..................
    Some Talk, Some Do
    "keeping condensing pressures low and evaporator pressures high"
    "Some customers are more interested in comfort than energy savings"
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Central IL
    Posts
    103
    Dry wallers need to find a cheap air box to put in the area they are working in and keep all dust contained. Gymsum is really hard on electric motors. Keeep the filters changed daily and bill the contractor.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Tidewater Virginia
    Posts
    139
    Most ECMs used in blower apps use pretty well sealed electronics and I wouldn't expect any problems unless the dust gets satuarated with water at which point your in trouble anyway. If you are really worried about it, check the back end of the motor for factory warranty seals or paint tags on the screws which hold the silver end bell on the black motor housing (do NOT break these seals if you want to keep your warranty!), but if there is not seals, turn off the power for at least 20 minutes (to allow the motor drive capacitors to discharge - failure to follow may KILL YOU), remove the power and control lead plugs and the bell screws, separate the bell without removing the inside wiring (can be hard to put back) and blow out with canned air. I'd just leave it though and start changing the filters very regularly... The motor bearings will take the brunt if the seals arn't perfect but that is the case for an ECM or non-ECM motor in a dirty air path.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Anderson, South Carolina, United States
    Posts
    7,445
    i went on a trouble call last spring on a unit we had just installed for a guy, idiot was sanding the hardwood floors through the house and the filters got dirty so he took them out... He had just paid us $k for a new duct system and heat pump! Took me a couple hours to clean the evap and blower, it will never be as clean as it was though.
    Last edited by beenthere; 03-17-2013 at 08:05 AM. Reason: Price
    Heating/Cooling Services Inc.
    www.andersonhvacservice.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    69
    Good thing about electronic controls are no moving parts to worry about, but you may want to pull them out and clean that dust out of the wheels

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Millsboro, DE
    Posts
    100
    Thanks, people!

    Hard to see in the image, but the EZ Trap is installed without the trap. I guess it's now just an "EZ".

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    steeler nation
    Posts
    2,083
    one of my biggest pet peeves in this biz is the insistance to provide temporary heat with new equipment. all the money and time spent to buy, build and install high efficiency equipment goes down the drain. by the time the owner takes over the building the units have 10 years worth of dirt on them. always put temporary filter media on the returns when starting equipment that will be run during construction. make the general contractor pay for the filter media and change it regularly during the project.
    IV IV IX

    use your head for something other than a hat rack.......Gerry

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Millsboro, DE
    Posts
    100
    You're absolutely right. I see it on nearly every job, to include those by one home builder who proudly boasts their homes exceed EPA's Indoor AirPlus program, and provide MERV 13 filtration while delivering homes whose supply ducts contain drywall dust and other construction debris (think about it).

    I've been trying to get the ducts cleaned (they were left open at rough-in) since November. Did they clean them? NO. Instead, they jam pleated filters into the return openings and start using the units for temporary heating, pulling the accumulated drywall dust into the units. And it gets better: One unit is cooling only, has no heater and the geo field is not yet operational (IE: There's no way to get heat out of this one). Do you think it's been run, pulling in its share of drywall dust? Oh yes!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Tulsa, OK
    Posts
    990
    Pull the Blower and paper/tape off all return and supply openings and require sub contractors to provide there own comfort. Only ready the system at turn key point just before move in date. Equipment and ducts are brand new! Hey, what a concept!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Tidewater Virginia
    Posts
    139
    In fact, this says a lot about how our equipment and our industry is viewed by other contractors and our customers... Out of sight and out of mind is the phrase I think of most often. I'm sure every tech in the pro section of this site has had customers tell them that the thermostat must be broken or that their system is a Honeywell brand because that is the only part they see! If we can gain 4 more square feet of "usable" floor space, then putting the AHU in an inaccessable space is perfectly acceptable, not even thinking about the cost to service it over the life of the building.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    southeast idaho
    Posts
    27
    we charge an extra 450 to clean after the construction and we cover all vent opening until turn on they are still dirty before we clean and dry wallers never listen when you tell them not to run it somtimes i think i'll leave the furnace out until after paint

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    north georiga
    Posts
    635
    Quote Originally Posted by JBM1000 View Post
    Pull the Blower and paper/tape off all return and supply openings and require sub contractors to provide there own comfort. Only ready the system at turn key point just before move in date. Equipment and ducts are brand new! Hey, what a concept!
    and then the general contractor holds up your money just for spite

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