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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    14

    Rheem - Need to replace my third X13 motor?

    I turned on my system for the first time this season on Thursday 5/30. It ran fine (normal) until last night.
    I noticed the condenser would kick on but it would take 2 or 3 minutes for the fan to come on at full speed. This morning it will not come up to full speed at all, it just runs at a constant, very slow speed.
    I went up in the attic and did not hear any unusual noises (scraping, clunking). Checked the coils and they are not iced up.
    It is running on X13 motor #3 right now. I believe I have a one year warranty on this replacement motor, expires June 18.

    I just replaced the X13 motor last summer. Motor #2 just stopped working altogether. I had my HVAC guys get me the OEM replacement and I replaced it myself. I was careful to re-wire it exactly, position the belly band, do the drip loop, and position the connectors between 8 and 4. I ran like a champ for the rest of the season.

    Motor #1 died the same as 2 in 2008. This was replaced by my HVAC guys on warranty.

    My questions:
    • Is there something seriously wrong with this unit? I mean 3 motors in 5 years? Come on!
    • Could it be a bad circuit board, wrong wiring? Or are the X13 motors just a problem?
    • My HVAC guy is coming out Monday to check it. Is there anything I can ask him to look at specifically?
    • I shut the system down but it is freakin hot out. Should I just leave it off until it can be checked? Or let it run on that slow speed?
    • Is there a way to bypass the controls (temporarily) and get the fan to just run full speed until Monday? Or will that void the warranty or just be stupid?
    • These motor always die in the first few weeks after startup. Air handler is in the attic. Could this be condensation killing them?



    Any help or information for me or my installer would be greatly appreciated.

    Rheem RHLA-HM4821JA Air Handler - installed on it's side, return on L, blower cage on R. The squirrel cage is above the motor.
    Rheem RAPC-042JAZ Condensing Unit - 25 foot lines.
    Installed: Oct 2006

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    2,117
    Ask him to check the total external static pressure.
    And don't run it with the fan in that condition.
    "Hey Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort." And he says, "there won't be any money, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness." So I got that goin' for me, which is nice. - Carl Spackler

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Houston,Tx.
    Posts
    16,121
    Quote Originally Posted by 2old2rock View Post
    Ask him to check the total external static pressure. And don't run it with the fan in that condition.
    Quote Originally Posted by BBuilder View Post

    I noticed the condenser would kick on but it would take 2 or 3 minutes for the fan to come on at full speed. This morning it will not come up to full speed at all, it just runs at a constant, very slow speed.
    I think he was talking about the condenser motor.
    __________________________________________________ _______________________
    “Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards". - Vernon Law

    "Never let success go to your head, and never let failure go to your heart". - Unknown

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Float'N Vally, MS
    Posts
    1,870
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Bill View Post
    I think he was talking about the condenser motor.
    He stated X-13, I ass u me it is the inside motor?
    Your HVAC guy need to take a hard look.
    Checking the static is a good idea, thank heaven for warranty....
    Life is too short, Behappy!
    TFMM

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    14
    Thanks guys. I'll do that.
    Yes, this is the motor for the squirrel cage inside the air handler. I meant I could hear the condenser come on but not the air handler fan.

    The X13 is called "the poor man's ECM". Anyone know if I can get a "rich man's" real ECM for this rig? The motor needs to be pre-programmed for the unit.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    1,398
    Not likely. Your dealer needs to figure out what is killing these motors. Most of the time it is high ESP
    Climate Control Solutions for your Home or Office

    Serving Northeast Philadelphia and Surrounding Areas

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    West Monroe, LA
    Posts
    1,537
    Ok let's try this. What's your ductwork like? Metal or flex? Trunk line or spider system? What the return air size & what type of filter do u run in the system!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    central ohio
    Posts
    66
    This is the Ask Our Pro's forum, and only Pro members that have been vetted by the AOPC may post advise, commentary, or ask questions of the OP here.

    You can find the rules for posting and qualifications here.

    Further infractions may result in loss of posting privileges.
    Last edited by beenthere; 06-02-2013 at 08:38 AM. Reason: Non Pro * Member

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Houston,Tx.
    Posts
    16,121
    Quote Originally Posted by pfeifer View Post
    it sounds to me like it may not be the motors that r actually the problem ya they r probally damaged now but these motors are controlled by a module that mod tells them the rpm to run at for the proper temp or pressure i would say that the cause of the failure is in the motor control does it have a low ambient kit this can also damage these style motors
    The X-13 is a fixed speed motor with different torque taps, but you usually don't have to mess with them, the factory sets them up according to the tonnage of the AH. low ambient kit? it's an indoor motor. Rheem did have some issues with water off the coils in the AH, I think they addressed it with a different motor, I bet ye old bald one might know.
    __________________________________________________ _______________________
    “Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards". - Vernon Law

    "Never let success go to your head, and never let failure go to your heart". - Unknown

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    68,759
    peifer, this is the Ask Our Pro's forum, and only Pro members that have been vetted by the AOPC may post advise, commentary or ask questions of the OP here.

    You can find the rules for posting and qualifications here.

    Your post has been deleted.
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  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    14
    Quote Originally Posted by duckman06 View Post
    Ok let's try this. What's your ductwork like? Metal or flex? Trunk line or spider system? What the return air size & what type of filter do u run in the system!
    This is a retrofit system (installed years after the house was built)

    The supply trunk is hard duct (rectangular metal). The AH is installed at one end of the attic (closest to the condenser) and the supply trunk runs the length of the house along the floor of the attic. It steps down in size as feeds are taken off. The AH is installed perpendicular to the trunk line.

    The branch lines are flex duct. Different sizes for different ceiling registers.

    The return is a single 26 x 26 in the ceiling. The return air duct is flex duct, 20", and it snakes back to the AH over the supply trunk for about 20 feet. It does get pinched a bit where it squeezes between the AH and the rafters at one point.

    Filter is a Trion Air Bear, with Merv 8 filter (20x25x5). 255649-102

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    3,360
    I'm assuming you've been warrantying the motor from the Air Handlers warranty. If that's the case then you wouldn't have a year warranty on the motor but whatever the original warranty is on the air Handler, so you go by the original install date of the unit to find out when the motor warranty expires. Either way installing it yourself could lead to more problems than the money you're trying to save & can void your warranty if the manufacturer finds out.
    Gary
    -----------
    http://www.oceanhvac.com
    An engineer designs what he would never work on.
    A technician works on what he would never design.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    14
    I understand. But I have a long term relationship with my HVAC sub and this is my own house (figures!). Their service staff was flat out and they welcomed the help. And they know me and know I am only half a nit-wit, so everyone was comfortable with the arrangement. It really isn't much more difficult than replacing the starter in my truck.

    I will soon find out about the warranty part, but when I picked up the replacement at the supply house I asked to confirm what I was told and they said yep: 1 year warranty on the new motor.

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