Venmar EA1500 bearings in need of replacement?
I have a small air exchanger at home (Venmar model EA1500) and recently, the unit has started to make some intermittent strange noise, which sounds a bit like a steel on steel noise or something similar. Needless to say, I think the bearings will need replacement sooner than later. The building inspector who inspected the property before I purchase back in February 2012 indicated in his report that the bearings were going and would need replacement within 1 year... I think he was right on.
I have contacted Venmar (the manufacturer) and they told me that I would need to replace the entire motor assembly as the bearings were contained within the motor assembly. They gave me a service contact in my area and I called them. The guy told me that I couldnt replace only the motor as the whole fan-motor-bearings were ONE assembly (apparently typical of Venmar's products). A shame because the assembly costs $257 and the entire machine cost brand new $499....
The service guy also indicated that I could send the motor assembly to a motor repair shop and they could replace the bearings for a low cost. I am considering to do this. Has anyone experienced such problem before? Cant imagine no-one has...
On a different but surely not unrelated topic, the previous owner was a heavy smoker. The air coming out of the exchanger smells like cigarette... The unit is probably all coated with nicotine and probably pretty dusty (you can imagine the mud inside... yuck!!)
Can you clean this???
Basically, would you recommend to replace the whole unit or service it? Except the cigarette smell and noisy bearings, everything else seems fine to me so I'd like to seervice it for low cost and keep using it...
Any opinion are welcome!
I don't know about the motor but a friend of mine bought a house with one of these that would,t move air. We found filters that had never been changed or cleaned and inside we found a white plastic square tube that was like corrigated cardboard, it was totally plugged with dust and cleaned up pritty good with a hose, we also found that his had a safety recall on it.
Really I dont know what to think... I brought the unit down to the floor, ran it with no ducts to be able to hear any high pitch hissing noise, I heard nothing unusual... That of course doesnt mean the bearings are fine but Im rather frustrated to have to spend $250+ on a $500 machine because the manufacturer decided to trick the consumer in replacing almost everything but the outside casing.... Seems these pieces of junk are like cars... You want to replace a $10 part but you end up replacing a $750 assembly.
Im really not into that. Plus I was impressed by how clean the inside of the unit is.. After all those years with a smoker like the previous owner, I was expecting nicotine build up everywhere and lots of lint/dust/crap.. As far as I can tell from the inlet/outler pipes, nothing like that. See pics. The filter must be really efficient...
On top of that, I am not confident the dis-assembly will go that easy. There are about 12 screws on each sides, plus almost as much on both ends... Like the exterior panels were holding internal components.. Im afraid the thing goes like a collapsing castle and I end up with an unbalanced motor/fan assy and need a shop to rebuild it which will cost probably as much as a new one..
They really make these things like disposable pens... Any way you want to look at it, you probably end up replacing the whole thing..
If someone would care to bring their input on their air exchanger experiences, please do so, but unless that happens, nothing here will happen. Ill deal with the failure when it happens.
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