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blower motor fried in middle of a winter storm

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by Neibe, Dec 24, 2007.

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  1. Neibe

    Neibe New Member

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    Can I use our wood furnace like a wood stove? What about over firing the furnace? When I get a new motor can someone tell me how to wire it in with the thermostat on the plenum. Basically I have a white and a black on the power supply and a white and black from the thermostat and a red and black on the motor.

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  2. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Welcome to the Boiler Room, Neibe. Yes, you can run a furnace pretty much like a wood stove. That's basically what it is.

    I'll leave your wiring question to someone who is more comfortable with wiring than I am, but it sounds like a piece of cake. Good luck.
  3. Nofossil

    Nofossil Moderator Emeritus

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    I assume this is a hot air furnace that you're talking about. If you want to burn it without the blower, I'd suggest at least removing the blower and setting up some kind of large fan to keep air moving around it. I'd be afraid that it would overheat otherwise - with the shroud around it, it can't get rid of heat easily. I'd also watch it carefully.

    These are all guesses on my part, as it's been years since I had a wood furnace.
  4. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Sorry, it's not my best time of the day. Now I see what you are asking. I thought the question was: does a wood-fired furnace work like a wood stove. It does, except for the blower, which is a pretty important element.

    Having tried to run a wood-fired furnace without the benefit of a blower, I'd advise against it. Most say that if you loosen the shroud (side panel), that air will convect naturally, but all I ever managed to do during power outages with mine was overfire the furnace. If you must, make very small fires and keep an eye on it.

    You should be able to get your hands on a replacement blower or motor today, though. I bet it you check with a local electrical supply house, they'll have just what you're looking for.
  5. Bartman

    Bartman Member

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    If you have a Grainger near you, that would be the best bet to get a motor. If you live in a more rural area you may not have an electric motor shop near you. A Fleet Farm, or Tractor Supply store may have a similar motor for you. Do you have a tag on the motor with brand, model, RPM, and horsepower rating on it? Can you post a picture? Wiring your motor in is easy. Since your motor has only 2 wires, (color doesn't matter), it's only a single speed. The supply wires which are white and black is 120V, the white being the neutral wire will be connected directly to the motor, to any lead, your new motor may have different color leads than your old one, on a motor there isn't a "neutral" lead, polarity doesn't matter, (unless it's DC). The black supply lead goes to either wire on the thermostat, doesn't really matter here either. The other lead off the thermostat goes to the remaining lead on the motor. Never connect a line neutral wire to a switch/thermostat, it must always be connected directly to the load/motor.
  6. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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    Unless it's a shaded pole motor then it IS a variable speed motor with only 2 wires...
  7. Bartman

    Bartman Member

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    Any motor with 2 leads is a single speed with a "fixed" power supply. Any motor is variable speed with the right controller. A furnace fan application will have either a single speed fan or a multi-speed fan, (3 or 4 wires), in this case it's probably a PSC.
  8. Neibe

    Neibe New Member

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    Thank you I took the motor in and it worked perfectly turns out it was the plug in the house. Boy do I feel stupid should have checked it out closer.
  9. Bartman

    Bartman Member

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    Trust me, the older we get, the more we do stupid things, I'm a pro at it now..... :red:
  10. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Good to hear that this had a simple fix.

    Just to reiterate Eric's warning. Normally it is NOT ok to run the wood furnace without a blower. The reason is that the plenum and ductwork clearances allowed are with the expectation that the safety systems on the primary furnace will stop the furnace if the temps in the duct get too high. The wood furnace may not have these safety systems and it's a lot harder to stop a hot wood fire dead in its tracks the way an oil or gas burner can be stopped. Without a high limit control and no blower, duct temps can get way over safety ratings. If the ductwork is close to wood, pyrolysis can take place and wood can combust.
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