1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

How to service my Napoleon 1401 blower motor?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by theodorefalcone, Feb 2, 2011.

  1. theodorefalcone

    theodorefalcone Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2009
    Messages:
    6
    Loc:
    Downstate NY
    Hi. My Napoleon 1401 wasn't blowing air as it used to (5years old now), so I dissembled the front panels and removed both blower assemblies. Each blower was difficult to turn, as if the motor workings were gunked up. So I vacuumed and wiped all accessible areas around blower and motor. Still hard to turn. So I separated the motors from the blowers, and tried spraying WD40. That got them to turn really smooth. It looked like (can't be sure) there are little tiny bearings inside with some white stuff (white grease??). Not sure. I added some 3-in-1 oil where I could. Reassembled all. Worked great for about a week. But now getting noticeably weak again. I asked my (more mechanically oriented) neighbor, who suggested WD-40 was the wrong way to go as it would cause premature wearout. Did I do something wrong? More importantly, what's the proper way to service these motors/blowers? Expensive to order a complete replacement of blower/motor assembly if perhaps only needs some maintenance. All advice appreciated!

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    46,923
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Are there oil ports on these motors or are they sealed bearing? Can you post a couple close up pictures of the motors? It may take a little careful drilling of oil ports to the bearing felts if they aren't there already.
  3. theodorefalcone

    theodorefalcone Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2009
    Messages:
    6
    Loc:
    Downstate NY
    Hi. Here's more info:
    Opened stove panel and found one fan had stopped turning. Turning by hand was difficult.
    I removed from stove and dissassembled.
    I arbitrarily labeled motor so I can discuss: one part "top", and other part "bottom."
    Dissasembled per photos attached.
    When top and bottom parts are viewed from "interior", looks like they are packed with (maybe) white grease?
    Bottom had lots of dry black crud which I shook out, and then cleaned out with Qtip. It is the bottom part that had most resistance to turning, even after cleaning.
    So I used "turbine" oil (which says it's specially made for fans) and oiled top and bottom interiors, and reassembled. Turns much smoother.
    It's running fine now, but...
    What was that white grease stuff?
    What was that black stuff??
    And how long should I expect this to last before next dissassembly? (we run stove almost constantly during last 2months)
    And did I perform appropriate maintenance, or should I do something differently?
    Thanks!

    -Theodore.

    Attached Files:

    • 1.jpg
      1.jpg
      File size:
      76.3 KB
      Views:
      328
    • 3.jpg
      3.jpg
      File size:
      85.9 KB
      Views:
      311
    • 6.jpg
      6.jpg
      File size:
      79.1 KB
      Views:
      308
    • 7.jpg
      7.jpg
      File size:
      38.3 KB
      Views:
      316
    • 8.jpg
      8.jpg
      File size:
      38.3 KB
      Views:
      312
    • 9.jpg
      9.jpg
      File size:
      53 KB
      Views:
      309
    • 10.jpg
      10.jpg
      File size:
      82.9 KB
      Views:
      304
    • 11.jpg
      11.jpg
      File size:
      53.6 KB
      Views:
      305
  4. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    46,923
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    The bronze bushings on both sides of the armature are the bearings. There is usually a felt packing around them that holds oil for lubrication. I think this is the white "grease" you are seeing. Take a toothpick and poke at it. Does it seem fibrous? This felt is lubricated then sealed at the factory and works until they dry out. You can make them serviceable by carefully drilling an 1/8" oil hole to the felt so that lubricant can be regularly added to the felt without pulling apart the motor. Be sure to clean up any metal filings first. Then use around 10-15 drops of light oil like 3in1 per bearing once a year. Don't use something like WD40 which is not a lubricant. Or you can carefully soak the felt while it is apart, then put together and let it go another 5 years.

    Attached Files:

    • 8.jpg
      8.jpg
      File size:
      18.6 KB
      Views:
      275
  5. EJL923

    EJL923 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Messages:
    450
    Loc:
    Western Mass
    Begreen's right, WD-40 is not a lubricant. It is however great at removing grease and crud. I always thought bronze bushings relied on dry lubrication, meaning either self lubricated (impregnated) or graphite etc. in this type of setup, you defintately want this feature as ash and dust are present. Any type of liquid or grease added into the bearing/shaft contact area will attract the ash and dust and accelerate wear. If you think you see some black crud now, keeping adding wd-40 or oil and see what happens then. I bet theres lots of black crud and an oval bearing. I am not familar with the type of bearing design shown above, but it looks like the porous bushing slowly absorbs grease into the bearing, if it is indeed grease. That would allow just a thin film of lubricant which will not attract as much dirt. My Jotul utilizes similar bearings so i will be looking into it in the near future, i think you just jump started me so i am ready.
  6. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    46,923
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    There are lots of types of sleeve bearings and some are graphite impregnated, but I have found the porous bronze oil impregnated the most common. That's why I said take a poke at that white stuff. If it is fibrous, it most likely is white felt.
  7. theodorefalcone

    theodorefalcone Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2009
    Messages:
    6
    Loc:
    Downstate NY
    I used a toothpick to poke at it. Not fibrous, but creamy, which is why I thought white grease.
    Unfortunately I'm not too knowledgeable on what to do next with it/how to maintain, other than cleaning and coating generously in oil and reassembling.
    Should I go buy some white grease and pack it in??
  8. Jimbob

    Jimbob New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2007
    Messages:
    1,019
    Loc:
    The coldest major city in Canada
    Either some white grease, or a small amount of 80w90 gear oil. The gear oil has some real staying power, and will flow into the bearing, where it's needed.A mechanic friend might even give you a tiny bit in a bottle.
    The gear oil has a bit of a smell, but for the small amount you'll be using, you won't really notice it.
  9. EJL923

    EJL923 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Messages:
    450
    Loc:
    Western Mass
    Buy a new one, they are 5yrs old. Did a little part searching, look around for PT# 55416-27250 EBM PAPST. Found a drawing in german with that pt# after searching for the number on your motor. Compare prices to napolean.
  10. tomc585

    tomc585 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2012
    Messages:
    27
    Loc:
    Long Island, New York
    I'd hate to wait till the last minute so I'm wondering if anyone has found a quality replacement for the 1400 series blower fans. I ran all last year with just the one fan. I just got tired of taking out the other to re-oil it, Its fine until I turn off the blower then that one wont restart unless I give it a push (sometimes). The blowers are about 5 yrs old. I avoid hot temps without them running. Saw some adaptable ($50ish) ones on ebay but......
  11. KaptJaq

    KaptJaq Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2011
    Messages:
    706
    Loc:
    Long Island, NY
    The fans need to be cleaned more than once every 5 years. All the dust on the shaft and fan blades slows the motor, stresses the bearings, and inhibits air flow. Dust packed against the bearings will also absorb the lubricant intended for the bearings. About once a month I open the front cover and, with a narrow vacuum tube, suck out all the dust in the hamster cages and on the bearings. I can see the shaft without removing the motor so I put a drop of silicon based lubricant on the shaft right next to the bearings. The whole process takes about 15 minutes and insures an efficient, quiet fan. At the end of the season I give the fan a good cleaning as part of my summer maintenance.

    KaptJaq
  12. tomc585

    tomc585 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2012
    Messages:
    27
    Loc:
    Long Island, New York
    I have been cleaning them once a month for the last 3 years that I have had it, previous owner never touch them.
  13. tomc585

    tomc585 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2012
    Messages:
    27
    Loc:
    Long Island, New York
    Blower #2 finally quit and without any warning. Disassembled both and reloaded them with high temp white grease. From what I've found its rated for 300f, not my idea of high temp. I'll keep checking the bearing housing temps to see how high they go. So far they haven't exceeded 130f at a medium burn.

Share This Page