Replaced My Jotul Rockland 550C fans

Soundchasm

Minister of Fire
Sep 27, 2011
1,297
Dayton, OH
www.soundchasm.com
Howdy All,

Installed a new 550 in Dec of 2011. Embarked on a colossal learning curve for many years after, eventually involving a blockoff plate and truly seasoned wood, among many other factors.

The chirping began years ago. Having no mechanical aptitude whatsoever, I endured it for half a decade as it got worse. Looking at replacement cost from Jotul, I simply balked. Unable to obtain adult supervision for a mechanical task, I kept waiting.

Finally decided to order replacement fans from Fireplace Blowers Online. I ordered the GFK21 replacement blowers, but one of the motors needs to be reverse mounted. Paid $116 for two blowers. They were helpful and answered email correspondence promptly. N/C for reverse mounting. Discount for two blowers.

Well, short story is that it's freakin' night and day difference. Getting that ungodly bearing chirp out of my life was like having a family curse lifted.

OK, now we get to the subjective. The old fans ran around 71 dB (C-weighted) at a foot, but it was the most annoying noise ever. The new fans are running at 68 dB at a foot (C-weighted), but the noise can be endured. It just sounds like a fan. Somewhat subtle, but still not inaudible.

Here is a very interesting observance. I had (still don't) no knowledge if polarity had any effect. I connected the short lead to the closest post and the longer lead to the further post. The new fan ran in the same direction as the old fan. That's good, I thought. Thought I'd try the left fan before I put it back in. OUTSIDE the stove, the new fan was nearly silent!! WTH?? HOWEVER, once I replaced the LHS fan, I realized most of the noise is coming from the fan being placed in a compartment, so to speak. So a bunch of the fan noise that drives me crazy is the result of being enclosed. Outside the stove the fan was very quiet. Volume increased 2-3X when mounted.

My stupid camera had a low battery, so the flash didn't work, and it was a low-light situation, so I have fuzzy photos. I used the wife's phone to record the noise, but haven't received the files from her yet. Will post when I receive. Here are some pics that ought to help somebody.

After a LOT of investigation, mirrors and flashlights, I discovered that the fans are held in place by two clips. Slide the fan forward, and push the heat-shield upward (with the fan), tilt the fan upwards, and work it out. BION, it comes out. Fascia can stay in place. Of course the grate comes off.

Here are the retaining clips.
DSCN1888.JPG

Here are the differences in orientation of the power leads, and the plate that needs to be re-used. Of course, the blower side points inside the stove.

DSCN1891.JPG DSCN1889.JPG DSCN1890.JPG

Here's a good representation of the differences between the original and replacement. The replacement seems to be missing a secondary heat shield. Note the difference in the orientation of the power leads. I found it quite helpful to label the connectors for main and right hand side. I had to bend the tab to get a 7mm socket in there to get the locknut loose.

DSCN1892.JPG

Finally, I ran into a surprise when pushing the LHS fan back in. Got the thing in there, couldn't hit the clips, but then seemed trapped. Realized the power leads of the new fan got stuck behind the heat shield. Bend the shield up and I'm back in business.

DSCN1899.JPG

Overall, I took my sweet time because I knew nothing, stove is upstairs, tools are downstairs, and it took me 1.5 hours. I could see this taking an experienced person 15 minutes per side. The difference is amazing, and I wish I'd done it the minute those fans became annoying. The LHS fan chirped nearly incessantly, but the RHS fan was making way too much noise compared to the replacement.

Hope this helps somebody.
Greg
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
78,703
South Puget Sound, WA
Good to hear there is a nice improvement. I don't tolerate noisy fans well and squeaky fans not at all. It must have been hell on your musicians ears.
 

Soundchasm

Minister of Fire
Sep 27, 2011
1,297
Dayton, OH
www.soundchasm.com
Good to hear there is a nice improvement. I don't tolerate noisy fans well and squeaky fans not at all. It must have been hell on your musicians ears.
For recording, mixing and playing, I've trained my ears to be ruthless. :) Every rattle, squeak and plosive gets noticed. For the first few years, it was intermittent, and I could affect it by changing the speed. This season it was relentless. I tried and tried, but could NOT train them to quit hearing it.

I was cleaning out the stove, popped off the grate (BION, sometimes it won't come off - something gets tweaked?), and saw access looked pretty straight-forward. And so began the debate whether I could do this or not. I had grownups lined up to assist, but they kept getting delayed. I was very lucky to succeed.

Still, the most remarkable part was how quiet the new fans were OUTSIDE of the stove. As soon as they were mounted, I got the whooshing sound of rushing air.

So the Jotul fans had an effective life of 5+ years. By way of contrast, there's nothing wrong on my '79 smoke dragon. In ten more years that'll be an order of magnitude, right?
 

jatoxico

Minister of Fire
Aug 8, 2011
4,067
Long Island NY
Good deal SC, sometimes you just gotta dive in. I think the fans are easily fouled on the 550 because there's no ash lip. I take extra care to keep them clean and have had the fans out a couple times to clean and regrease the bearings.

Unless you did already, don't toss the old fans. The bearings can be greased or replaced altogether pretty easy. In the meantime you're not dead in the water with your new ones up and running.
 
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Rearscreen

Minister of Fire
Dec 21, 2014
645
Vermont
Well, now that you've tackled that mechanical electrical project - it's time to order a tube amp kit from Weber!
 
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Soundchasm

Minister of Fire
Sep 27, 2011
1,297
Dayton, OH
www.soundchasm.com
Good deal SC, sometimes you just gotta dive in. I think the fans are easily fouled on the 550 because there's no ash lip. I take extra care to keep them clean and have had the fans out a couple times to clean and regrease the bearings.

Unless you did already, don't toss the old fans. The bearings can be greased or replaced altogether pretty easy. In the meantime you're not dead in the water with your new ones up and running.
High winds took out cable and internet yesterday. Will also post what happened to a neighbor's tree...

I've still got them. I thought they were all sealed. I'd love to try and get one apart and see what you're talking about. Even if I break the first one in the process I'll still have one left! Of course, there's no way to predict how long the replacements will last. I wrote the date on them so whoever has to figure it out next will have that info. ;-)
 

Soundchasm

Minister of Fire
Sep 27, 2011
1,297
Dayton, OH
www.soundchasm.com
Well, now that you've tackled that mechanical electrical project - it's time to order a tube amp kit from Weber!
HAH!! I haven't built a head yet. I did replace all the power filtering caps in a '64 Bassman. And I make lots of cables. There are so many great kits out there. For blackface fender work I use David Allen Amplification in Florence, KY. Unbelievable work! My '64 Bassman is anything but stock. Don't dare turn up over "3"...
 

Soundchasm

Minister of Fire
Sep 27, 2011
1,297
Dayton, OH
www.soundchasm.com
Here's what led to a very productive evening of practice. Looked like too much punk to go after in earnest. Will post in the wood forum.

DSCN1902.JPG
 

moresnow

Minister of Fire
Jan 13, 2015
912
Iowa
Here's what led to a very productive evening of practice. Looked like too much punk to go after in earnest. Will post in the wood forum.

View attachment 241413
If you have even a passing interest in tube style recording equipment check this out. Just a few miles from my house. My brother has been with them since the beginning. My knowledge of this stuff is minimal!

https://chandlerlimited.com/
 

Soundchasm

Minister of Fire
Sep 27, 2011
1,297
Dayton, OH
www.soundchasm.com
If you have even a passing interest in tube style recording equipment check this out. Just a few miles from my house. My brother has been with them since the beginning. My knowledge of this stuff is minimal!

https://chandlerlimited.com/
YES! I've known about Chandler for years, but never seen/heard any in person. I used to read every Recording and every Mix magazine cover to cover for years. The ads were pure audio porn. Then I'd go read about all the companies. Such brilliant work being done these days. I assure you those are serious pieces with serious price tags. ;-) Quality is job one.

"I traded the Bluesmobile for a microphone".
"Oh, I can see that...".
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
78,703
South Puget Sound, WA
YES! I've known about Chandler for years, but never seen/heard any in person. I used to read every Recording and every Mix magazine cover to cover for years. The ads were pure audio porn. Then I'd go read about all the companies. Such brilliant work being done these days. I assure you those are serious pieces with serious price tags. ;-) Quality is job one.

"I traded the Bluesmobile for a microphone".
"Oh, I can see that...".
A conversation best had in the Inglenook.
 

Soundchasm

Minister of Fire
Sep 27, 2011
1,297
Dayton, OH
www.soundchasm.com
Good deal SC, sometimes you just gotta dive in. I think the fans are easily fouled on the 550 because there's no ash lip. I take extra care to keep them clean and have had the fans out a couple times to clean and regrease the bearings.

Unless you did already, don't toss the old fans. The bearings can be greased or replaced altogether pretty easy. In the meantime you're not dead in the water with your new ones up and running.
JT, thanks for the head's up on repair/maintenance. Any hints on how to get inside? 8 lb maul? ;-)
 

Edmcfly

New Member
Mar 12, 2019
1
Floral Park
20190315_162824.jpg 20190315_162827.jpg

I ordered the blowers from blowers. Com. They are amazing. I had them both switched out in 30 minutes

Tools need a multi screwdriver and a pair of needle nose pliers.

Only different thing is the stab from the motor are up But I do not think it will be a big deal. Had to bend one plate over motor a little.

Good luck Hope my extra pics helps
 
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Soundchasm

Minister of Fire
Sep 27, 2011
1,297
Dayton, OH
www.soundchasm.com
I ordered the blowers from blowers. Com. They are amazing. I had them both switched out in 30 minutes

Tools need a multi screwdriver and a pair of needle nose pliers.


Only different thing is the stab from the motor are up But I do not think it will be a big deal

Had to bend one plate over motor a little

Good luck Hope my extra pics helps

I reckon our experience will ultimately help EVERY single Rockland owner. The only question is "when"? Jotul ought to include a gift certificate to the replacement operation with each stove sold...
 
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