Vapor fire 100 blower turns on but hums

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mainer10

Member
Dec 11, 2011
23
Midcoast Maine
New Vapor fire is in with power hooked up and computer turns on.

I did a test run the other day and once the unit heated up and called for the fan it would turn on, but move a small amount stop and only hum. Spoke with Dale and he was convinced the blower was no good. So they sent me a new blower, but this new one is no good as the cage will not even turn in the new one.

I am looking for any info on how to troubleshoot this? Is my best option to get an electrician and let them troubleshoot individual pieces?

I had to take out my entire old heating system to get this one in so I am trying to get this taken before we turn cold. Any assistance would appreciated!
 

JRHAWK9

Minister of Fire
Jan 8, 2014
1,948
Wisconsin Dells, WI
Check for any clearance issues.
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
7,773
NE Ohio
Check for clearance issues as mentioned, also double check the wiring...might even unhook the wiring and wire it up direct to an extension cord, see if it will run then...maybe even try the different speed taps, see if that makes any difference.
Does the blower wheel spin freely by hand?
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
7,773
NE Ohio
The blower wheel should be centered up in the housing...if its not then the setscrew (usually a square head bolt) can be loosened up and the whole wheel slid on the motor shaft, then lock it back down. (doesn't need to be centered perfectly)
If the setscrew was not made tight enough and the blower was on its side for part of the trip there then the blower wheel could have easily moved on the shaft and be rubbing one side of the blower housing....when the blower starts up its normally on a low speed, so not a ton of breakaway power to get things moving if its rubbing.
 
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brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
7,773
NE Ohio
I assume that both blowers had their own capacitor mounted on them...and the first one did not have to be used on the second one (I'm pretty sure those blower assembly's come with them) if not and its the same cap, then it could be bad...a bad cap would make it hum and not spin...but if you spin it by hand when its humming then it should take off, even with a bad cap...just keep your digits out of harms way!
A bad cap can be replaced easily and sourced locally...any HVAC shop or motor shop should have one...$20 maybe?
 

mainer10

Member
Dec 11, 2011
23
Midcoast Maine
Yeah, I have plenty of clearance.

The original fan turns by hand, but the replacement is completely seized and way off center. I was not even able to center the new one.

I took the capacitor off and switched both out and that did not fix the problem either.

I have unattached and reattached the wiring three times and had it doubled checked this time by my brother.

How exactly can I check the blower without getting the stove up and running? By my estimation it is the blower like Dale originally assumed. The 24 volt relay or the low heat switch. But with power going to the fan, I think the switch is out. Once it got up to temperature it called for it to initiate the blower started to turn stop and just buzzed.
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
7,773
NE Ohio
Just jump out the low limit switch...that should power it up (that's the one they tell you to mount up high)
(Switch with the black and yellow wires)
 
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brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
7,773
NE Ohio
If you look on their website, they have a nice full color wiring diagram...maybe make it a lil easier to figure out...
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
7,773
NE Ohio

mainer10

Member
Dec 11, 2011
23
Midcoast Maine
Ok great now I can jump the fan without getting the stove going thank you!
Given Dale’s immediate assessment that it is the blower, I am inclined to trust his judgment. I just wanted to be proactive and rule out other potentials and not get in this back and fourth with parts. Especially in light of the replacement being no good. I cannot get an electrician to the end of the week maybe even later so I guess I will trust Dale’s assessment. Just starting to get worried given our temperatures are trending downward again.
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
7,773
NE Ohio
So does the replacement look smashed? I don't see how it can not be made to turn if its not.
I find it hard to believe that neither one can be made to work...did you try hooking up the blower direct to an extension cord? You could do that at the junction box on the lower rear of the furnace/side of blower box, or just pop the top off and pull the whole blower assembly out.
White is the neutral, you'll always use that one no matter which speed you choose. Red is low, blue is med-lo, yellow is med-hi, black is for hi, green is chassis ground. The brown and brown/white wires are to the cap. If you are testing using an extension cord, the wire polarity is as such, the smaller slot is hot, the wider (taller) blade is the neutral, the round is ground...I guess that is assuming the outlet you are plugged into is wired right...
Dale is knowledgeable about these things, but even he will tell you he isn't the most technical person in the world...
 
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brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
7,773
NE Ohio
There are a ton of videos online for troubleshooting PSC blowers (which is what the VF has on it) the only difference is that most of them will be showing controls on a gas furnace, but the blowers are all the same...you just need to provide power and neutral to the motor to power it up. I'm sure there are some that show how to change the motor/swap/adjust the blower wheel too...other than that its just a metal housing.
This guy has a decent video on the subject...
 

mainer10

Member
Dec 11, 2011
23
Midcoast Maine
A
So does the replacement look smashed? I don't see how it can not be made to turn if its not.
I find it hard to believe that neither one can be made to work...did you try hooking up the blower direct to an extension cord? You could do that at the junction box on the lower rear of the furnace/side of blower box, or just pop the top off and pull the whole blower assembly out.
White is the neutral, you'll always use that one no matter which speed you choose. Red is low, blue is med-lo, yellow is med-hi, black is for hi, green is chassis ground. The brown and brown/white wires are to the cap. If you are testing using an extension cord, the wire polarity is as such, the smaller slot is hot, the wider (taller) blade is the neutral, the round is ground...I guess that is assuming the outlet you are plugged into is wired right...
Dale is knowledgeable about these things, but even he will tell you he isn't the most technical person in the world...
The replacement cage is grinding inside the housing and I cannot physically move it more then a slight turn. It is absolutely no good at all. Even tried to center it, but I cannot get it to center it to move at all. My honest opinion based on the scratches on the housing this was a return motor accidentally sent to me.
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
7,773
NE Ohio
This is the video I took on the fire up of the motor.
View attachment 302711
What's that loud hum? Sounds too loud to be the motor? You don't think the second one just has shipping damage? (on the way to you)
What happens when you do this same test on the original blower?
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
7,773
NE Ohio
Based on testing with a multi-meter following the suggested testing on that YouTube channel, you suggested I am getting 0 ohm as of resistance indicative of a bad blower motor.
Zero ohms as in open (infinity) or literally zero? (that's hard to do, even when just self testing the meter) If that's the case then it sounds like a bad motor.
What about this...you have one that sounds like its physically damaged blower housing...and one bad motor...how about take the two apart and combine the good parts...motors are easy to change, especially on new ones where the wheel is not rusted onto the shaft.
I'm sure there are plenty of videos that show the procedure...just take a few pics of how everything is mounted and where the wires go before tearing into it...
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
7,773
NE Ohio

mainer10

Member
Dec 11, 2011
23
Midcoast Maine
Zero ohms as in open (infinity) or literally zero? (that's hard to do, even when just self testing the meter) If that's the case then it sounds like a bad motor.
What about this...you have one that sounds like its physically damaged blower housing...and one bad motor...how about take the two apart and combine the good parts...motors are easy to change, especially on new ones where the wheel is not rusted onto the shaft.
I'm sure there are plenty of videos that show the procedure...just take a few pics of how everything is mounted and where the wires go before tearing into it...
I did exactly as you advised, took the new one out, which the brackets were not mounted correctly nor did they have all the screw. This was causing it to grind into the housing. Switched brackets to the hood motor got it into my housing centered and had to drill a new hole to mount it correctly. Slaved it into an extension cord and immediately sent air running down the trunk! I honestly cannot thank this group enough, you have helped me when I had no one else to turn to!!! Now, I need to reassemble the box for the motor and I can finally finish the cold air return!
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
7,773
NE Ohio
I did exactly as you advised, took the new one out, which the brackets were not mounted correctly nor did they have all the screw. This was causing it to grind into the housing. Switched brackets to the hood motor got it into my housing centered and had to drill a new hole to mount it correctly. Slaved it into an extension cord and immediately sent air running down the trunk! I honestly cannot thank this group enough, you have helped me when I had no one else to turn to!!! Now, I need to reassemble the box for the motor and I can finally finish the cold air return!
Good job!
Make sure you update Lamppa on what went down here...they might be able to get money back from the shipper(s) for damaged stuff?