I have an old lennox pulse furnace on the ground floor of a utility building, it is only used sporadically for air circulation not for heating. I replaced the blower motor about 4 years ago (original had bearing problems). This is a direct-drive configuration.
The motor is a 5-speed (EMERSON K55HXNHD-4656) 115V 10 amp. I have the motor wired using the slowest speed. Problem is, it runs very hot, frequently tripping it's internal heat overload when run for an extended period (4 to 6 hours). The current draw when its running is 12 amps. It draws about 1.5 more amps on medium speed and another 1.5 amps on the highest speed (and yes the speed does increase quite a bit for each speed). The run capacitor is 15 uf (and it is exactly that value when measured with a capacitance meter). I measure about 1 to 2 amps of current through the capacitor on the various speeds.
When I pull the fan assembly out of the furnace and run the fan on a bench (no ductwork involved) the current seems to go up a bit (to 14 amps) on slow speed.
When I pull the motor and run it (no fan, no load at all) the current is about 3.2 amps. The spindle turns freely, not much friction that I can tell.
The motor won't start without the capacitor, so I guess the cap is both a start and run cap? I don't know if the motor will keep turning if I disconnect the cap after it's started.
Bottom line: Why the heck does the current draw go so high when it's driving the fan?
This motor/fan is unusable in this configuration given that it acts more like a heater than a fan. I would like to be able to circulate air and hopefully do it by using more like 4 or 5 amps - is this not possible?
Or is this not a good motor to use in this situation? What sort of efficiency can I expect (what is the best I can do current-draw wise) if I obtain a different motor (with the same frame type) even if just a single-speed 1-phase 120v ?
To what extent could the capacitor be causing the motor to run hot? Is it possible the capacitor can test ok on a meter but in circuit it behaves differently? Or perhaps it might run more efficiently with a different value? What capacitor current should I read anyways? Should the cap current be X% of overall current draw, and if so what is X ?