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I have been in my house for 11 years now and every 3 or 4 years I have been taking the lid off my condenser unit and lubricating it. I just don’t know if I am even supposed to do this, but it make sense to me. Anyway this year the fan seems louder than last year, so I was going to lubricate it again, I was just wondering if this was normal? Keep in mind though, I think my unit is nearly 40 years old It is a Carrier. Here is a picture of my unit.

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Any other maintenance tips for the condenser?

  • What's the model number (should be printed on the nameplate)? – Tester101 May 26 '15 at 19:19
  • You mean there is a nameplate on the condenser? – Off The Gold May 26 '15 at 19:23
  • There should be a nameplate on the condensing unit as a whole, as well as the fan motor, and the compressor. However, only the model number from the whole unit should be required to look up the manufacturer's documentation. – Tester101 May 26 '15 at 19:27
  • There are two Model #'s I can find, both Carrier: 1) 28VQ024 - This is what the heat pump wiring and tubing runs into. 2) I think the Furnace Model is 38RQ020320 – Off The Gold May 26 '15 at 20:36
  • I think judging by the looks of this, you need to replace this unit – user39685 Jul 22 '15 at 3:34
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I would replace the Condenser Fan Motor.

Loudness would be attributed to either bent fan blades and/or worn bearings. Considering the age of your condenser unit, it is most likely bearings. Typically, the bearings on a Condenser Fan Motor do not require lubrication, because the bearing packs are sealed.

  • A video on removing a Condenser Fan Motor can be seen here and here.
  • A very in-depth and high quality video can be watched here.


Here is a picture of a generic Condenser Fan Motor: Condenser Fan Motor

It is essentially sealed. This is on purpose. It keeps the dirt and debris from getting into the internal fan motor components. The bearings are also internal. There would be no effective way to lubricate them without literally removing the rotor from the stator (i.e. taking the fan apart).


Even if you do take it apart and remove the bearings (there is one in the back and one in the front) there is a good chance it is going to look like this:

Bearing

In that case, it wouldn't be very wise to try and remove the protective jacket covering the bearings. They aren't too expensive and could be replace very easily. Just get yourself a puller and you would be all set.


If you are lucky, your bearings would look like this:

Bearing

If your bearings do look like that, then it would be a lot easier to lubricate and probably wouldn't even have to remove them from the rotor in order to do it.


Conclusion

I would still replace the fan motor. It is old. It has been exposed to the environment for a very long time. Plus, technology has dramatically improved and you should be able to find a suitable replacement that is more energy efficient.

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