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A few minutes ago the fan blade in my AC condenser split down the middle.

Argggggh

Amana Unit

I'm assuming it's been cracked/split for a while now and it finally just gave up. It looks simple enough to replace... pull the top cover off, detach existing blade from motor, attach new blade to motor, reassemble, etc.

As far as I can tell everything else is otherwise still intact. The motor was working fine prior to this, and it was turned off within a minute or so of it starting to bang around inside.

My question is this: Is there a chance that it could have damaged something else, or is this somewhat common? It's pretty close to the coolant pipes and I have to think it did hit them as it was breaking apart. I don't see any damage aside from the blade, but I'm not sure I would know what to look for.

I don't mind calling someone in... I just need to know where to start.

  • Getting the old blade off of the shaft can be quite difficult, if not impossible. Ensure you're able to remove it before you go buy just a blade. – Mazura Jun 15 '16 at 4:26
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This type of failure is fairly common, and usually doesn't cause too much collateral damage, if caught quickly.

If you want to attempt the work yourself, it is fairly straightforward as you describe. You'll likely have to source the replacement blade from a local HVAC company, or the internet. You'll also have to balance the blade, so that it doesn't destroy itself again.

Once you open the unit, you'll want to inspect it closely for damage. Specifically, look for deep cuts and dents in the coil. There may be some superficial damage to the fins, which likely isn't too big of a deal. If there's lots of damage to the fins, or damage severe enough to penetrate the refrigerant lines. You will need to repair or replace the coil.

Also look for damaged wiring, as that could require replacement of the motor.

When purchasing a replacement blade, make sure you get a blade designed to spin in the appropriate direction.

You shouldn't need any specialized tools, other than possibly a pair of retaining ring pliers.

If there are screw/bolts used to retain the blade. Depending on the rotation direction of the motor, you may encounter some left handed threads. So watch out for that.

If you get the unit running again, but notice it's not cooling. First check that the blade is moving air through the unit in the proper direction, then call an HVAC tech to check the refrigerant charge.

WARNING:

Before beginning any work, make sure you remove power to the unit, and have verified that it's off. It's also recommended to discharge the capacitor(s) in a safe way, before poking around.

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The condensing coil is the part the fan draws air through. look close if some fins are a little bent that will reduce the efficiency but it will still work with a new fan. Fans are easy a set screw holds the shaft or a hex nut make sure to get the same pitch and diameter they can be turned over to change air flow direction.

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