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Help fixing a fan, I guess? Seized Axle?

BurtletoyBurtletoy Registered User regular
edited July 2017 in Help / Advice Forum
So, at work we have a Bio Safety Cabinet that is older than me. The fan blade inside the system has started to scrape the metal housing, I believe. On two or three previous occasions, I have been able to fix this problem easily, by adjusting the fan along the axle connected to the motor. However, this time, I cannot fix it. It seems to be seized onto the axle.

Edit: I don't know how to imgur.

Here you can see the fan/motor system

http://imgur.com/U0KMhto
U0KMhto.jpg

and here you can see the fan blade attached to the motor

http://imgur.com/a/RW8rX
nuSqbRB.jpg

And here is a youtube video showing, as best I can, that both the screws that hold the fan blade to the axle have been removed, but I still can't slide the blade along the axle. Previously this worked with no problems, but I can't adjust it now.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-ZmvDDaLjc

If you have any suggestions, I'm all ears. This is a pretty important piece of equipment for us. And it seems like something that should be an easy fix.

Burtletoy on

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    knitdanknitdan In ur base Killin ur guysRegistered User regular
    edited July 2017
    Let's assume there's not another bolt holding it on.

    I can't tell how clean It is but it could always be cleaner. Start there, give it a good scrape with a wire brush. Next, try and get some penetrating oil along the shaft to help it slide off easier.

    If you can apply some force from behind it that might help too.

    knitdan on
    “I was quick when I came in here, I’m twice as quick now”
    -Indiana Solo, runner of blades
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    mtsmts Dr. Robot King Registered User regular
    possible mjsalignment issue?

    camo_sig.png
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    BurtletoyBurtletoy Registered User regular
    One of the issues with working on it, is the area I had to climb into to actually do anything, is about 30" wide. I also cannot remove the engine because it won't fit out of the opening, without taking off the entire top of the hood, which isn't something that would be very easy to do.

    I have used a pry bar and a hammer to tap against the back while pulling, the thing doesn't budge along that axle at all, but it used to move smoothly.

    How about this, instead. What type of person/company would I call to have them come in and try and fix it. Small engine repair? Mechanic?

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    bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    It seems to me this is the point where if something is 30+ years old you probably want to replace it before you can't source parts anymore and it becomes an astronomical expense instead of just an expensive one.

    But to answer your question: Probably a company that specializes in laboratory equipment.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
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    BurtletoyBurtletoy Registered User regular
    But the astronomical price is replacing it.

    It is lab equipment, but I don't think it needs a lab equipment specialist. It's just a motor and a fan.

    Does HVAC service seem like a good place to call?

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    bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    You would probably have more luck bringing it out to a mechanic and seeing if they can give you a hand over HVAC.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
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    dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    Do you not have a clinical technician or plant-operation engineer on staff at your facility? That's basically their entire field of expertise. The company that made the thing may still exist, in which case I'd call them and ask.

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    BurtletoyBurtletoy Registered User regular
    We are a small company, that is basically one of my job duties, fixing things that break down. But I'm out of ideas on this one.


    But!

    I called a local refrigeration company that does some calibrations stuff for use and they knew what I was talking about right away and said they did lots of lab equipment services, so hopefully they can get it working again!

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    bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Interesting. I'd never think to call a refrigeration company about stuff like that.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
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    HandgimpHandgimp R+L=J Family PhotoRegistered User regular
    Eh, HVAC companies deal with all kinds of blowers.

    PwH4Ipj.jpg
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    BurtletoyBurtletoy Registered User regular
    bowen wrote: »
    Interesting. I'd never think to call a refrigeration company about stuff like that.

    I was mostly calling because I had to pay an old invoice, and kinda just decided to ask, but the secretary that answered was all 'Exhaust fan, are you talking about a Fume Hood?' so I think I'm in good hands

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    MugsleyMugsley DelawareRegistered User regular
    Looks like you have this in hand, but this is partially related to what I do for work. Kinda.

    Admittedly, I saw the title and instantly thought you actually had bearing failures and were looking in the wrong place. However, it appears that the shaft can rotate in the motor just fine. Looks like that bushing has somehow seized onto the shaft. What sort of fumes are in the exhaust? It's most likely just residue from those fumes; so whatever solvent that is used for related lab equipment cleaning should help loosen it.

    If the HVAC company helps you out, ask the tech what solvent's he'd recommend you keep on hand for the future. Something like acetone may be enough. There's also a decent chance the shaft has a slight bend that is causing the impeller (fan) to bind up by hitting the walls ( which is what I think you were saying earlier anyway). You can likely fix this issue by getting a replacement motor from the HVAC company. The issue would be getting to the motor itself, since it lies basically underneath/within the impeller. The motor itself should be fairly standard brushless. Just make sure the new one matches the electrical requirements and has a similarly sized shaft.

    If you can get the impeller off, toss it onto a workbench and give it a good cleaning, along with the bushing. Grab some pliers and tweak any of the vanes that look bent. If possible, get it onto something that spins and see if it wobbles at all. You should be able to find small weights from a HVAC supply or possibly auto parts (wheel balancing weights for auto parts) to help work that out. Again, this is likely something the HVAC company will do as part of their service, but it's worth knowing for the future.

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