Power Vent Questions

Problems related to residential installations.

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Power Vent Questions

Post by schieftain » Tue Mar 29, 2011 10:27 am

Homeowner here looking for some advice on power vents.

I have Field Control power vent SWGII-5 that is about 16 years old. It is hooked up to a Johnson Air Ease Ultra 80 oil furnace, also about 16 years old, which we have cleaned/tuned every year.

I am replacing the motor on the power vent about every 5 years (costing me about $500 for parts and labor).

When the vent gets to about 4 years, it starts vibrating and buzzing a lot, really annoying. Last time, it made a bang, then quit. The tech that came out said the fan wheel had fallen apart. He showed it to me. Said power vents were a cheap alternative to real chimneys, and we were lucky to get 5 years from it. He said he wouldn't just replace the wheel, because it was "probably" fused on to the shaft, and the motor probably wouldn't last much longer either. He said I could keep the old motor if I wanted to try to get the wheel off. I took his word for it. But I know he didn't even try. I didn't have time then to bother with it, but now I'm wondering if I should have tried.

Is it normal to only get 5 years out of these? Would I be better off replacing with a whole new power vent at this point, or just keep replacing the motor?

I've noticed that FC sells a lube for these that I never knew about before now, and our furnace service company never mentioned that we should lube the pv motor. I am not the original homeowner, so I had no idea about this. Does lubing them extend the life past 5 years? I can't imagine it would make any difference for the wheel.

Does Tjernlund make a better unit than Field Control?

Would appreciate any advice/help.

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- Power Vent Questions

Post by 4ftBanger » Thu Mar 31, 2011 6:39 am

Part of the problem is that the power vent blower wheel, shaft and housing parts are made mostly of untreated aluminum or steel. The inside of the chimney & flue piping for an oil appliance is one of the most harsh environments for these types of metal. There are aldehydes and corrosive gasses created by oil combustion. Even the most well maintained and tuned oil burner creates these by products and in higher concentrations at start-up until the chamber and flue get up to operating temperature.

I have some power vent equipment that I service regularly, and I'd say the 5 year rule is a fair average. There are some products that are more durable and there are other venting options that would eliminate the need for the vent motor. However, In our market they are pretty cost-prohibitive.
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- Power Vent Questions

Post by USA1 » Wed Mar 14, 2012 11:17 am


I have have the SS1 Tjernlund sides hot one of the problems with the blower wheel is the soot and that builds up on the wheel with use, causing the wheel to

break down , there are a few things you can do to slow this process down, you can try keeping your unit clean and tuned more often , You can have it taken apart

and the wheel cleaned with a soapy water solution and rinsed with fresh water, and you could add a Reilo burner that would make it run cleaner, any combinnation

would prolong the life of the wheel. I clean my wheel at least once a year . As far as the motor goes I use the same motor and just change out the wheel my

motor is 13 years old , Have the mechanic put some never seaz on the next one he puts in, should come apart after that , Or just take the fan off your old motor that

is out put a new fan on it and your ready to go for the next time.........The reason you hear all the noise is because the build up on the wheel actually causes it to

go out of round or balance causing vibration and eventually failure,, listen to the unit when it runs and when it starts to sound different or vibrate have it cleaned

and serviced. Hope this helps USA1

If anyone knows a good electrial mechanic for the Tjernlund SS! side shot for the L.I. N.Y. area please let me know !

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