About 20 years ago, I bought a new refrigerator from Sears. Since Sears sells a ton of refrigerators, you would expect the engineers to know how to design an effective, long-lasting motor.
After about six months, I started to hear the freezer fan blade hit its housing. One of the things I like about Sears's products is that a parts list is usually provided. You can order the parts at a reasonable price and repair it yourself. I found the parts list and ordered a new fan motor. So far, so good.
When the parts arrived, I disassembled the freezer ductwork and removed the old motor. It was like one of those old record player motors with only a rotor surrounded by laminated iron and an A/C coil. The fan was attached to the shaft. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. The motor and fan assembly had only one bearing. Was it placed between the fan and the rotor? No!
This horizontal shaft motor had the only bearing on the end of the shaft opposite the fan. This bearing bore the entire torque from the weight of the rotor and fan, a direction it wasnt designed to accommodate. It looked like a felt-filled bearing with a brass housing. How could this get through design, development, and manufacture? Somewhere along the way, someone must have said, "This doesn't make any sense." Apparently not.
The new motor placed the bearing between the rotor and the fan. Someone finally figured out the faulty design.
This entry was submitted by Rob Youngberg and edited by Rob Spiegel
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