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Beth Stackpole
User Rank
Blogger
Oil saves the day
Beth Stackpole   2/1/2012 7:32:35 AM
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So a simple dose of oil saved both the humidifier and the washer? Sounds like a viable do-it-yourself fix-it kit that might get some traction if sold on the Internet, maybe in some of those appliance chat rooms where users come to share their woes!

Steve Greenfield
User Rank
Iron
Engine oil not so good
Steve Greenfield   2/1/2012 8:55:48 AM
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I would not use engine oil for this. It is made to be pumped through bearings, and in my experience it quickly leaks away from open bearings like this, leaving them dryer (snerk) than before.

Jennifer Campbell
User Rank
Gold
Re: Engine oil not so good
Jennifer Campbell   2/1/2012 10:00:58 AM
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Interesting point, Steve. What is your advice for fixing this problem?

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Dehumidifiers need cleaning, too
Ann R. Thryft   2/1/2012 1:30:34 PM
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I've got a portable dehumidifier for coping with life in the redwoods, where mold grows on everything outdoors, including plastic (that's not a joke), and the amount of moisture indoors in winter, spring and sometimes summer is pretty amazing. We got an industrial-grade one with a longer warranty, but the reason it's lasted this long (about 8 years) is by voiding the warranty. It's a quality machine and worth the money we spent, but nowhere in the original specs or warranty were there any instructions on maintenance: only a "don't open it up or you void it" statement. But the amount of household dust the fan pulls in shut the motor down after the first 2-3 years. So once every couple of years we spend an hour or two taking it apart and cleaning or oiling the insides as needed. 

 


Alexander Wolfe
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Engine oil not so good
Alexander Wolfe   2/1/2012 4:19:18 PM
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Thanks for the advice, Steve. It's always difficult to find the appropriate oil for appliances. I've restored several turntables, and the advice there for motors is the same -- don't use engine oil. The difficulty is that everyone has a jar of motor oil handy, whereas getting ahold of those various mineral oils which adhere properly and don't leak out of small motors and bearings (as the quickly do, leaving things dry again and liable to seize up) is hard.

dsbrantjr
User Rank
Silver
Re: Engine oil not so good
dsbrantjr   2/2/2012 10:05:40 AM
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Try Phil Wood products; Phil's Tenacious Oil, originally developed for bicycle lubrication, is a fine lubricant which stays put.  They also make Bio Lube, a lighter lubricant, and Waterproof Grease.  Not affiliated with Phil Wood, just a satisfied customer.

3drob
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Engine oil not so good
3drob   2/2/2012 10:10:47 AM
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My house air-handler is around 30-40 years old.  Big squirrel cage belt driven by a moter.  The squirrel cage bearings and the motor bearings all have oil fill ports.  With regular oiling maybe they'll last a few more decades.

I bought an oil bottle from a home improvement store (I don't remember which one).  Not only does it have the correct oil, but the plastic bottle came with a small flexible tube (maybe 6" long) for dispensing.  It's perfect for reaching the fill ports.  Perhaps it would also be good for reaching in to oil "permanently lubricated" bearings?

davegroe
User Rank
Silver
Re: Lifetime lubed
davegroe   2/2/2012 10:37:47 AM
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I bought a 1989 Chevy full size pickup new in 1989. It had ball joints that were lifetime lubed. They had no grease fitting, no plugged hole, nothing. When it was about two years old the front started to make a clunking sound. I took it to the dealer. As I pulled into the shop and drove over the crack between the blacktop parking lot and the cement floor, the service manager heard the clunk, and said it needed new ball joints.

Chevy had a service bulleting that indicated to change the lifetime lubed ball joints with ones that had a grease fitting. Regardless of the mileage, regardless of in or out of warranty, replace at no charge. It even went so far as to have the dealer refund any ball joiint replacements that they had already done, again, regardless or warranty coverage or mileage.

At least Chevy dealt with the problem and had satisified customers.

Sport
User Rank
Silver
Be Carefull!! Motor could be extreemely HOT!!
Sport   2/2/2012 10:38:12 AM
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If the motor has been stalled with power on it for a period of time, the rotor will become extreemely hot.  It may take well over an hour for it to cool down enough to work on.  I've done the same maintenance on my dehumidifier blower motor.  (Its about 24 years old now) I use 3in1 for motors.  It's in a blue bottle.  I got that at a home improvement store that went out of business over 10 years ago.  In the case of my blower motor, it acutally recommended that it be oiled every 2 years (on the motor).  Nothing about that in the owner's manual.

Bob Salter
User Rank
Iron
Re: Be Carefull!! Motor could be extreemely HOT!!
Bob Salter   2/2/2012 11:13:38 AM
NO RATINGS
I'm a bearing engineer by profession and have know for a long time that common lubricants such as oils and greasse have certain lives, which are greatly reduced by temperature. I've also realized that "lubricated for life" means that, "when the lubricant is at the end of its life, the life of the bearing ends shortly after." This is true even though the bearing has enough capacity to have a much longer life. So, it is an obvious conclusion that replenishing lubricant will not only extend bearing life, but also extend the life of the component, even though the OEM says the component is not serviceable. Small ball and needle bearings can be purchased over the counter from bearing distributors and industrial supply houses if one wants to undetake such a replacement. Often, the counter man will measure the bearing and supply a direct replacement. This works for rolling element bearings. For "sleave bearings", simply adding more oil is sufficient to keep the component running provided the bearing hasn't been galled or scored badly.

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