Monday, November 12, 2012

DIY fireplace loud blower motor repair to save some money

I'm always game for around the house DIY repairs to save money and learn new skills. But I also know my limits -- when our old garage door broke the other year, I knew paying $300 for installation would be well worth the cost.

A few days ago our fireplace started squealing like a noisy whistle. I knew that it likely had to be the blower motor bearing. I checked online and found very little info about this. I dug through our home files and found the original invoice from the previous owners and called the company where the fireplace was purchased. They confirmed a part # for the blower but said it'd be $150 and take a week to order and about $200 to install.

I called around town to a few other places and found a place that had the blower motor in stock for $80. They said labor would be about $150 or so, but their technician was booked out for 3 weeks. They told me the process to replace the blower motor would be fairly easy, as long as I removed the fireplace since the blower motor is access from the rear of the fireplace.

So I jumped into the project and slowly started removing the fireplace piece by piece. I got it out and was able to fish the blower motor out. (It wasn't exactly easy since I had zero instructions.) I reversed the steps and put everything back in place with no leftover screws or bolts, a good sign indeed. All said I spent nearly 3 hours from start to finish.

And now our fireplace is again quiet just in time for winter! I saved at least $150 or so in labor costs with the DIY method. And I know more about fireplaces in the process.

You can get fireplace blower motors from Amazon here.

The fireplace mostly removed:

The offending blower motor:

Everything back in place:

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