Let’s face it — the blower motor on a NCAT ignition oven is often an afterthought. It sits in the back of the unit, mostly covered, mostly discreet, mostly out of the way. Out of sight, out of mind, right? You know it’s there and that it blows air out of the furnace, but what exactly is its purpose? Most importantly, why should YOU care about it?
It might surprise you to know that the blower motor is one of the most important components on your NCAT and that if you don’t take care of it, it could burn you on your next burn! Sure, the heating elements are all responsible for creating the heat in the chamber, but without the introduction of fresh air, your burns will be nothing more than a smokey mess. In fact, the blower motor is so critical to the burn that if your draft is too low, you could be adding 15 – 20 EXTRA minutes each time.
How does it work? The NCAT heats up ceramic elements to increase the temperature in the chamber to 538° C (roughly 1000° F). Asphalt begins to ignite at about 315° C and, at an ideal draft, the temperature ramps up very quickly from there. When your draft is low, there isn’t as much oxygen in the chamber and the asphalt burns slowly or, in some cases, not at all! This lengthens the amount of time it takes to completely burn off your asphalt. If your draft is exceptionally poor, smoke and toxic fumes will pour out of your oven and into your lab.
Okay, got it – the blower motor is important. What do I need to do?
Blower motor oil. It’s that simple!
Apply 2-3 drops of oil to each of these holes on the blower motor and immediately run the NCAT for 10 minutes to ensure that the oil spreads out evenly. No oil spots on the driveway, no oil spots in the blower motor.
Why do I need to run it immediately?
When you don’t run the blower motor, the oil just sits and collects whatever bits of dust and charred asphalt is left on the motor. After sitting for just a few minutes, you’ll end up with a blower motor that won’t turn no matter what kind of force is applied to it because you have effectively made cement that locks up the bearings. This is a pretty costly mistake and requires purchasing a new blower motor to fix it.
What’s the procedure?
Now, try to keep up with these next few steps. Take notes if you need to. Take a photo of this section on your phone. To run the unit:
- Leave the door open
- Turn on the unit
- Hit start
Let the furnace run for a solid 10 minutes before starting a new burn, or even just turning it off. If you’re successful, you have just extended the life of your blower motor and have saved countless hours and money. Now, let’s hope you see some of those savings in your bonus this year!