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Old 01-08-2021, 10:11 AM   #1
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Aqua-Hot Fan in under bathroom sink

Hi there. I have a 2004 Intrigue with Aqua-Hot. The fan which is mounted under the bathroom sink is rattling quite a bit till everything heats up. Sounds like a bearing going out. How do I get to that fan? Under the sink there is a cabinet with a carpet floor. The fan is under the carpet floor with no sign of access.

TIA! -Dan
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Old 01-08-2021, 10:22 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dan.sherwin View Post
Hi there. I have a 2004 Intrigue with Aqua-Hot. The fan which is mounted under the bathroom sink is rattling quite a bit till everything heats up. Sounds like a bearing going out. How do I get to that fan? Under the sink there is a cabinet with a carpet floor. The fan is under the carpet floor with no sign of access.

TIA! -Dan
that carpeted panel is most likely just stabled and can be pried up/out
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Old 01-08-2021, 10:27 AM   #3
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Under the floor, it is the ceiling of the wet bay on our coach. There is a heat exchanger there to keep the wet bay from frozen up in bad weather. If yours is similar, guess that is where the fan bearing makes noise. We don't have a fan but just an aluminum tubing with fins around it. Nevertheless you can access it from under, the wet bay.
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Old 01-08-2021, 10:35 AM   #4
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My bathroom-area fan isn't under the sink like yours, but it is also under a carpeted floor under a cabinet. On mine, there is a cutout in the carpet and a small hole to grab with a finger to lift out the carpeted access panel. If you don't see something like that, perhaps the toe-kick panel is removable? In our galley we have a toe-kick that comes out after removing screws that are in the carpeted cabinet floor directly above (the screw heads are hard to find at first, because they're hidden by the carpet fibers). Hope this give you some ideas.
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Old 01-08-2021, 11:10 AM   #5
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I have been through the exact scenario on my 04 Magna. Maybe it's similar enough to apply here. Under the stapled carpet is a thin wood cover. There are many small phillips screws around the perimeter. Remove the screws and the panel comes out easily giving excellent access to the heat exchanger. I replaced all of the original squirrel cage fanned units with the updated ones from AquaHot due to annoying bearing noise. The new ones seem to move just a bit less air but they are near silent in comparison.
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Old 01-08-2021, 10:53 PM   #6
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In my vanity I had to remove the side panels first to remove floor panel. Reverse order of how they were installed originally at factory. Side panel bottom edges were resting on floor panel.
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Old 01-09-2021, 04:28 PM   #7
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I have complained about the noise levels when the Heat Craft heat exchangers are blowing. Those fans are junk, all plastic and noisy. I saw some guys had converted to computer cooling fans so I did the same. The floor boards under the sink lift up to access the heat exchanger on my 04 Allure. Here is a pic of the bathroom heat exchanger after I removed the stock fan before pulling the exchanger clear out.

I pulled bathroom heat exchanger apart to install new fans. Removed heater core and flushed it out. A few chunks of scale came out, but it was pretty clean considering how old the glycol is and that it is not really the right type. Squirrel cage fan is mounted on angled piece of aluminum that is wide enough for three axial fans but it cannot be mounted vertical. Using stock plate would leave fans not blowing directly at heater core. The stock fan blows through a 3” x 5” hole pointed at the center of the heater core. I mounted two 92mm axial fans on piece of 1/2” plywood installed vertically in heat exchanger, held in place with flex caulk and several screws. I also used a metal 4” 90 deg for the one discharge that goes to the hallway as the flex was kinked restricting airflow. Retesting sound levels it now is at 56 dB and a much lower frequency. The stock fan ran at 400 MHz, 67 Db, surged and rumbled for some reason. New fans run at 40 MHz, 56 Db do not surge or rumble and put out the same amount of air flow.

Temperature measured with blowers on, boiler on, 55 deg coach temp = 125 deg in fins of exchanger and 116 deg discharge air just in front of exchanger. After flushing, correct glycol, cleaning the core, the temps did not change.

With much reduced sound levels in bathroom zone conversion, I converted the front zones’ two heat exchangers and installed 3 axial fans in each of them for higher air flow in the larger space. The sound levels are much reduced and good airflow but not sure if 3 fans make that much difference in air flow as I don’t have a balometer air flow hood to measure it.

My Hydro Hot needed some attention so I replaced fan shaft bearings which didn't help the noise level. After consulting Roger Burke I replaced the plastic clutch between the motor and fan shaft. That still didn't fix the noise so I got to looking at how much end play was between the clutch halves. There was over 1/4" which allowed the clutch halves to separate and rattle. I put some stainless washers behind the fan side of the clutch to nearly eliminate the end play. That stopped the rattle/growl the combustion blower made.

I took some sound level readings using a Db app on my phone before and after working on fans and boiler to see numerically what reductions I achieved (see chart).

Overall it is about a $25 conversion per exchanger to replace with 2 computer fans and takes about 2 hours. You can pinch off the glycol lines if you want to remove and flush core out or just blow the fins out with compressed air. This inexpensive upgrade made a huge reduction in noise levels. If you have bad fans don't replace with the stock ones.
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Old 01-15-2021, 05:37 AM   #8
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Excellent write-up!!
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Old 01-16-2021, 08:22 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Windward View Post
I have complained about the noise levels when the Heat Craft heat exchangers are blowing. Those fans are junk, all plastic and noisy. I saw some guys had converted to computer cooling fans so I did the same. The floor boards under the sink lift up to access the heat exchanger on my 04 Allure. Here is a pic of the bathroom heat exchanger after I removed the stock fan before pulling the exchanger clear out.

I pulled bathroom heat exchanger apart to install new fans. Removed heater core and flushed it out. A few chunks of scale came out, but it was pretty clean considering how old the glycol is and that it is not really the right type. Squirrel cage fan is mounted on angled piece of aluminum that is wide enough for three axial fans but it cannot be mounted vertical. Using stock plate would leave fans not blowing directly at heater core. The stock fan blows through a 3” x 5” hole pointed at the center of the heater core. I mounted two 92mm axial fans on piece of 1/2” plywood installed vertically in heat exchanger, held in place with flex caulk and several screws. I also used a metal 4” 90 deg for the one discharge that goes to the hallway as the flex was kinked restricting airflow. Retesting sound levels it now is at 56 dB and a much lower frequency. The stock fan ran at 400 MHz, 67 Db, surged and rumbled for some reason. New fans run at 40 MHz, 56 Db do not surge or rumble and put out the same amount of air flow.

Temperature measured with blowers on, boiler on, 55 deg coach temp = 125 deg in fins of exchanger and 116 deg discharge air just in front of exchanger. After flushing, correct glycol, cleaning the core, the temps did not change.

With much reduced sound levels in bathroom zone conversion, I converted the front zones’ two heat exchangers and installed 3 axial fans in each of them for higher air flow in the larger space. The sound levels are much reduced and good airflow but not sure if 3 fans make that much difference in air flow as I don’t have a balometer air flow hood to measure it.

My Hydro Hot needed some attention so I replaced fan shaft bearings which didn't help the noise level. After consulting Roger Burke I replaced the plastic clutch between the motor and fan shaft. That still didn't fix the noise so I got to looking at how much end play was between the clutch halves. There was over 1/4" which allowed the clutch halves to separate and rattle. I put some stainless washers behind the fan side of the clutch to nearly eliminate the end play. That stopped the rattle/growl the combustion blower made.

I took some sound level readings using a Db app on my phone before and after working on fans and boiler to see numerically what reductions I achieved (see chart).

Overall it is about a $25 conversion per exchanger to replace with 2 computer fans and takes about 2 hours. You can pinch off the glycol lines if you want to remove and flush core out or just blow the fins out with compressed air. This inexpensive upgrade made a huge reduction in noise levels. If you have bad fans don't replace with the stock ones.

Thank you!!!!! Excellent write-up. Headed to the bus not to take out that fan. -Dan
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