How to Repair a Fan Bearing After Failure
Fan bearing failure is quite avoidable with appropriate greasing, maintenance, monitoring, and end-of-L10-life replacement. Still, bearing failure is the number one issue we get calls about. And on top of that, the number one reason for bearing failures is the lack of lubrication. Because it’s so common, we want to make sure you know how to repair a fan bearing after failure.
Why do bearings fail so often? It’s because they’re in constant motion with potential for friction, vibration, and overheating without proper maintenance. To avoid bearing failure in the first place, which we highly recommend, scroll down to the bottom of this post to find a list of other helpful articles and videos that cover various aspects of fan bearing monitoring and maintenance.
What To Do If Your Fan Bearing Fails
Technically, you can’t repair a fan bearing after failure. If it fails, you must replace it. In fact, you should actually replace both bearings at the same time, not just the one that failed. That’s why we recommend always having two extra fan bearings in supply on your shelf. This will help you minimize downtime.
Once you have your spare bearings in hand and a plan for how to repair the fan bearing after failure by replacing both bearings, you’ll need to check the other components of the industrial fan.
If you’ve had a really bad bearing failure, there can be a lot of collateral damage. The shaft and/or wheel can drop, make contact with the inlet cone or inlet cylinder, and then you might need to replace all of these parts. It can be pretty expensive for the parts alone, let alone the downtime while you await the arrival of the replacements if you don’t have them on hand already.
Installing Your New Fan Bearings
When you put your new bearings in, make sure you align them, grease them, and then trim balance them, and set up a schedule for your grease. One thing’s for sure: once you’ve had a bearing failure, you’re probably going to do what you need to do to avoid another one!
Ensure that the shaft is straight and that both mounting platforms are level, on the same plane, centered horizontally, and parallel to each other.
Greasing the Bearings
Top off the grease while spinning the shaft until you see a small amount of residue being purged by the seals on both sides all the way around.
Trim balancing is the final test at full speed to assure balance or make corrections if any imbalance is observed. Don’t skip this step!
Check your Installation & Operations Manual (IOM) and document and follow the manufacturer’s recommended grease schedule. Keep an eye on it in case it needs more frequency, and do not let your bearings get dry!
When your fan needs lubrication, it starts to heat up. Temperature monitoring using installed RTDs is a great way to detect when your bearings are getting hot and avoid future bearing failure.
The Bottom Line on How to Repair a Fan Bearing After Failure
If you’ve had a bearing failure, replace both bearings and be sure to check the other components, including the shaft, wheel, and inlet cylinder for damage as well. Align your bearings, grease them, do a trim balance, install temperature monitors, and follow your IOM recommended grease schedule to keep your bearings from failing again.
Hear it from an Application Engineer
If your bearings have failed, watch this 2-minute video featuring Chet White, Senior Application Engineer / Sales Manager on how to repair a fan bearing after failure. To discuss fan bearing failure or any other maintenance or repair question, reach out and connect with one of our application engineers to discuss the details of your application.
Here are many related posts that might be of interest as you think about your application.
- On the Safe Side
- Ready to Roll
- Fan Bearing Grease Management
- Video: High-Temperature Fan Bearing Protection
- RTD Temperature Sensors Help Prevent Bearing Failure
- Extended Bearing Life with Vibration Monitoring
- Fan Bearing Maintenance and L10 Life
- How Long Do Industrial Fans Last? Quality, Installation, and Industrial Fan & Blower Maintenance