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SERVICE INFORMATION Unitary Products Group 5005 York Drive Norman, OK 73069 1/877-874-7378 YS-045-03 Date: September


Unitary Products Group

5005 York Drive Norman, OK 73069




September 11, 2003


All Luxaire Distributors All Fraser-Johnston Distributors All Field Service Supervisors


A.O. Smith 48 Frame Motor Upgrades

This letter is intended as a follow–up to the previous Service Letter YS-027-03, involving stuck rotors on 48 frame A. O. Smith motors.

Several changes have been made to the following shaft down motor mounting application motors:

Source 1 P/N

Plant Used


Norman & Wichita







A thorough investigation was conducted by A. O. Smith, and York to determine the root cause of

the springtime start up issue on outdoor condenser motors, and to institute design changes which

will prevent this from occurring in the future. Accelerated salt spray, rain, and bench testing was performed on the motors. In addition, a complete process verification history was performed in all

of A.O. Smith’s manufacturing facilities.

A three-pronged action plan was developed as a result of this testing by A.O. Smith to remedy this

situation. This action plan is designed to address the following areas:

1. Keeping rainwater out of the motors. – Effective with replacement motors supplied to Source 1 beginning September 15, 2003, a new lead grommet will be installed where the motor wiring leads exit the motor shell. Effective January 1, 2004, methods such as a thru bolt washer will be used to better seal the end bells from external water entry.

2. Improving the rust inhibitors on the stators to prevent rust from forming & bridging to the rotors. – Perhaps the largest single improvement associated with the testing was the addition of a rust inhibitor to motor stators. Motor rotors had previously been painted. The combination of painted rotors and rust inhibited stators greatly reduces the risk of rust bridging - between the motor rotor and stator. This change will be implemented on all 48- frame shaft down motors supplied to us beginning on September 15, 2003.


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3. Improving the draining of any condensation, which accumulates inside the motors. – Under varying ambient temperature conditions, condensation can be expected to occur inside motor casings. To aid in the draining process, the two previously enlarged 3/8” drain holes in the bottom end bell of the motors will be expanded to a quantity of four. In addition, the shaft end bell will be redesigned so that water cannot become trapped in the cavities formed by the internal stiffening ribs. This improvement will be implemented on all outdoor 48-frame shaft down motors received after January 1, 2004.

In addition to the design changes, A.O. Smith will supply motors built from one production plant only so that a process control changes effort can be focused.

The September 15, 2003 implemented changes will consist of the rust inhibited stators, and the new lead grommet. These motors can be identified by A.O. Smith motor date codes GI03 and newer. Existing Source 1 inventory will be purged and upgraded with these interim changes. Motor date codes are printed on the replacement motor packaging. Production will implement the interim changes immediately after Source 1 inventory has been upgraded.

The January 1, 2004 implemented changes will consist of the motor thru bolt seals, and the modified shaft end motor end bells. These motors can be identified by A.O. Smith motor dates of GA04 and newer. There is no planned Source 1 inventory purging for these changes.

Any Distribution Center that wants to upgrade their existing inventory of the 48 frame motor part numbers listed in this letter, can do so, on a one time basis, after Source 1 upgrades their inventory. To return existing 48 frame motor inventory, please contact your Source 1 account representative for a return authorization. This Distribution Center Source 1 inventory return offer will end on October 1, 2003, with no motor returns accepted after that date. We will not pay to upgrade motors on Distribution Center new equipment inventory.

York will continue to pay a one hour labor allowance at the registered contractor rate to replace stuck rotor motors, on both 42 and 48 frame, A.O. Smith motors, for a period of up to three years from the date of equipment start-up. To recap this problem, this issue has been limited to a small quantity of the residential A/C unit population, but they always seem to occur at the same time, which is during the initial spring start up. Once the rust bridge between motor rotor and stator was broken initially, motors would operate for the remainder of the cooling season. We have received no reports on 42 frame motor stuck rotors or shaft up mounted condenser fan motors used on Norman built product, since design changes were implemented in 2002.

To receive credit, please refer to this Service Letter in the warranty claim submittal. Failed motors must also be returned to the Wichita return material department freight collect, for analysis.


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The following shaft up mounting motor mounting applications on Norman built product will not have the above listed modifications initiated at this time, based on the fact that no reported stuck rotor product reports submitted indicating failures, and no failed motors have been returned to us. Should on any reports of field failures on these motors occur, A.O. Smith will promptly institute changes similar to the shaft down mounting application motors.

Source 1 P/N

Plant Used



















Thank you for your patience in allowing us to analyze and respond to this issue. It is our belief that these latest motor design changes of the improved motor sealing, rust inhibitor added to the motor stator, and the improved drainage will permanently resolve this issue.


Robert M. Napp

Director, UPG Field Service

Cos Caronna

Sr. Director, Residential Products Engineering