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During Hurricane Irma one of our clients, SBA Communications, had one of their HVAC RTU blower motors stop working at their headquarters building due to moisture penetrating the motor.   Unfortunately, the blower motor was the wrong type and it was exposed to the harsh environment inside the roof top air handler.  This left 25% of SBA HQ without AC during an emergency situation.

It was immediately decided to upgrade the bad motor with a proper totally enclosed fan cooled electric motor. We notified the building mechanical contractor, CA Mechanical and they were quickly able to organized a crane and located a motor.    Within two days after Hurricane Irma, Fairman & Associates and CA Mechanical installed a new 50 HP motor and brought the HVAC system functioning back to 100 percent.

The Solution

A totally enclosed fan cooled electric motor is a type of industrial motor with an enclosure that does not permit outside air to freely circulate through the interior of the motor. An external fan blows outside air over the frame of the motor to cool it.   While TEFC motors cost more money than open motors, the benefit it offers of increased protection longer life and protection against weather, dirt, and moisture, the long run cost saving becomes a benefit to the company.

SBA Communication’s HQ has four roof top Air Handlers providing air throughout the building.  Seeing how critical the blower motor is to the HVAC system, the Fairman & Associates team along with SBA quickly decided that all the roof top air handlers should have totally enclosed fan cooled motors and included this capital expenditure to their facilities budget for 2018.

Last weekend, in April 2018 and prior to storm season, we scheduled and managed the install of three additional TEFC motors.  The install was scheduled with CA Mechanical after normal business hours and everything went as planned.  Now SBA Communication’s HQ has the equipment they need to reduce the chances of HVAC failure – especially during any emergency situations.

About the Author

Fairman & Associates Property & Facility Management
Knox Wolaver, RPA

Knox joined Fairman & Associates, Inc. in 2015 as a Maintenance Administrator and quickly moved into a property manager position.  He is a licensed real estate associate with a CAM license,  RPA BOMA designation and a degree in Finance from FSU.  Knox manages properties with an emphasis on long-term appreciation through preventative maintenance and capital improvements.