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NATE Advantage June 2011

01 Sep 2011

What type of bearings does an ECM motor use (Residential and Light Commercial applications only) and is bearing play allowed?

A. Sleeve bearing, axial play OK, no radial play.

B. Sleeve bearing, no axial no radial play.

C. Ball bearing, axial play OK, no radial play.

D. Ball bearing, no axial, no radial play.

Scroll to the bottom of this e-newsletter to see the answer.

The ECM motors from Regal Beloit (Genteq) that are used in HVAC applications use (2) ball bearings. There should be no radial play, as the bearings at each end of the shaft are captured in bearing pockets in the end shields. These pockets are designed such that the bearings can be inserted into the pockets, but with very little tolerance. A small amount of forced axial play is allowed. If one pushes down or pulls on the shaft, the rotor assembly can be forced to move a small amount. This is because there is a “wavy washer,” a spring, under one of the bearings. This spring is to provide some pre load on the rotor assembly to keep the bearings (rotor assembly) from pounding against one end shield, since there is some tolerance between the bearing to bearing length and the end shield to end shield (pocket to pocket) distance.








As an ever-increasing number of technicians and contractors recognize the value of NATE certification, the number of certified technicians continues to climb to new levels daily. Since its inception in 1997, NATE has administered a total of 200,537 tests to HVACR technicians.

As the only certification organization developed and supported by the entire HVACR industry, NATE is the true leader in certifying technician excellence and the nation’s largest non-profit certification organization for HVACR practices. NATE certification applies only to HVACR technicians, and a total of nearly 50,000 technicians to date have taken advantage of the opportunity to showcase their real-world, working knowledge by becoming certified. Today, almost 30,000 technicians hold an active NATE certification, with 20% of these technicians holding multiple certifications.

Once a technician becomes NATE-certified, they are provided with materials that highlight their accomplishment — such as wallet cards, certificates, and patches. NATE offers an online locator that connects homeowners with contractors employing NATE-certified technicians at www.hvacradvice.com.

NATE acts as a partner for today’s experienced HVACR technicians, helping them to demonstrate their ongoing ability to perform at the industry’s highest standards. To make it easy for technicians to stay on top of their certification status, NATE created an online dashboard that allows the technician to login and view the expiration date for their certifications, their continuing education hours, as well as their local training and testing locations.

When it comes to certifying excellence among HVACR technicians, NATE is number one. For more information, visit www.natex.org.

In 2011, NATE is taking the steps towards becoming an ANSI-accredited organization. ANSI, which stands for the American National Standards Institute, has served as the coordinator of the U.S. private sector, voluntary standardization system for more than 90 years. ANSI provides a neutral forum for the development of policies on standards issues and serves as a watchdog for standards development and conformity assessment. The ANSI Federation also accredits qualified organizations, whose standards development process meets all of ANSI’s requirements, to develop American National Standards. Through these efforts, ANSI aims to enhance the competitiveness of U.S businesses while helping to assure the safety and health of consumers and the protection of the environment.

Achieving ANSI accreditation is a long process that requires an extensive amount of time spent reviewing all practices and processes currently in place. ANSI’s first independent audit of NATE, which was held in April 2011, provided information and insight that is already strengthening the NATE process today. Based on this initial audit, NATE is implementing changes to ensure that all testing organizations throughout the country are following NATE protocol and upholding the integrity of certification, which ultimately protects the technician and results in a consistent, quality testing experience.

As NATE continues down the path towards the prestigious ANSI accreditation, we will continue to keep you informed of the ongoing progress and improvements that result from these efforts.

NATE and the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in order to promote the improvement of home energy performance in the United States. Under this agreement, NATE and RESNET will collaborate on key initiatives to meet this goal, while also supporting the growth of both organizations.

To kick off this strategic partnership, Patrick Murphy, Vice President of Certification for NATE, was recently appointed to the RESNET Technical Committee. As part of his role on the committee, Murphy will be responsible for assisting RESNET in the development of protocols for rating the performance of HVAC systems.

One of the key components of the MOU is that NATE and RESNET will advocate for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recognition of NATE-certified technicians in meeting the HVAC requirements in its ENERGY STAR(r) Qualified New Homes Program. The two organizations will also work together to identify the training and NATE certification required for raters to determine whether there is adequate air flow across the heat exchanger/coil. In addition, NATE and RESNET will develop a plan for expanding these ‘new homes’ activities into the ‘existing homes’ market by creating a program that can ultimately be recognized by the Department of Energy (DOE), EPA and other Federal, State and utility retrofit efforts.

By joining forces on initiatives such as these, as well supporting each organization’s membership efforts and activities, NATE and RESNET aim to achieve greater success in their shared mission to promote residential energy efficiency.

“This partnership between NATE and RESNET is a significant step forward in our effort to improve energy performance,” stated Peter Schwartz, president of NATE. “By working together to achieve the same goal, our organizations have twice the resources available to use towards this end, as well as a louder voice in this arena than ever before. We look forward to a long and successful collaboration.”


NATE continues to show its support for the U.S. Military by extending certification for HVAC technicians called to active duty. From the day a NATE-certified military service member deploys, their NATE certification is deferred until they return, ensuring that the technician comes back to work with the same qualifications as when he or she left. Upon their return, the technician receives all new NATE certification documents and the expiration date of their certification is extended to reflect their time in service.

“All of us at NATE feel that this policy is critically important for our NATE-certified technicians active in the military, and it is the least we can do to support our troops,” stated Patrick Murphy, Vice President of Certification for NATE. “The last thing these honorable and esteemed professionals need to worry about is the status of their certification. By stopping the clock on their NATE certification, we aim to do our small part in helping these technicians pick up where they left off when they return from serving our country.”

Active duty technicians can simply contact NATE upon their return to process the certification extension and to have their new documents shipped. Mark Butler, a NATE-certified technician and reservist who most recently served in Iraq and Afghanistan from September 2008 until November 2010, recently reached out to NATE regarding the status of his certification. “It means a lot that NATE is willing to re-up our certification to make up for the time we’re overseas,” said Butler. “Once I found that out, it was one less concern for me as I made the transition from active duty in the Middle East back to my work as an HVAC technician in Massachusetts.”

For more information about this policy, please contact Pat Murphy at PMurphy@natex.org.

NATE Test Answer:

What type of bearings does an ECM motor use (Residential and Light Commercial applications only) and is bearing play allowed?

D. Ball bearing, no axial, no radial play.


To find a NATE testing organization

To find NATE training resources

Information on NATE recertification

To sign up for the free NATE contractor locator as featured on
www.hvacradvice.com click here

To update your listing (recommended at least twice a year) click here

To visit the NATE consumer web site http://www.hvacradvice.com

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