PipeChat Digest #3633 - Monday, April 28, 2003
RE: Clouds of smoke
  by "Richard Schneider" <arpschneider@starband.net>
Re: communing organists and offertory voluntaries
  by "Russ Greene" <rggreene2@shaw.ca>

(back) Subject: RE: Clouds of smoke From: "Richard Schneider" <arpschneider@starband.net> Date: Sun, 27 Apr 2003 22:30:33 -0500   ----Original Message----- On Sunday, April 27, 2003 10:03 PM Tom R. wrote:   > Hello fellow listmembers,   > I rarely ever post but today, however, marked what may prove to be the end of > this instrument.   > After mass, he looked into the chamber and he did notice a funny smell, but > coundn't figure out where it was coming from. He returned to the church for > first communion at 2:00pm, and he noticed a clanking sound when he = turned the > organ on. Then he began to play his prelude and the entire swell went dead on > him. <snip> He turned it off and back on again and it seemed to be working > fine. However, when he was playing the gloria, the organ started to go out of > tune rapidly, and it sounded like it was losing air. The swell again = went dead, > and the great and pedal slowly went after that. He tried turning the organ off > and on again, a couple of times, and then he smelled smoke and ran down to the > basement where the blower was. When he got down there, the ENTIRE BASEMENT was > filled with heavy white smoke. It was all coming from the blower room. > Apparently, either there was an electrical problem, or the blower itself had a > problem and overheated, pouring smoke out everywhere.   The easy way to tell is to put your hand on top of the blower motor. I'm sure it would be so hot that it cannot be touched.   This suggests that there is a BAD wiring problem, in that electrical installation for pipe organ blower motors SHOULD have a Magnetic Starter with what we "electrical types" call "Heater Elements". You see, if a = motor is overloaded or overheating, it will draw appreciably more current that = it is supposed to. If that happens, the "heater Elements" sense this = overload and trip the Magnetic Starter off, so it would have to be re-set before = the blower will operate again. It will NOT run until failure.   > He cut the main power to the church, in the middle of first communion no less > (lol), and left the power off for the rest of mass, for fear of = electrical fire.   Prolly a wise decision under the circumstances, although all he would have had to do would be to shut off the power to the organ!   > Amidst this sad story, of how a nearly century old pipe organ may be = lost > forever in a cloud of smoke, I have a few questions for any organ techs out > there. Does anyone know whether or not it sounds like this could be repaired > relatively cheaply?   Unless there was a fire, the only damage should be the blower motor and/or any associated wiring. Presuming you have a good electrician, you should have him re-wire the organ control wiring to include a Magnetic Starter = with properly-sized "Heater Elements" (which ANY blower installation -the original or a replacement should have!!!) and then take the blower motor = to an Electric Motor Repair shop where they can evaluate the extent of damage to it. If this is a Spencer blower with a "long shaft", it may be more = cost efficient to replace the blower. However, a GOOD motor shop should be = able to re-wind the original motor. If it's a Kinetic with a more = "normal"-sized blower shaft, there are suitable motors available as replacements. Just = be sure the HP and RPM are the same.   > How much damage might the smoke have done to the inside of the organ, chests, > and pipes? Has this happened to anyone before and, if so, was the organ junked > because of that?   Heavens, NO! And don't let ANYONE try to tell you so, either.   > Does anyone know what might have caused this or what might > account for the high temperatures and smoke?   It sounds like the blower impellers came off or moved the shaft and are rubbing against the housing, judging by the clunking sound you describe, which is why the blower was overloading, thus slowing down and the wind = was sagging in the organ.   > How much do blowers cost these days, new and used?   It depends on the size of the organ and the blower size. Laukhuff = blowers, built in Germany are among the best, although they are quite expensive. Assuming this is a sizable church, there should be 3 phase power, which is what blowers of any size like to run on best.   I hope this is helpful. I can provide more information if you need it if you EMAIL me privately.   Faithfully,   Richard Schneider, PRES/CEO SCHNEIDER PIPE ORGANS, Inc. (Also a Registered Electrical Contractor, so I really KNOW about this stuff!) 41-43 Johnston St. P.O. Box 137 Kenney, IL 61749-0137 (217) 944-2454 VOX (877) 944-2454 TOLL-FREE (217) 944-2527 FAX mailto:arpschneider@starband.net (Home Office EMAIL) mailto:arp@schneiderpipeorgans.com (Shop EMAIL) http://www.schneiderpipeorgans.com Web Page URL    
(back) Subject: Re: communing organists and offertory voluntaries From: "Russ Greene" <rggreene2@shaw.ca> Date: Mon, 28 Apr 2003 03:04:44 -0500     On Saturday, April 26, 2003, at 05:38 PM, Alan Freed wrote:   > Doesn't sound NEARly as bad as I thought you might be saying. One > question: > At what age does a kid begin to actually attend a celebration of the > eucharist from beginning to end? And are you satisfied with your own > reply? > (Which, of course, is STILL not your call.) >   Kids don't typically attend whole services in the church until they are too old for Sunday School. We do have services held in the Sunday School from time to time (the Layreaders handle Matins in the church on those Sundays). And twice a year, the congregation joins the kids in the Sunday School for a full communion service with a lot of participation by the children.   Completely satisfactory. Not really. But probably the best we can do to get a balance between education and worship given the norms in Winnipeg - parents here are not about to bring their children to service PLUS get them back at a separate time for Christian Education. And that's really the crux of the problem.   Years ago, I used to audit a large brewery (another time, another life). The brewmaster was a highly qualified expert imported from Germany. I asked him once if Brand X was the best beer he could brew. And he said, of course not! But it's the best beer I can sell!   Cheers, Russ