3 Common Causes of Electric Motor Failure and Its Solutions

Electric motors are the workhorses of industrial equipment and they play a key role in their functioning. Most electric motors are distinguished as AC or DC motors depending on the type of power source they are connected to. These electric motors have an average lifespan of 30,000 to 40,000 hours. Although designed for harsh environments, these motors may fail during their lifetime. In most cases, these motors can be repaired and restored to their original working condition with minimal replacements. However, in some cases, the restoration becomes difficult and you need to approach an experienced motor repair specialist. Before seeking electric motor repair assistance, it is important to know the causes of electric motor failure. This post discusses the common causes of electric motor failure and helps you take the all necessary steps to avoid it.  

used electric motors

Know the Three Common Causes of Electric Motor Failure and How to Prevent Them

Although they may feature robust construction, electric motors are considered as sensitive devices which may fail due to various reasons. The three common reasons of failure are discussed here.  

  1. Contamination: Electric motors are often placed in electronic enclosures to avoid their direct contact with dust, dirt, and chemicals. At times, they may be accidently exposed to contaminants. This exposure may be brought by improper enclosure or negligent use. In either cases, contaminants may find their way to balls and raceways and accelerate their wear and tear. It can also affect devices such as cooling fans connected to electric motors by limiting their ability to cool and increasing the chances of overheating.
  2. Solution: You can avoid contamination by using the right type of enclosure. There are different types of electronic enclosures available for purchase; you can choose the one that perfectly matches your design. Also, ensure to keep your fixtures, tools, and work areas clean to avoid chances of motor contamination. Try to keep these motors away from grinding machines or operational machines, which may produce large amounts of dust or release chemical byproducts.

  1. Winding and Insulation Failure: This is the most common cause of electric motor failure. A winding may fail due to a bad connection, open contactor, blown fuse, broken power lines, electric overload and so on. At times, winding insulations may fail due to thermal deterioration brought by unbalanced power loads. Added to that, sub optimal or harsh working conditions may also accelerate the chances of failure.
  2. Solution: As seen, the winding and insulation failure can be brought by several factors. Many times, knowing the right cause may be difficult. A timely maintenance can help avoid failure to a large extent. This maintenance can be scheduled weekly, monthly, or at times when the work load is less. To gain benefits, maintenance must be performed by experts because they can easily identify loose connections and probable causes of failure before the problem escalates.

  1. Overheating: According to various studies, overheating is one of the common causes of electric motor failure. Overheating can be brought by increased power usage, low power quality, or ambient temperature conditions.
  2. Solution: It is important to place the motor in a cool working environment, away from high temperature sources. This will help prevent breakdowns to a certain extent.

Regular maintenance is important to avoid electric motor failure due to most reasons. However, that is not enough. It is important that you invest in high quality electric motors. Although new electric motors are good, you can also invest in good quality used electric motors. The only condition is that you source them from trusted suppliers like J&M Industrial. The company provides used and surplus electric motors, gear motors, gear reducers from various trusted brands at reduced prices.