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Troubleshooting Electric Motor Problems

Troubleshooting Electric Motor Problems Made Easy for You

An electric motor is used for producing mechanical energy in various applications. Some of its common problems include failure to start, motor overheating, noise, and vibration. Read the following passages to understand more about recognizing and troubleshooting these problems.
Ningthoujam Sandhyarani
Last Updated: Feb 26, 2018
Electric motor
In general, an electric motor is a device that produces mechanical energy by using electric energy. It is used in a large number of applications, either for home appliances or large commercial units. In fact, any device that involves mechanical movement, such as fans, pumps, computers, and wastewater treatment plants, make the use of it. Previously before the intervention of alternative current (AC), direct current (DC) from portable batteries was used as the source for electricity. In recent times, both DC and AC are used as per the configuration of machinery.
Understanding the basics of these motors and their parts will help in easy diagnosis of the problems associated with the electrical unit. The main parts of this electrical systems are rotor, field magnet, commutator, brushes, axle, and power supply, either AC or DC. The working principle of this motor is to create rotational motion with the help of electromagnetism. Let's discuss in brief about its repairs and ways for troubleshooting its problems.
Prior to starting with the repairs, make sure to turn off the main power supply in order to prevent an electrical shock. It is also to be borne in mind that these motors are dangerous equipment. If you are not confident about handling electrical appliances, it is always advisable to contact a professional repairer. Also, make sure you wear safety glasses before handling them. Following are some of the common problems and ways on how to troubleshoot them:
Motor Not Starting: One of the most common problems is failure of the motor to start. This problem may be caused due to a tripped fuse and/or failure of the power supply. In order to troubleshoot this problem, first check the power supply. If the power supply is working, then allow the motor to cool down and clean the parts. You can use an air compressor for cleaning it. In case it does not start even after cleaning and resetting, consider replacement.
Overheating of Motor: Overheating may be due to inadequate ventilation or poor cooling air supply. For fixing this problem, check the fan blades for any dust and dirt accumulation. If the fan system is working properly, then the problem caused is due to a faulty motor. Consult a professional to examine its capacity and if necessary, replace it.
Noisy and Vibrating Electric Motor: Excessive noise is an indication of motor problems. A noisy one is usually associated with vibration problems, which in turn results in damages to the windings and bearings. Noise generation is often caused due to a faulty alignment of the shaft or an imbalance in the electric or mechanical systems. For relieving this problem, check for the damaged bearings, loose mounting, and shaft alignment.
Regular servicing helps in minimizing the problems. You can give the motor to the company for routine servicing or service it on your own by following the manufacturer's guidelines. Some of the basic maintenance tips include cleaning dust and dirt, lubricating the bearings, and insulating windings whenever necessary.