Tuesday, September 27

How to Determine if an Electric Motor is Bad

Like every electrical appliance, electric motors are prone to failure over time. However, the reasons for a motor failure vary and may not always be the same. For example, AC and DC brush motors produce high power for short periods and quit working after brushes and commutator wear and tear. On the other hand, brushless motors have fewer moving parts and are, therefore, more enduring.

Checking motors for malfunctions follows a series of logical steps to identify the problem and the best solution. However, a basic grasp of Physics is necessary when diagnosing the motor. Therefore, motor manufacturers in India recommend calling an expert when in doubt.

Assess the Shaft and Bearings

The bearings often suffer malfunctions first in a motor. They tolerate regular wear and tear as the motor turns and needs routine replacing. Regular assessment is essential because using a motor with worn-out bearings can damage the internal mechanisms and reduce efficiency.

Bearing inspection is straightforward: First, rotate the bearings to ensure they turn seamlessly and freely. Otherwise, push and pull the shaft the bearings attach to and confirm that both the shaft and bearing move smoothly. If there is any scraping sound or friction, consider lubrication for minor friction or replace the bearings. Worn-out bearings produce a distinctive rolling sound and scratchy feel when trying to rotate the shaft.

Examine the Motor Windings

Wear-and-tear is a significant component when checking motor windings. But, more importantly, assess the resistance using a multimeter set to read ohms. Then, test the windings for a ‘short to ground’ in the circuit and open or shorts in the windings.

Check the motor for short to ground by setting the multimeter to ohms and disconnecting the motor from the power source. Then, check every wire for infinite readings. If the reading is 0, then the culprit may be a cable. Therefore, test each cable separately and ensure none of the leads is touching. On the other hand, if the readings are infinite, the motor is the problem and needs repair.

Test the Power

An electric is as efficient as the power supply. Therefore, examine the power source using a multimeter for the voltage range. Different motors, like the 3 phase motor, require different processes and ideal ratings for testing power supplies. These details are available in the manual, along with a testing guide. However, testing electric motor components can be difficult, and it is always best to seek professional assistance.

Check the Fan:

The fan is a critical component of motor performance because it cools the motor allowing it to run longer. Unfortunately, the fan easily clogs with dirt, dust, and debris, lowering airflow and retaining heat. However, these particles are elusive as the fan easily appears relatively clean on the outside.

Therefore, to check the fan, start by removing the cover for a better visual. Next, check whether the fan rotates freely and if it is secure to the motor. If it is loose, the fan will not move properly, leaving the motor to overheat and subsequently malfunction.

 Even with these measures to keep the motor from going bad, knowing how to check the motor is key. Remember that most of these tests require reliable, professional aid, and the best bet will give value for money. Review the service provider’s experience and online reviews before settling on a good, long-term partner

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