Because electric motors are used for many different applications and in so many different environments, the number of electric motor repair problems you might encounter may seem limitless, but in fact they tend to break down into several distinct categories:
These are the most common problems encountered and the easiest ones to fix. Simply flip the breaker or change the fuse and you are back in action.
Another extremely common problem is damage caused to the electric motor by contamination of some sort. Contaminants such as dirt, grease, oil, and (maybe the most damaging contaminant of all) moisture, can damage vulnerable parts of an electric motor.
Moisture is especially damaging because it may cause corrosion, which also will need to be addressed to keep the electric motor in prime working condition.
Lightning strikes are rare, but damaging, occurrences that might be difficult to diagnose under normal operating conditions. They sometimes lead to a common condition known as single-phasing which is when a three-phase motor loses one of the phase voltages because of an open connection at one end of the cabling between the motor and the drive. In these cases, the lightning strike burned the wiring completely away causing the open connection. This causes the other two phase voltages to conduct more current which generates more stress and heat on the electric motor overall.
Because the motor is still running, you might not notice a problem with the motor unless you perform the occasional infrared thermographic study as part of the motor’s preventative maintenance program.
If you use an electric motor that is too small for the task at hand, or one that is not designed to work in the environment that it was installed in, it will be more susceptible to excess heat, excess vibration and will wear out much faster than an electric motor that is sized correctly for the job.
For electric motors that are not suitable for the environment that it works in, it will be more prone to contamination and the problems resulting from it.
If an electric motor is not installed properly, is mishandled during storage or the installation process, misaligned, or used for a task that it is not designed for, damage can occur. Installing an electric motor needs to be done with careful consideration, taking into account factors such as the operating environment, sizing, amount of use, and power conditions to make sure that these factors do not reduce the life expectancy of your electric motor.
Troubleshooting electric motors can be frustrating and time-consuming. Why not let us take a look? At Tekwell Services we provide both field service diagnosis and repairs as well as in-shop repair services. Give us a call at 1-800-829-7454 or complete our online Pump and Electric Motor Repair Form to reach out to an electric motor repair expert today.