Electric motors are complicated and complex pieces of equipment. Therefore, they can stop working for many reasons. Both ac motors and dc motors can develop similar problems. Whether it’s from lack of maintenance, wear, and tear, or simply old age, failures occur due to various causes. Having a preventative maintenance program in place is a great way to keep an eye on an electric motor’s health, as it helps you identify, evaluate, and resolve possible issues that arise over time and may necessitate repair service.
When an electric motor needs repairs, it is usually for one of the following reasons.
- Winding failures
- Electrical and mechanical issues
Motor windings are among the most common source of problems. Winding failures are some of the most common electric motor repair causes. Stressful mechanical, environmental, and electrical operating conditions can all cause electric motor failure. Electrical failures are winding failures caused by an open contactor, bad connection, blown fuse, excessive heat, electrical overload, or broken power lines. Problems with sub-optimal operating conditions can interrupt the motor’s power supply and in turn cause it to malfunction.
Insulation failures are another type of winding failure that can cause a motor to stop working. The winding insulation can include a shorted coil, a shorted turn-to-turn, or a shorted phase-to-phase caused by abrasion, vibration, voltage surge, or contaminants. Thermal deterioration in the winding insulation, caused by excessive heat, can also be an issue with ac motors and dc motors. Thermal deterioration can result from unequal voltage caused by unbalanced power source loads or a poor motor terminal connection. Bearing failures can also cause electric motor failures. These failures occur with loose components or when there is friction between mechanical parts. Misalignment and shaft imbalance can cause bearing failures in motor windings, too.
Contamination is another issue in electric motors. Grease, oil, and dirt are common contaminants that can make their way into electric motors. Moisture, which is a damaging contaminant, can also negatively affect ac motors and dc motors. The added hazard of moisture is that it can cause corrosion, which in turn causes other parts of the motor to stop functioning correctly, too. Regardless of the cause, contamination can cause damage to vulnerable parts of the motor such as the cooling system, motor shaft, and motor system. If the cooling fan and other parts of the cooling system break, the motor can overheat and need to be replaced altogether.
Electrical and Mechanical Issues
Electrical and mechanical problems are other significant electric motor repair causes. Ranging from electrical overload to broken and worn parts, electrical and mechanical issues can severely impact a motor’s ability to work correctly. These issues usually affect the electric motor winding. The easiest way to tell what is causing the problem is by investigating the failure modes that appear when the motor starts showing signs of problems. Special software and data collection devices are ideal for collecting information on motor performance and pinpointing the problem. The diagnostic tools can look at the cooling fan, motor shaft, and other components of the motor to look for signs of degradation and wear. Overheated bearings, faulty connections, and abnormal tank levels are just a few indicators of mechanical and electrical issues.
A good maintenance program can help you detect problems and prevent an electric motor failure from winding failures, contamination, electrical problems, and mechanical issues. Using software and precise diagnostic tools can help you get a better idea of where the problem lies in a motor so that you can make repairs. Since motor problems can be difficult to detect and fix without extensive technical knowledge, you may ultimately need to find repair service to correct your motor’s problems.