From home appliances to cars and other forms of transportation, electric motors are an important source of power. But when they stop working, major problems can ensue. When a motor quits, you must decide whether to repair or replace it. There are several factors that go into this decision. The overall cost of repair service, the motor’s age, the broken component, and the motor’s efficiency are all factors that contribute to the decision of whether it’s time for an electric motor repair or a motor replacement.
Understanding how an electric motor is built and works are key to understanding the problems that can arise. In turn, this informs your decision about whether to order a motor repair or get an electric motor replacement instead. Motors pumps electrical energy into mechanical energy. They do so by using electromagnetic properties. Most motors produce mechanical torque by carrying electrical currents to a magnetic field. However, electric motors differ in size and design. Some motors have more moving parts than others. Generally, the more moving parts a motor has, the more likely it is that the parts will break or wear out.
Considering the Repair/Replacement Breakpoint
For many consumers and companies, the decision about whether to repair or replace a motor comes down to a breakpoint. This means that a determination is made about what to do with a motor based on its size. Repairs cost more for fixing a smaller motor than replacing it. However, the opposite can be true of larger motors. The motor type that you’re dealing with can also determine whether you’ll save money from making repairs or choosing a replacement.
Replace or Repair?
When you’re debating whether to repair or replace a motor, there are several things to keep in mind:
- Motor Size
- Ease of Repairs
- Lead Time
A motor’s design is critical in deciding whether it needs a motor repair or a replacement. The motor’s application also determines whether or not repairs are worthwhile. Newer motor designs are typically more efficient. An older motor, on the other hand, maybe better adapted for the device it’s used in and for the working environment.
A motor’s age also determines the practicality of making repairs or getting a replacement. As a whole, motors built over 25 years ago are durable and long-lasting. On the downside, they can be “over-engineered,” which means they are made with many working parts. Replacement parts for older motors aren’t always readily available. Motors made within the past 15-20 years have simpler designs with energy efficiency in mind. However, they have cheaper components and aren’t always engineered to last as long.
Replacement motors used for many products today are often smaller than the original versions. Depending on the appliance repair required, you may have trouble installing a replacement motor in the original location.
Some motors are highly specialized or intricately designed. When it’s time to replace the motor itself or a component, the complexity of the motor is an important consideration. You might be able to have a motor serviced at the local machine shop with aftermarket components. Other motors require original manufacturer parts.
Lastly, lead-time is a factor in debating whether it’s time for an electric motor replacement or an electric motor repair. Lead time is the amount of time it would take to get the motor back.
Ultimately, making a decision to repair parts on a motor or replace it with a new one is a decision with many variables. Generally, it is more cost-effective to make repairs initially, but it can be cheaper to replace the motor down the road.