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The Most Common Electric Motor Breakdowns

The Most Common Electric Motor Breakdowns

Electric motors work hard and over time can break down and cause you problems. Fortunately, there are some breakdowns which are more common than others, and if you spot some signs that could indicate a problem, you can probably save yourself a lot of money and a lot of frustration.

If you need an electric motor repair in San Diego, make sure that you check the credentials of the company you want to hire before you commit to anything.


Regular maintenance is very important for all machinery. It can discover potential problems before they occur and cause serious damage. When it comes to electric motors, there are several key parts of a maintenance which shouldn’t be skipped over.

Bad Insulation Resistance

This is one of the most common breakdowns and, sadly, one of the most difficult to deal with. This problem causes potential leakages or, more commonly, short circuits which results in an eventual complete malfunction of the engine.

The leading reason for this bad insulation resistance is overheating over a longer period of time. Other causes for insulation degradation include corrosion or physical damage. In order to prevent this from happening, make sure that your maintenance includes an insulation inspection as well.

Electrical Overload

Essentially, this means that an excess of electrical current flows through motor windings. It is problematic because the engine is not designed to deal with the excess current safely. There are several reasons why this problem occurs. For instance, in low-voltage areas, the engine tends to draw more current in order to keep the torque. Another scenario is too strong voltage in the grid or even short-circuited conductors.

This problem can directly lead to other problems, such as the insulation stripping, overheating of the system and finally, a complete breakdown. Using a current protection is a simple way to prevent this problem from happening. This protection detects current flow problems and shuts down the engine to protect it.

Vibration Problems

Vibration in electric motors largely comes because it is poorly installed, or installed on an unstable surface. There’s also a possibility that some parts of the engine got loose and are causing the vibrations. 

The damage that vibration does to the engine is largely mechanical, but it can result in a complete breakdown of the engine if ignored. In the meantime, it does affect the performance efficiency.

Moisture in the Engine

If moisture penetrates the engine, it can cause corrosion on the insulation or other parts of the engine, which can lead to performance issues in the short term. In the long run, however, it can cause a complete breakdown of the motor.

Dirt in the Engine

The most common way that dirt causes problems is by creating a blockage in the airflow inside the engine. This makes it difficult for cooling fans to cool the engine down. However, dirt and other debris can also get in the engine itself, causing friction which slows the engine down mechanically. This only increases the overheating problem.


If the engine works in a particularly hot environment, or some of the previously listed reasons are causing the overheating, it is important to find a way to remove the excess heat. Failure to do so will result in poor engine performance and eventually, a serious breakdown of the motor.

All of the problems above are caused by simple things with simple solutions. It is important to take care of your machinery properly. Additionally, regular maintenance cannot be neglected. Find a trustworthy maintenance company for both maintenance and electric motor repair. In San Diego, people can count on PCE, a company with over four decades of experience with everything electrical and mechanical.

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