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How to Troubleshoot Your Electric Motor

How to Troubleshoot Your Electric Motor

If you are moderately skilled at repairing things, you may think that you are ready and able to repair an electric motor. If the malfunction is minimal, that could be the case, but in most situations, electric motor repair in San Diego should be left to professionals, such as PCE.

You can, however, troubleshoot your electric motor and figure out what went wrong with it. It can help you determine whether repairing it makes sense or if you’re better off buying a new one. Here is how to go about doing it.

Basic Parts of an Electric Motor

In order to know what to do, you need to know what the most important parts of an electric motor are.

·         The rotor is the moving part of the motor which is mounted on the shaft around the stator. The conductors inside the rotor are affected by the magnetic field created by the stator. In fact, the speed at which the rotor turns is determined by the strength of the magnetic field.

·         The stator is the part of the electric motor which creates the magnetic field which powers the whole motor. Modern stators are not made from a single piece of metal, but rather from thin sheets in order to improve the efficiency.

·         Windings are coils of (typically) copper wire. They create a magnetic field of their own, thus promoting the flow of current through the motor

First Steps

If your motor is malfunctioning, the first thing you need to do is turn it off. In fact, unplug it from the power source, whether it is the electric grid or a battery. You won’t need the power to diagnose it and it may even be dangerous to keep it on.

Once that is done, take a closer look at the outside of the motor itself. There is a chance that some external factor is causing a malfunction. Anything from dirt to moisture to physical damage can be a source of the problem. You may even be able to smell the problem. The smell of smoke or burning plastics is a likely indication that the excessive heat is your problem.

Disassemble the Motor

If you haven’t been able to repair the motor just by a cursory external inspection, it is time to take it apart. Before you can do that, you need to know a bit more about the motor itself. The nameplate should be clearly visible on the body. It is supposed to have detailed information about the motor, including the voltage, RPMs, torque, and horsepower. It may indicate why the problem occurred in the first place.

Inspect the Bearings

Once you take off the shield which covers the inside parts of the motor, the first thing you can see are the bearings. They are located on both ends of the motor and they hold it in place. However, if they are not properly aligned, or if they have rusted or broken, your motor won’t run properly, or at all.

Inspect the Windings

If your windings have short-circuited, every time you turn on the motor, it will blow the fuse and shut down the motor. It is relatively easy to find the shorted wires, either visually or by using an ohmmeter. Just make sure that you know how to use the device.

Inspect the Fan

The fans used to cool down the electric motor are typically located in the back. Check whether it can rotate properly and that it is not obstructed by any debris or physical damage to the chassis.

If you find a damage which you cannot deal with, it is time to consult professionals. If you need electric motor repair in San Diego, one of the best places to visit is PCE, a company with over 40 years of experience in the field.

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