Heat is the number one enemy of an electric motor, and combating it is essential to motor maintenance. Our job is motor repair, and all too often we see motors damaged because care was not taken to keep it from overheating. Therefore, keeping your motor cool will provide your electric motor with a longer lifespan and keep you from spending unnecessary money on repair or a replacement motor.
A motor which runs too hot will have long term damage to its internal insulation. If the motor is much too hot, it can fail in a matter of days, hours, or even minutes. So, what can you do to keep your motor cool?
First, keep it clean. Your electric motor has a ventilation system and a fan which cools it. In the common TEFC type of motor, the fan cools the frame of the motor. So, if your TEFC motor’s fan or the outside of the motor is caked with grease and dust, this is hindering the proper cooling of the motor. For an ODP motor, which brings air directly into the motor, keeping your motor clean inside is paramount. Anecdotally, a clack of cleaning seems to be the biggest cause of long-term damage to electric motors. For a prime example of a motor where over-lubrication was a cause of failure, see our August 2016 post here.
Second, your motor’s fan turns with the motor. If something is stuck in the fan shroud—or the fan is bent and twisted—this can hinder the cooling system. Then, your motor will burn out and it will either need to be repaired or replaced. Much like a personal computer, your electric motor’s fan should also have sufficient air flow. If your fan’s air intake is too close to a wall or similar obstruction (or worse, completely blocked), then the motor will not have to ability to adequately cool itself. Make sure your motor is in a physical location where it has proper air flow, and your can avoid this issue.
If you follow this simple maintenance step, it will go a long way towards extending the life of your electric motor. However, there is much more to electric motor maintenance than combating heat and every motor has a lifespan. When you need a motor, we here at Brooks Motor & Electric have the knowledge and experience to provide you what you need when you need it.
For more information on electric motor maintenance, see our post Tips to Extend the Life of Your Electric Motor.