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Guide to Electric Motor Maintenance for Avoiding Failure

series of electrical motors

Electric motors are devices that transform electrical energy into mechanical energy. They operate through the interaction between electric current and magnetic field in a wire winding. This creates force in the form of rotation of a shaft. They are a critical component for any facility.

However, they are prone to a number of issues that lead to failures. This disrupts business operations, decreases productivity and impacts the profit of a company. Yet, their maintenance is not a priority for most organizations.



At DTR Services, we are committed to provide electrical machine installation and repair services. Our experienced professionals have aided businesses in Lethbridge, Medicine Hat and the surrounding areas for over 20 years. You can always count on us for getting the job done right.

It is important to understand the various causes of motor failure and how to avoid them. They are:


Electrical Overload

Also known as over-current, this is caused by an excessive current flow inside the motor windings. It exceeds the limit the device can carry safely and efficiently. This occurs due to a low supply voltage, compelling it to draw more current to maintain its torque. It can also be a result of excessive voltage supply or short-circuited conductors. The whole event can take place unpredictably and it greatly impacts the motor.

Possible solution: This can be prevented by fixing over-current protection; which will notice electrical overload and interrupt supply.


Low Resistance

It is the most common and arguably the most difficult cause to overcome. It happens due to the deterioration of the insulation of the windings as a result of corrosion, overheating or physical damage. This results in insufficient isolation between the conductors, leading to short circuits and leakages.

Possible solution: Regular inspection of the insulation should be conducted for early detection of signs of wear and replaced before a failure occurs. 


It is one of the major reasons for insulation failures. It can be caused by a high temperature operating environment or poor power quality. This reduces the rate at which heat can be conducted at an alarming rate. 

Possible solution: It is essential to ensure that the workplace has a proper cooling and ventilation system to help prevent breakdowns.


Foreign bodies (such as dirt, dust and chemicals) which find their way inside electric motors can dent bearing raceways and balls. This leads to high levels of wear and vibration. The effectiveness of the insulation can also be affected if debris settles on the motor windings. 

Possible solution: Stopping contamination is relatively easy. Keep workspace, tools and fixtures clean. Try to position motors away from grinding machines, which create a lot of contaminants.


It is often caused by the motor being positioned on an unstable or uneven surface. It can also be the result of an underlying issue with the device. This includes misalignment, loose bearings or corrosion. 

Possible solution: The devices should be checked regularly using a motor analyzing tool. In order to reduce vibration, make sure that the motor is positioned on a stable, flat surface. If it still occurs, signs of wear should be checked. 


It greatly contributes to the corrosion of the bearings, rotors and motor shafts. This can result in insulation failure.

Possible solution: Ensure that the motor inventory is kept dry all the time.


Let Experts from DTR Services

If you are in agriculture, oil or any other industrial services, we can provide the solutions your enterprise needs. We understand that each situation is unique. This is why we give a one-on-one service to all our clients.


Also, for information on how electric motors and generators work, read our blog post - Electric Motors and Generators: How Do They Work?

Call us today to learn more about our cost-effective services.


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