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Common Causes of Electrical Motor Failure

internal view of a motor

We use electrical motors in a myriad of ways to make things easier in our daily life and also for a wide range of industrial applications. They are commonly used in fans, washing machines and refrigerators. Appliances often come to a halt when an electric motor fails. Several reasons cause electric motor failure. DTR Services provides various products, installation and electric motor repair services to keep your business running. We have been serving throughout Medicine Hat for over 20 years.


Electric motors have a predetermined life span ranging from 30,000 to 40,000 hours. It also depends on how you use it and whether you go for routine maintenance or not.


Have a look at the top five causes of electrical motor failure:

Electrical Overload – Excessive current flow within the motor windings can cause electrical overload. It can be a result of:

  • Low supply voltage

  • Short circuit conductors

  • Excessive voltage supply

Due to the above factors, the motor can draw in more current in an attempt to maintain its torque. You can prevent this by installing effective over current protection that can detect overcurrent and interrupted supply.

Low Resistance – Low Resistance is one of the most common causes of motor failure and it is difficult to overcome this problem. Conditions such as overheating, corrosion or physical damage leads to degradation of the insulation of windings, which results in low resistance. As a result, insufficient isolation between the conductors or motor windings causes leakages and short circuits, and eventually, motor failure. Prevent issues of low resistance in a motor by regularly inspecting insulations for signs of wear and replacing them if needed.

Over-Heating – Poor power quality or a high-temperature operating environment can cause overheating electrical motors. Insulation life reduces by half for every 10-degree rise in the temperature of a motor. So, it is essential to keep your motor as cool as possible to prevent breakdowns.

Contamination – Foreign bodies such as dust, dirt and chemicals contaminate motors and cause failures. They enter motors and dent bearing raceways and balls, producing high levels of vibration and wear. The cooling fan can also get blocked, limiting the motor’s ability to regulate temperature, which can lead to overheating. You can keep work areas, tools and fixtures clean to avoid contaminating the motor.

Vibration – If your electrical motor is positioned on an uneven or unstable surface, it will vibrate and eventually fail. Underlying issues such as loose bearings, misalignment or corrosion in the motor can also result in vibrations. Place the motor on a flat, stable surface to avoid vibrations. Call professionals to repair the electric motor if this does not work.


We provide a wide variety of reliable electric motor repairs in Lethbridge. We also sell and install motors from various brands.


Contact us to learn more about our services and products.


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