Electric motors are fairly easy to operate and very reliable devices. And while this can hardly be considered a bad thing, one unexpected but frequent downside of this is that their owners tend to neglect daily maintenance. If you care for your electric motor it will continue to serve you for years and keep being reliable. But if you neglect it you might miss some apparent and easily solvable issues that might lead to bigger ones.
The best way to prevent any major issues is to create a preventive maintenance checklist for your electric motor. Apart from that, you should also keep a log of recent maintenance done on the electric motor. This will help you keep track of which parts were recently replaced and which are long due for a replacement. This way, your electric motor will stay in great shape and keep serving you well.
Your checklist and log should include tasks such as lubrication, inspection, cleaning, testing and replacement. Read on to find out which parts need the most attention.
Commutators and Brushes
Commutators and brushes are most vulnerable to wear and tear damage. Therefore, it’s important to frequently inspect them to discover if any of them have been extensively worn out. If they were, they will not operate optimally and should be immediately replaced.
A licensed and experienced technician will take into account the brushes’ hardness, type, conductivity and spring pressure. On the other hand, the commutator should be smooth without any grooves or scratches on the surface. Additionally, if the commutator is rough and blackened due to the sparks created by the brushes, it should be cleaned or replaced.
Moving on to bearings. In most cases, an electric motor breaks down due to damaged bearings. Some of the causes of bearing failure include hot motor, excessive loads or hash environment. Fortunately, these issues can be easily avoided with frequent lubrication and replacing worn out bearings. That said, make sure you use the adequate bearings for your motor.
How much maintenance your bearings require depends on which bearings you use, as well as where and how you use them. If you use your motor often and subject it to heavy loads, you should inspect your bearings daily with specialized tools like a stethoscope or the infrared scanner.
Take the temperature using a thermometer and compare it to the optimal temperature. If the bearings are too hot, they could be faulty. If left unchecked, they could cause a motor failure.
To make sure your electric motor stays in shape you need to lubricate it regularly. However, make sure not to lubricate the components too much as lubricants are known to damage the insulation if used excessively. Use only specialized lubricants recommended for your motor. Check the manufacturer’s specifications to find out how often you should lubricate it. On the same note, make sure you replace the oil at least once a month if you operate the motor in harsh environments.