Electrical Testing
Tip of the Week: Motor Maintenance

Tip of the Week: Motor Maintenance

Tips to keep your motors running smoothly

Heat is the number one enemy of motor longevity. Conducting regular thermal surveys on motors is a good way to spot lubrication problems, impending bearing failure, and even such things as voltage imbalance.

Be sure to also take thermal readings on gearboxes. Problems such as misalignment or dirty gear oil show produce increased temperatures. These problems increase the load on the motor and how much current it must draw; that means greater heat in the windings and a shorter life for the motor. Some gearbox problems can result in uneven bearing loading in the motor, and that also shortens motor life.

The readings might not make sense in isolation. If the gearbox reads 90°F and the motor thrust bearing reads 110°F, is that bad? Yes, if the baseline readings were 80°F and 98°F, respectively. But not if the baseline readings were about the same.

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