6 Signs That Your Electric Motor Needs Replacement

You use electric motors for many of your appliances, and you see electric motors at work around you. After a few years of using your appliances and machines, however, you need to know how to be able to tell if you need to replace the electric motor of your appliance. Here are the signs you need to watch out for in your machines.

1. Worn-out exterior

You’ll know that your electric motor may be in need of replacement by inspecting the exterior of the motor. Check if the motor’s mounting holes are broken. Inspect the paint all over the motor. If you notice darkened paint on the middle area of the electric motor, watch out. The darkened paint signifies overheating.

In addition, check all over the motor for signs that dirt and other peculiar matter has been sucked into the windings of the motor via the gaps in the housing. If you notice these, give your electric motor a thorough check.

2. Noise

One of the first indicators that an electric motor is not functioning well is high or abnormal noise. Usually, a loud noise coming from the motor is the result of mechanical issues. After several years of a motor’s high load usage, the bearings of an electric motor has a tendency to give way and break.

Bearings are found in high-speed electric motors to lessen friction and to lengthen the life of the shafts. However, even these bearings get worn out in due time. When you hear loud knocking or rattling sounds coming from an electric motor–with the sound getting faster along with the motor speed–turn off the machine right away. You need to have the motor checked and replaced.

If your electric motor is coupled with a planetary gearbox, click on this link to view your options for motor and gearbox replacement.

3. Overheating

When you discover that the electric motor is very hot, this is a possible indicator of mechanical issues. Of course, overheating may also mean that you’re having electrical problems or incorrect load ratings. So, make sure to get the appliance inspected right away.

Each type of electric motor has power and load ratings that specify the maximum torque it can handle. When you overload the motor above its specified capacity, the electric motor and its wirings can overheat. If the overloading is done for prolonged periods of time, it will cause overheating. Overheating can lead to fire accidents.

Another cause of overheating is when bearings and bushings in electric motors are worn out. As aforementioned, the bearings are used to reduce friction for the rotating parts of the motor. If these bearings start to wear out, the friction within the motor may increase. The increase in friction causes overheating.

4. Low power

When your electric motor produces low power, this is an indicator that there’s something wrong with the motor. Using a multimeter, measure the current being drawn by the motor during full load operation. Then, compare the multimeter’s reading with the electric motor’s specifications. If the power is not up to the specifications, your electric motor may possibly need rewinding or replacement. To confirm what needs to be done, check the motor’s winding resistance.

5. Low electrical resistance

Electric motors work through the help of magnets and electrical windings. Again, use your multimeter to measure the resistance of your electric motor. If the multimeter reads 0 Ohms, this means that the motor’s windings are shorted, and should be rewound. Sometimes, especially if the electric motor is several years old already, it would be best to replace the whole motor instead.

6. Vibration

When you can see or feel the electric motor of a machine vibrate abnormally, your motor may need to be replaced. Unbalanced loads or incorrect installation of the electric motor may be causing the irregular vibration.

Moreover, high vibrations in electric motors may indicate damaged rotating parts. This damage may lead to abnormal oscillations inside the motor.

If you observe unusual vibrations in your machine’s electric motor, immediately stop the machine’s operation and check the motor immediately. Inspect the electric motor for the presence of foreign material or metal dust in the motor’s internal parts. These foreign particles can damage more critical parts of the motor, which can result in a short circuit and cause an electrical fire.


If you can detect any of the aforementioned signs in your electric motor, don’t take the risk of letting it continue to work. Call in an expert to assess and diagnose if you need to have the motor in your appliance or machine replaced. Doing so ensures your safety as well as the continued use of your machine.


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