With the number of machines companies depend on these days for operating their business efficiently, it’s no surprise that electric motors are a hot topic. Without electric motors, many companies would see dramatic dips in efficiency and profitability. In fact, some companies wouldn’t be able to operate at all without electric motors. Part of owning electric motors is proper and frequent maintenance. Despite having a maintenance routine, many electric motor owners experience overheating at some point. Overheating forces operators to deactivate the motor temporarily which obviously results in downtime and a decrease in productivity. There are dozens of potential reasons your electric motor is overheating. We’re going to cover the most common reasons in our comprehensive guide below; read on to learn more.
The Air Vents Are Clogged
Despite it being the easiest problem to prevent, many electric motors overheat merely because the ventilation holes are covered with dust and debris. Even if there’s minimal dust on the motor’s air vents, the dust still reduces the air flow that cools the motor during use. As you might suspect, entirely covered ventilation holes will quickly result in an overheating motor. Moreover, if the operator doesn’t clean the vents and continues using the motor, they could permanently damage the motor. As we briefly mentioned earlier, you should have a consistent maintenance schedule for your electric motors. Included in that schedule should be deep cleaning, as merely wiping the outside of the motor won’t provide a permanent solution. Although the vents act like filters to some extent, there will almost always be dust inside the motor as well.
Insufficient Power Supply
As indicated in its name, electric motors require a power source. Every motor is different when it comes to its required power supply. You must read the manufacturer’s guidelines to ensure you’re meeting the power expectations of your particular motor. The power supply needed may depend on the motor, but also the applications. Some applications require a lot of work from the motor which also requires a higher power supply. In short, make sure you’re meeting the power requirements and your motor won’t overheat.
The Application Is Overloading the Motor’s Capability
Similar to the previous point, your motor might not be suitable for every use. If any motor worked with any application, we wouldn’t need to offer several different motors. Using an electric motor that’s too small for your application will result in overheating. Again, you must reference your motor’s user manual to determine if your motor will work for your application. If the answer is no, then don’t try to make it work—you’ll only cause further damage. If the application is going to be a regular operation at your company, you should consider purchasing an additional motor. If the application is rare at your company, you can probably find a company in your area that rents a motor with the specifications you need.
You’re Turning the Motor On and Off Too Frequently
Believe it or not, the frequency of powering up and shutting down your electric motor can cause overheating. The reason is that the motor must take in a lot of electricity to power up, and then the manufacturer designs the motor to expend that power. When you don’t use up the power that was taken in and merely shut the motor off, it can cause short circuits and other damage within the motor. As you increasingly turn the motor on and off too frequently during use, you’re going to notice that overheating will become a regular occurrence. A lot of companies will turn their motor on and off in between uses because they believe they’re saving energy. While the company might slightly decrease their energy use by turning the motor off for a short period of time, they don’t realize that they’re damaging the motor. Luckily, if your company practiced this power-on power-off method, it’s possible that a professional electric motor repair service can repair the damaged parts.
It shouldn’t be surprising that the environment you work in can have negative effects on your motor. One possible reason your electric motor is overheating is that you’re using the motor in a warm environment. Ambient temperatures can easily overheat your motor if you’re operating the motor in a climate that isn’t suitable based on the motor’s insulation class. You can usually find the insulation class on the motor’s surface or in the owner’s manual. The insulation class will indicate the peak temperature in which the motor can perform optimally. Additionally, using electric motors in high altitudes can result in overheating as well. The reason is that the thinner air doesn’t cool the motor as efficiently. You can also contact the manufacturer to learn what altitude your motor is rated for.
Companies that rely on electric motors for their daily operations depend on efficiency. An overheating motor is one of the fastest ways to see a significant decrease in efficiency, productivity, and potentially in revenue. Although some of the causes for an overheating motor are out of your control, you can extend the working life of your motor through maintenance and repairs. Even if you have an exceptional maintenance schedule, you’ll likely need a repair at some point. Everyone who uses electric motors should have a dependable repair service on call; don’t make the mistake of attempting the repair yourself. There is a lot of room for error if you’re not familiar with working on electric motors.
Moley Magnetics can be that dependable repair service for you. Although we’ve expanded our expertise into magnets and attachments, our company began as a motor repair service. Our family-owned business consists of seasoned professionals who can support your company with our services and products. One of our core values is integrity, and we’re always honest with our customers. If we believe your money is better spent on investing in a new motor, we’ll tell you. Alternatively, if a repair is suitable—you can count on high-quality service. In the event that you do need to replace your motor or you need an additional motor, Moley Magnetics offers top-quality electric motors as well. We’re your one-stop-shop for all things motors, magnets, and attachments. Give us a call today if you have any questions regarding pricing, our service process, the industries we serve, or anything else. We look forward to working with you and developing a lasting relationship with you and your company.