How to Properly Store Your Spare Electric Motor

How to Properly Store Your Spare Electric Motor

When you’re overseeing a manufacturing facility, you need to make sure productivity stays high and efficiency is constant. One way to achieve these goals is to have spare electric motors in storage and ready for use at a moment’s notice. 

Those spares will be extremely handy in case one electric motor stops working. With proper storage, you can keep your facility running at top efficiency. 

Storage is integral for maintaining that efficiency, which is why it’s beneficial to learn about proper storage techniques. With some valuable information on hand, you can take actionable steps to make sure your electric motors are ready when you need them.

For expert assistance with storing your electric motor, contact Industrial Electrical Company today. In the meantime, here are eight tips for storing an electric motor.

1. Determine Storage Timeline

One of the first things you’ll want to determine when storing your electric motor is how long you’ll be keeping it in storage. This timeline will serve several different aspects of the storage process, so you’ll want to narrow it down into the following categories: 

  • Short-term: If you’re looking to store your electric motor for a month or less, focus more on the immediate factors within your control, such as temperature and ambient vibration.  
  • Mid-term: Longer-term storage for anything around six months and you’ll want to look at your storage area, keep records and make sure you’re covering all the preventative measures to keep your electric motor safe. 
  • Long-term: For storage lasting a year or more, you should regularly maintain your electric motors to promote longevity and take all the recommended steps to ensure your equipment stays in the best possible condition. 

Determining how long you’ll be storing your electric motors will help you realize how to do so properly. If you’re not sure, it’s always better to be safer and integrate as many storage tips as you can to help your electric motors stay functional.  

2. Find the Right Place

Where you store your electric motor is essential. A variety of factors can impact storage — temperature, vibrations, pests — so taking some time to find a reliable storage space will be critical to maintaining your electric motor. 

The ideal spare electric motor storage spot would be somewhere clean and dry, with climate control to keep your electric motors at the perfect temperature. Electric motors come with the added risk of being stolen, so they should be located in a secure area not easily visible through a window or door. Sometimes this ideal storage isn’t feasible, but you can still make do with what you have.

If you have to store your electric motor outdoors, make sure you weatherize it and add a waterproof covering to protect it from precipitation. Make the covering loose enough to deter any condensation from forming on your electric motor. You may want to consider renting a climate-controlled facility if you live in an area with extreme weather conditions. 

3. Consider Ambient Vibration 

If your storage area is close to a rail line, construction areas or busy roads, subtle vibrations could begin to harm your spare electric motor. You can help alleviate damage from vibrations by putting your spare electric motor on counteractive materials. 

Old conveyor belts, rubber boarding and pallets are all great ways to absorb ambient vibration and keep your electric motors safe. Avoid storing your electric motor on the production floor if possible. You can also lock the motor shaft to help prevent vibration-related damage.

How to Properly Store Your Spare Electric Motor

4. Control the Temperature

Temperature is significant when it comes to electric motors — you’ll want to keep them within 10-20 degrees Fahrenheit above room temperature to prevent condensation. You can extend the longevity of electric motors by keeping them somewhere dry, so ensure your temperature control methods don’t create a humid space. Effective ways to control the temperature include: 

  • Using a space heater: To minimize condensation, use a space heater to keep the temperature above freezing.
  • Measuring and controlling humidity: Humidity control is essential when storing an electric motor. Humid air can cause corrosion, rust and breakdowns in the motor, while drying out can cause cracks in the capacitor lining. If your storage area has humidity that’s over 60%, take measures to absorb excess moisture and rotate the shaft more often.

5. Defend Against Pests

The design of an electric motor makes it an appealing spot for various pests to make a home, possibly damaging insulation or blocking ventilation. Pests such as termites and rodents can cause significant damage to your electric motor once inside. To prevent this from happening, consider taking preventive steps such as:

  • Sealing some of the openings of the electric motor with steel wool.
  • Keeping the equipment in a clean place devoid of any debris when storing electric motors indoors.
  • Placing mothballs around the perimeter of the storage area.
  • Double-checking the need for any rodent control practices before you choose an area for storing equipment.
  • Selecting a storage location away from potential food sources.

6. Protect Bearings, Carbon Brushes and Springs

It’s essential to take steps to preserve these features:

  • Bearings: When properly storing electric motors, clean off any debris or dust from your electric motor beforehand. After completing this task, fill bearing cavities with grease to lubricate the bearings and prevent corrosion damage during storage. Excess lubricant can be removed when the machinery returns to service.
  • Carbon brushes: Lifting carbon brushes is an effective and safe way to avoid the possibility of chemical reactions.
  • Springs: Relax the springs when storing your electric motor. If the springs are kept in a compressed state, they will become stressed and may fatigue when placed back in service.

7. Keep Records

Keeping records of your electric motors in storage is one of the most beneficial steps you can take. You can use ID cards to track the date and time they went into storage, along with other specific details of the electric motor itself. 

With accurate records, you’ll know exactly how long your electric motors have been in storage and can differentiate them from those that are new, used or repaired. Other recorded details such as the date of maintenance and inspection will give you confidence when it’s time to put the spare into action. 

8. Conduct Regular Maintenance

Even though an electric motor is in storage, you’ll still want to conduct regular maintenance on it to keep it in working condition. There are a few different ways you can keep it fresh: 

  • Surfaces: Protect your electric motors from rust and moisture with protective coatings. 
  • Lubrication: Before storage, it can be beneficial to lubricate bearing cavities to keep them free from corrosion.  
  • Rotations: To promote longevity, simply rotate the shaft of your electric motor at least once a month.
  • Inspections: While you conduct maintenance, inspect the environment for signs of pest damage and condensation.

How to Properly Store Your Spare Electric Motor

9. Consult a Professional Service 

These storage tips for spare electric motors can be very helpful and work to keep your facility running smoothly. Providing regular maintenance and trying to handle all of these tips on your own, however, can be challenging. If unfamiliar with best practices for storing your electric motors, it’s best to consult with an expert who can help ensure your equipment remains in good condition while out of use. Consulting a professional service will let you find the right information and save you time and energy. 

Contact Industrial Electrical Company 

With the right information on how to store electric motors, you can be confident in knowing your electric motors are always ready to use. When you need a new electric motor, you can quickly and efficiently switch to the spare without a hitch. Even with these tips, it will help to have a professional service who can help you take care of your electric motors. 

IEC can help you with our electric motor services, including:

  • Maintenance: We offer emergency services, diagnostics and testing both in-house and on-site so that you can avoid costs down the line.
  • Repairs: Our technicians will troubleshoot your electric motor’s problem and find the solution to get your equipment running again, whether it requires dynamic balancing, gearbox repair or necessary modifications. 
  • Installation: With turnkey AC and DC motor installation and removal, you can get back to working on what matters most.

If you’re looking to reduce downtime and get your facility working at top efficiency, we’re the company for you. We offer excellent customer service, and our loyal customers are proof — over 98% of our business is from repeat clients. With 24/7 availability over the phone, our electricians will give you the quality service you need to get your electric motors in great shape. 

Whether you’re looking to get an old electric motor out of your facility, a new electric motor installed or another motor repaired, IEC can help. Contact us today for more information about protecting your electric motors!

Get in Touch With Our Experts

Our motor shop is located right in the Central Valley and can complete any job from total welding services to custom modifications. To learn more about our services, classes and products, contact us online today.

Contact US
icon-angle icon-bars icon-times