5 Signs That Your Facility Needs a New Electric Motor

5 Signs That Your Facility Needs a New Electric Motor

Your electric motor is a critical part of your facility’s operations. When it works correctly, it ensures the highest efficiency, safety and productivity for you, your workforce and your clientele. 

Like any other moving component, electric motors can break down, causing extended downtime, lost profits and potential dangers for people nearby. All too often, electric motor warning signs signify an imminent breakdown, only to go ignored.

To avoid these unfortunate instances, you need to ensure your facility has a correctly working electric motor. Read on to learn more about the signs you need a new electric motor.

5 Signs That Your Facility Needs a New Electric Motor

When to Get a New Electric Motor

Make sure you’re aware of the warning signs for electric motors. Keeping your eyes and ears open for these will help you get a jump on your electric motor issues and avoid potential downtime throughout your facility. 

1. Catastrophic Failure

Catastrophic failure is one of the most extreme red flags that you need a new electric motor. You could be going about operations in your facility as usual when suddenly everything comes to a grinding halt. Whatever you use your electric motor for, you’ll notice right away that something wrong has occurred during a moment of complete failure. 

Significant damage often occurs when an electric motor suddenly stops. It could result from rising temperatures, melted parts or even mechanical issues affecting the frame or shaft. Because of the possible widespread damage resulting from catastrophic failure, repairs may be insufficient. You’ll have to get a new electric motor. 

2. Bad News After an Inspection

You’d be wise to have a professional regularly inspect your electric motor. Motors can last for many years with preventive maintenance. Identifying potential issues can help extend your electric motor’s life, keeping it running for years. 

Unfortunately, an inspection can reveal some severe issues with your electric motor. Remember, it’s better to get this bad news before your electric motor experiences catastrophic failure so you can minimize downtime and get a replacement when it’s convenient for your facility. 

3. Overheating Components

Above, you read electric motors can succumb to catastrophic failure due to overheated components, which is the worst possible outcome. An Electric Motor overloading is often a result of an external source. If you notice a motor running hotter than usual we recommend investigating promptly.  If the electric motor operates under these conditions for any extended time you might consider replacing the motor once the origin of excessive load is resolved.

The design of an electric motor is specific to generating HP/Torque while dissipating heat. Once you exceed these design criterias, the electric motor rapidly begins to fail. The winding insulation becomes brittle and loses its insulating properties, The bearing grease liquifies losing its ability to lubricate. Resulting in a Locked Rotor and/or Winding Overload failure. These types of failures often render the electric motor not practical to repair. This can also cause extensive damage to the driven load and power source switchgear.

4. Vibrations

Rotating equipment is designed to operate with a specific range of vibration tolerances. Once an apparatus is operating outside these tolerances the electric motor, and any its attached load, are destined for failure. Excessive vibration left unattended can result in catastrophic failure rendering the electric motor unrepairable and downtime unavoidable. 

Here at IEC we employ todays latest technology in Vibration Analysis and Thermal detection as a service to our customers. Excessive vibration is as damaging to an electric motor as excessive heat. Both capable of rendering a motor unrepairable if left unattended resulting in the need to replace the motor and likely its linked components. 

Identifying the source of these failures is critical. Simply replacing failed components only remedies the symptom not the root cause. It is our goal to give you the tools needed to reduce your downtime and improve your operation.

5. Poor Performance

You can tell when an electric motor is working as it should be. You’ll experience minimal vibrations, and component temperatures will stay at a safe level. It can operate at peak load times without any issues. 

It’s quite the opposite when your electric motor is nearing the end of its useful life. You’ll encounter plenty of the issues we mentioned earlier. You may find it can’t keep up with your facility’s demands. If that’s the case, you should consult with your electric motor provider for replacement and/or service options.

Is Your Electric Motor Worth Repairing?

There are many aspects to consider when choosing repair vs replace. Cost of Downtime, Product Availability, Viability of Repair, How Critical is the Application and Root Cause of Failure are some primary considerations. 

  • Can you determine the root cause without disassembling the motor 
  • Is the savings of repair worth the cost of downtime
  • Is the motor repairable
  • Will the new electric motor cost less to operate
  • What’s the return on your investment
  • How much to invest in the failed motor before deciding to replace it  

If you face these same challenges you are not alone. There is no easy answer and every application requires a similar evaluation. Typically following the path of lowest cost of downtime combined with lowest cost of ownership is the best possible outcome.

Need Help? Our Field Representatives are well versed in everything from your power distribution to your rotating equipment. Combined with extensive background in application and product knowledge we can help you make an informed decision that is best for your company. 

How a New Industrial Electric Motor Can Save You Money

If your electric motor is a decade or more old, it could be operating on borrowed time. It’s only a matter of time before electrical and mechanical wear results in a failure and you are facing downtime.

Some value in new to consider:

  • Factory Warranty: New motor warranties often extend beyond the typical 1-year repair warranty. 
  • Less downtime: Unplanned downtime always translates into lost profits and unhappy clients. A readily available new motor offers immediate resolution to downtime. This also allows the opportunity to repair the failed motor as a spare for future downtime mitigation.
  • More energy efficiency: Older equipment is usually less energy-efficient. If you’re riding out an old electric motor’s operating life to save money, its inefficiency could be forcing you to spend more on your energy costs. A new industrial electric motor will save you money on your facility’s energy bill every month. 

Feel free to run your current electric motor’s performance metrics in our Motor Efficiency Calculator and find out how much you can potentially save by investing in a new electric motor.

5 Signs That Your Facility Needs a New Electric Motor

Let Industrial Electric Company Help With Your Electric Motor Needs

IEC is a full-service electrical company that started in 1935. Our passion is serving thousands of satisfied clients throughout California, and we want to share the same excellent service with you. When you experience the warning signs of an equipment breakdown and need turnkey solutions for your electrical motor, we are the ones to call. We have experience in various industries, so your needs could align with our expertise.

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.


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