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Initial Test Runs On an Electric Motor Repair: What Does That Include?


Everyone agrees that proper testing is vital, and initial test runs--when performed correctly--help electric motor repair technicians get a head start on troubleshooting electric motor problems. But what exactly do these initial test runs involve?

When Initial AC Motor Test Runs are Needed?

For most electric motor repair shops, an incoming test run is only performed for a few specific reasons such as if (1) the customer requests it (which is common), (2) if it is a 2-pole motor, or (3) if the motor has a particular problem that can be observed (e.g., vibration).  Beyond those situations, most shops only test run the electric motor, after repairs are completed, as a final quality assurance check of their repair.

Keep in mind there are many times when you cannot run a motor on arrival due to the condition of the unit. If the motor is grounded, shorted, locked up or has a bearing issue, it may not be safe to test it prior to repair. Think of driving a car after an accident - sometimes it can be safe and other times the vehicle must be fixed before it can be safely driven.

Why Initial Motor Test Runs are Important

Initial test runs give insight into the condition and performance of the motor before anything else takes place (e.g., cleaning, disassembly, repairs). The results of initial testing will better inform the troubleshooting process, which can shorten the lead time for getting your motor back. Which tests a motor fails and which tests it passes are key to narrowing down the cause of problems. 

How to Test an Electric Motor: Techniques, Part 1


There are so many different tests that you can perform on an electric motor -- and that's why it's key that you know what the purpose is of these tests, how they work, and what the data means. This blog post is the first in a two-part series on the subject of electric motor testing.

We'll start with a quick review of why testing is important followed by a discussion of rotor bar, hipot, surge, and motor winding resistance as well as a discussion of vibration analysis.

Importance of Testing

Bearing problems may be the number one cause of electric motor failure, but electrical faults are a close second. And electrical failures require your maintenance group to go about testing the motors in your care.

The most obvious benefit of testing is troubleshooting. When a motor isn't working right or fails, you can use testing to track down the most probable cause of the problem. You can also use test results as a measure of a motor's performance. That data, in turn, can inform decisions about repairs, maintenance, rebuilds, and replacements.

Regular testing is key to your maintenance program and contributes to the performance and reliability of the motors in your care. For example, you can detect minor problems before they become expensive failures. And remember, well maintained motors have much higher reliability, and both the M&O costs and energy costs for them are lower.

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