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How to Test an Electric Motor: Techniques, Part 1

07/07/2020

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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