You have a motor that failed and now you need a repair. How much is it going to cost to have it fixed? It seems like a pretty easy question, but the answer is a little more complex.
Before any electric motor repair shop can give you an accurate estimate, they should have some questions of their own that have to be answered first. The only person who can answer these questions is you, so it is good to be prepared going into the call.
Here is what to expect when you make the "how much will this cost" call:
“What’s wrong with your electric motor?”
This may be obvious, but your repair shop vendor cannot tell you how much a repair is going to cost until a full inspection is done of the motor. It could be a simple “clean-up” where the motor is inspected, bearing replaced, and the motor cleaned, baked and sent back. Or, it could be a huge malfunction that requires a lot of time, energy and replacements. Either way, you will not be able to get an accurate cost until a full inspection of the motor has been done.
"What specifications should your motor be repaired to?"
Not all EASA shops are the same. Yes, they may all be part of the Electrical Apparatus Service Association, but different shops look at and repair things differently. If a shop has a lower cost repair, it doesn’t mean that their repair methods are wrong, just that not everyone has the same methods of repair. It is up to you to make sure they are reading off the same specifications page.
"What do you want included in a basic recondition quote?"
So, you are looking to get an estimate for a recondition. Does that include bearings? What bearing are in the motor? Does the recondition include and incoming test run? Does it include vibration analysis? Does that analysis include a test run? How long of a test run? Is the test run full voltage? Does it include balancing the rotor? To what spec is the rotor balanced?
Even something as simple as a basic recondition quote isn’t as simple if you don’t know what you want. If you tell the electric motor repair shop exactly what you want, you will have a more accurate quotation.
The Question you shouldn't be asking: What is the repair shop’s hourly rate?
Seems like a simple question, but the answers can really be deceiving. Here’s what I mean:
- Motor repair shop “A” has an hourly rate of $50/hr.
- Motor repair shop “B” has an hourly rate of $65/hr.
- Motor repair shop “A” can repair a motor in 40 hours
- Motor repair shop “B” can repair the same motor in 30 hours due to efficiencies in their process.
- Motor repair shop "A" - 40 hours x $50/hr. = $2,000.00
- Motor repair shop "B" - 30 hours x $65/hr. = $1,950.00
If you looked at these two shops and decided based on hourly rate alone, you would have thought you were saving $15/hr. with shop “A.” Unfortunately, you actually would have ended up spending more.
Pricing electric motor repairs can be a simple process once you know the basic questions to as. It can also be complex because the answers you get don’t mean much unless your questions have been very specific. The price for any particular repair is important, but it’s only one of the factors that should go into selecting your repair vendor.
Justin T. Hatfield, CRL, CMRP
HECO - All Systems Go
About the author:
Justin T. Hatfield, CRL, CMRP is the President at HECO - All Systems Go. He is responsible for Electric Motor & Drive Sales, Electric Motor & Generator Repairs, Spare Solutions, and Predictive Services. Justin was instrumental in developing HECO MAPPS (Motor and Powertrain Performance Systems) which focuses on “why” you have a motor problem instead of simply “What” product or service should be recommended. Justin is a Certified Maintenance and Reliability Professional (CMRP) by the Society of Maintenance and Reliability Professionals (SMRP). HECO is an EASA Accredited Service Center for Electric Motors as well as a provider of predictive maintenance & reliability services and products throughout the United States.