What are The Benefits of Surplus Electric Motors?

Having a surplus electric motor typically saves you tons of dough

Surplus Electric Motors

You’ve got to make a decision right away on what you’re going to do about that electric motor that failed. From what you understand, you could invest in a brand new motor or find a surplus motor. Which one is the best option in terms of, not just money but, lead time and reliability? We’ve got the information you need to make a wise decision!

What is a Surplus Electric Motor?

In a nutshell, a surplus electric motor is a used motor. Purchasing a surplus electric motor is an alternative to purchasing a new one or repairing an existing one.

Benefits of Purchasing a Surplus Motor

The first and most obvious benefit of investing in a surplus motor as opposed to a new motor is cost: surplus motors are going to be significantly cheaper (usually on the order of 30%) because they are used. However, that is far from the only benefit.

  • You can often get warranties that either match or exceed those available with new builds because of the quality with which a surplus motor has been refurbished
  • You can find motors that are either an exact or very close match, both mechanically and electrically, to what you need to replace
  • Compared to new motor builds, a surplus motor can be obtained in a fraction of the time (on the order of days rather than months) which dramatically reduces your downtime
  • You can get a surplus motor customized to fit your particular application
  • The lead time for a surplus motor, even if it isn’t being compared to a new build, is much shorter than new motors that your local shop may not have in stock
  • If you have a hard-to-find vintage motor (perhaps one that isn’t even being manufactured anymore) then a surplus motor may be your very best option

Ways to Purchase a Surplus Motor

There are a few different ways that you can go about purchasing a surplus motor. They are as-is, e-ok, and remanufactured and guaranteed.

As-Is Surplus Motor

This is your least expensive option, but you have to remember that you are purchasing the motor as is. There is usually no warranty involved and no assurances other than how it has been described. It is generally recommended that any motor purchased in as is condition be taken to a qualified motor shop for inspection and repair . You could invest in an as-is surplus motor while you wait for a brand new one to arrive or be built.

E-Ok Surplus Motors

When investing in an E-Ok surplus motor, that means you are assuming that the motor has been tested to demonstrate that it works at least from an electrical standpoint (hence the “E”). It is generally assumed that motors sold in E-Ok condition will be taken to a motor shop for re-conditioning but will not require a rewind to operate.

Remanufactured and Guaranteed

Of the options discussed thus far, this is the most expensive but far less risky to invest in. A reconditioned motor has been thoroughly cleaned, had its electrical performance tested, and is in good condition mechanically. With the purchase of the motor, the user will get a warranty that the motor will operate satisfactorily for a certain length of time.

Older Motor Designs vs Newer Motor Designs

When considering whether you should invest in an older surplus motor, another consideration is how older motors differ from new motor designs. You might find that an older motor repurposed for your application is a better way to go compared to purchasing a brand new one.

Older Electric Motors Are Heavy and Rugged

First, keep in mind that older motors were designed to last 25 to 35 years while newer motors aren’t really expected to last much beyond 15 to 20 years. The older motors, because they were designed to last so long, are heavier and less compact than modern designs -- and they may be less efficient, depending on the intended application.

Older Electric Motors Are Far More Versatile

On the other hand, modern electric motors are usually designed for very specific purposes while older motors were more general purpose, which means they can be easily adapted for a wider variety of applications and are much more versatile. That also means that you might be able to purchase a less expensive older motor, have it refurbished and customized to your application, and save a significant amount of money in the process.


Depending on your needs and budget, a surplus motor may be the right choice for you. At HECO, we have a large inventory of surplus electric motors available, ranging from as-is options to high quality rebuilt surplus motors and from sizes starting at 1 HP all the way up to 10,000 HP. Our experts can advise you on what is available and what your options are. You can also find out more about our warranties related to various grades of surplus motors we sell.

HECO can also customize surplus motors for your application at competitive prices with a very fast turnaround. If you are interested in finding out about available surplus motors, or perhaps you have some used electric motors to sell, contact us today.