Electric Motor Bearings: How to Check if They’ve Gone Bad

August 31, 2020

Electric motors are machines that run by converting electrical energy into mechanical energy. Most of these motors’ magnetic field interact with electric current for it to provide enough force on their shaft. These motors are mostly used in equipment, tools, and appliances for residential, commercial, and industrial uses. Vacuum cleaners, dishwashers, printers, water pumps, automotive parts, machine tools, printing presses, and others utilize the power of electric motors.

Despite the great engineering feat behind the construction of electric motors, they would still fail after a long time of usage due to various reasons. There would be some components that have already been damaged due to continuous usage. The electrical supply may also be insufficient. Electric motor bearings, which are mostly ignored during maintenance, may have likewise been showing signs of failure.

Properties of Electric Motor Bearings

Electric motor bearings may have overshadowed by other motor components, but they have various functionalities that can be beneficial for equipment, tools, or machines. They are intended to locate and support the rotor, keep the airgap consistent and small, and move the loads from the shaft to the electric motor. And for these bearings to perform the mentioned functionalities, they must be able to work at low and high speeds without increasing frictional losses.

The overall performance of electric motor bearings is dependent on their design and functionality. The load types, shaft speed levels, coupling with gears and belts, operating environments, temperatures, vibration levels, lubrication, and other elements of electric motor bearings all contribute to their effectiveness and daily operations. When one of these elements becomes faulty, then the electric motor bearings, as well as the electrical devices, can be affected negatively.

Checking the Electric Motor Bearings

To maintain the operations of your electrical equipment, tools, and appliances, then you should check the condition of your electric motor bearings. If your sleeve bearings are now resisting or produce rasping or scraping sounds whenever the shaft is rotated, then they may have already been seized. You can easily remedy this issue by lubricating them with oil.

Ball bearings that have already worn, on the other hand, may possess a distinctive dry rolling sound when you move the shaft. They can also manifest raspy feel and resistance when rotating the shaft. In this case, lubrication cannot fix them since the problem is already permanent. The only solution to these faulty bearings is to replace them fully.

Maintenance of the whole electric motor and its bearings is important for them to perform optimally. Some of the key maintenance activities that must be done include servicing of the stator windings, lubrication of bearings, and monitoring of the motor’s overall condition and performance.

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