Tips for Troubleshooting an Electric Motor

3 August 2015
 Categories: , Blog

An electric motor may be found in your home's hot water heater or any number of tools and other equipment. You may have an electric motor for a pressure washer or sprayer, or for an outdoor heater. No matter its use, an electric motor can sometimes be more difficult to diagnose and repair than a gas-powered motor, since it usually includes more wiring and other such parts. Note a few tips for troubleshooting an electric motor so you know if you can repair it or need to have it replaced.

1. It blows a circuit every time it starts

This may actually be the fault of your home's circuits; you may be plugging it into an area that does not provide enough power for the motor itself and, in turn, the circuits get overloaded and switch off. It's good to test the wiring of the circuit and note if you need to have it upgraded or use a different plug that runs on its own circuit. 

If your home's wiring is not at fault, chances are the motor is shorted out with bad wiring. When the wiring is poorly connected in an electric motor, the electrical circuit may get shorted out and, in turn, the circuits shut off. 

2. It doesn't start

A bad starter coil can cause your electric motor to fail to start. This will keep the motor from getting electrical power, as the coil is what runs the power from the power supply to the starter of the motor. If the coil is burned out or otherwise defective, the motor itself is simply not getting power and will not start. The circuit board inside the motor can also be damaged; wires may have come loose so that they don't provide power to the starter of the motor.

3. It randomly shuts off

One common cause of this problem is that the fan or cooling system of the motor is defective, or the vents around the fan are jammed or covered. When the motor gets too hot, it usually has an internal thermostat and kill switch that will turn it off before it overheats. Check around the electric motor and note if there is accumulated dust and debris and clean it off. It's also good to note if you can hear the fan operating while the motor is running; if not, then the fan may be defective or jammed. Correcting this can keep the motor running optimally.

For more information, you may need to contact a local company that offers electric motor repairs