DC motor repair rewinding tips

Whether to repair or replace a motor is a decision that must take the specific business's needs and budget into account.


Whether to repair or replace a motor is a decision that must take the specific business's needs and budget into account. Courtesy: L&S Electric.Regular maintenance extends the life of an electric motor. Despite a good program, all motors fail. Failure occurs when the motor experiences a catastrophic problem or if it has simply run its course.

Rewind/repair or replace

When a motor fails, look at all options to keep productivity delays brief. It is often a matter of looking at the economic benefits associated with each option. There are two options to consider when a motor fails: rewind/repair or replace. Look at many different factors associated with the failed motor before the decision. Factors include:

  • The condition of the stator core and rotor
  • The ROI of replacement
  • The sustainability of the motor for its intended application

It is important to look at the viability and the costs involved before making a decision. Evidence of more damage only becomes apparent after disassembling the motor.

Replacing the motor

A motor failure, if bad enough, creates problems beyond the windings. A catastrophic failure results in damage to the stator core, rotor, end brackets, bearings, and shafts. If there is that much damage, replacing the motor is the best option.

Weigh the options of replacing the failed motor with a higher efficiency motor. The higher efficiency standards provide even more benefits than repairing the failed motor. Before deciding to buy a higher efficiency motor, determine all the related costs to see if a new motor is a viable choice. If the price is too high, then repairing the motor becomes a strong option.

New motor delivery

Consider the cost and timing for delivery of a new motor. If the motor in question is a large motor or one that has particular features, it takes several months before the replacement arrives. On the other hand, a standard electric motor may be in stock and the replacement is faster. Repairing the motor takes place in far less time than waiting months for a new motor to arrive.

Repairing the motor

If the decision is to repair the motor, lead times are faster than some new motor delivery schedules.

Do research

There are many electric motor repair shops to choose. Ensure that the shop you choose has guidelines for their repair services. Some shops are members of organizations that provide guidelines and certifications. Good repair shops also have a quality management system (QMS). Using the proper practices in motor repair results in no loss of motor efficiency. A repair shop tests the motor before and after the repair. These tests, check the windings for any core losses.

Ultimately, the decision to repair or replace the motor is one that needs to make sense for the specific business and budget. Electric motors represent a significant investment for any facility. If repairing a failed motor, do diligent homework on all the repair shops in the area.

David Manney is marketing administrator at L&S Electric. This article originally appeared on L&S Electric's online blog. L&S Electric is a CFE Media content partner. Edited by Carly Marchal, content specialist, CFE Media, cmarchal@cfemedia.com. 

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