How To Troubleshoot Electric Motor Starters

It can be quite tricky to troubleshoot motor starters, especially the electric type ones. But if you are fairly experienced with motor work and would want to learn how to do simple troubleshooting tasks, then this article is just for you. Just read on the tips below and see if you can do these by yourself before you head off to the nearest service center or all the servicing technician. This will save you some cash and the time and effort that you would normally place in if you are going to call somebody to check your motor. There is also a list of materials that you will need for your initial inspection.

  • Materials that you will need:
    • Safety goggles
    • Wire pliers
    • Screw drivers, both the Philips and slotted ones
    • Volt-ohm meter
    • Emery cloth
  • Putting on the protective gear. As they always say, an ounce of prevention is a lot better than a pound of cure so make sure you are wearing your protective gear, in this case, the safety goggles. Remember that eye glasses and shades do not count. You really have to use safety goggles.
  • Disconnecting the unit from power. Your next step is to remove all existing connections to electricity. You can do this by removing the connection to your motor circuit. You can check if there really is no power running through it by switching on your volt-ohm meter and attach it to the incoming power track. The meter should read 0 in terms of voltage. Do not start any work if the reading is not 0 since you might electrocute yourself.
  • Checking the screws. Your next step is to check all the terminals and their screws. The screws must be tightly placed and no one should be loose. If there is one, get your screwdriver and screw it in tightly. Having a loose screw in your machine can be very dangerous. Check the condition of the wires, too, if there is anything burnt or discolored since this is a sign of a malfunctioning wire. Replace the wires if there is any discoloration or anything similar. It is better to replace a doubtful wire than to have an accident later on.
  • Checking the fuses. You can check the fuses by starting with the starter circuit of the motor. Check if all wires lead to a closed circuit on all fuses. Normally there are 2 or three fuses, depending on the type of motor you have. Regardless, all of these should be a part of a closed circuit. Check the wires and their conditions, too, as earlier described. Remember that an open circuit will eventually burn something.
  • Checking for overloaded heaters. You should next check the surrounding parts of your motor such as the mating surfaces, if it is already corroded or weak. You can remove the corroded metal by sanding it with an emery cloth. This will be like sandpapering the surface and will get rid of the corroded metal surface. After the sanding, it should be smooth and free of any discoloration. Overloaded sections are those that are colored purplish or blue. Look out for this type of discoloration in your motor.

If the improvements mentioned above do not help your motor then you would need to bring it to the nearest service center to have an expert technician take a look at it.


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