PERRY'S Electric Motors & Drive Sales
A division of EE&B Technology Inc
Since 1968

Phone: 805-925-8761
Toll Free: 1 877-222-0208
Fax: 805-925-8762
414 S. Western Ave.
Santa Maria, CA 93458

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FREQUENCY ASKED MOTOR QUESTIONS

1. Question: Should my motor be repaired?

Answer: Generally it is not economical to repair small motors (less than 5 Hp) unless the repairs are minor. Rewinding motors becomes economical at about 10 Hp and up. 

2. Question: Can my 3-phase motor operate in either direction?

Answer: Yes. A 3-phase motor will run in the either direction by interchanging any two of the incoming phase power leads. This should be done only after all power is turned off and locked out.

3. Question: Can my single-phase motor run in either direction?

Answer: It depends upon the motor. Some single-phase motors are wired to allow direction changes and some are not. This requirement should be specified when the motor is purchased. If you have a question about your specific motor give us a call.

4. Question: What is the difference between the name plate speed of my motor and the synchronous motor speed?

Answer: The name plate motor speed is the speed at which the motor will run under load. The synchronous motor speed is the speed of the rotating element of the motor that matches the speed of the rotating magnetic field created by the armature winding. This difference in this speed is called "slip" and is what produces torque in the motor.

5. Question: Can I use a motor with a higher Hp rating then is required for the application?

Answer: Generally it is not a good idea to increase Hp beyond the requirement, as the motor will operate less efficiently and use more energy because it operates at a lower point on the motor power curve. 

6. Question: As my motor ages will it loose power?

Answer: Generally motor will not loose power as they age. If the motor seems to be loosing power or is "working harder" the chances are that the condition of the load has changed and is requiring more Hp to operate. Replacing the old motor with a higher Hp motor may solve the symptom but not the problem.

7. Question: Should I use a totally enclosed fan cooled (TEFC) or open drip proof (OD) motor

Answer: Generally TEFC motors are used when the equipment is operated in an open environment where the weather can attack the motor. The OD is used in a clean, dry, dust proof environment. There are exceptions where Original Equipment Manufactures deliver equipment with OD motors for outside use. There may be a cost issue involved.

8. Question: What is the most common cause of failure for a phase motor?

Answer: The most common cause of single-phase motor failure is a bad capacitor. Single-phase motor can have both start and run capacitors. In general the failure is with the start capacitor. The symptom may be that the motor will "hum" but not start. The capacitor can be checked and replaced at minimal cost.

9. Question: What is the most common cause of failure for a three-phase motor?

Answer: The most common cause of motor failure is premature bearing failure. The two most common causes for bearing failures are lack of lubrication and exposure to water. If an open bearing is not lubricated with the proper grease the bearing will become "dry" and wear. This excess wear causes premature bearing failure. If sealed or shielded bearings are installed the requirement for lubrication maintenance is eliminated. With open, shielded or sealed bearings, exposure of excess moister will also cause bearing failure. If bearing are properly cared for the life expectancy will be many years.

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