Top Three Common Causes Of Electric Motor Failure

Electric motors are considered to be a very technical piece of equipment and if your machines or tools contain an electric motor, then you better know what causes its failure and take measures to prevent the same. And the best way to get through with a problem is knowing what can cause it to happen and taking care of it.

The electric motors come with a life span. Moreover, their proper care is vital in order for them to last long. If you do not take appropriate maintenance measures for your electric motor, then it is less likely to go a long way. Well, there can be numerous causes of electric motor failure.

 One of the known reason is contamination, people usually do not take proper care of their electric motors as a result a lot of dust, dirt and harmful chemicals get accumulated on it which ultimately affects the motor and causes failure. Another known reason is over-heating; in fact over-heating is the most prominent reason. It is even said that 55% of electric motor failures are caused due to over-heating. Other causes are low resistance, overloading, winding failures, electrical or mechanical issues, etc.

Let’s talk about some of these causes in detail:

Low resistance:

  • Undoubtedly low resistance causes failure of electric motor. Now the question is what causes low resistance? Well, the cause behind low resistance is the degradation of the insulation of the windings, which is further driven by corrosion, any sort of physical damage or overheating.
  • This ultimately leads to lacking isolation between the motor windings which eventually causes short circuits and leakages and at the end motor failure.
  • Now in order to avoid the issue of low resistance, the only possible solution is to conduct a regular inspection of the insulation and keep a check on the signs of wear and tear. And if it demands necessary replacement, then it should be done without causing any delays before it leads to total failure.


  • Over current or overload is caused due to extreme flow of current within the motor windings exceeding the amount of current which the electric motor is actually designed to carry. The cause behind this could be a low supply of voltage, thereby leading to motor taking in extra current in an attempt to sustain its torque. The same can also be a result of excessive supply of voltage or short circuits.
  • The only way to prevent electric overload is to install efficient over-current security that will eventually detect an overcurrent and cease the supply.

Other mechanical issues:

  • Other mechanical and electrical issues are the most common causes of electric motor failure. You need to keep a check on your motor and the moment you notice any related signs, immediately resort to its repair else it will soon result in motor failure.
  • It is best to opt for a regular maintenance strategy for the well being of your electric motor and stick to that. In addition to that, get regular inspections of your motor done because this way you will get to know about the condition of your electric motor and save it from failure.