Gatterdam Industrial Services is your full-service industrial vendor. Selling and repairing motors since 1954, we offer cost-saving industrial solutions.

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Ask The Pros

Basic motor maintenance tasks help extend the life of your industrial equipment. Below we have provided answers to frequently asked questions and troublsehooting tips, for motor industry members and enthusiasts.

Motor Industry FAQ

Electric Motor Troubleshooting

Why Balance?

Motor Industry FAQ

Questions regarding electric motor maintenance often center around motor lubrication and relubrication schedules, cleaning to maintain performance, circulation and uptime, and the replace vs. repair decision.


Lubricating an engine should follow the manufacturer's specifications.  A few pointers include not to overlubricate (if excess lubricant is observed, the motor is overlubricated).  Also, be sure to lubricate while motor is at running temperature.


Be sure to keep your motor clean, inside and out.  Ensure proper air flow by clearing dust and keeping vents clear.  By doing so, your motor will dissipate heat and prevent heated air from recirculating.

Electric Motor Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting an electric motor at times when the motor won't start, stops running, or when excessive vibration is observed, can be effectively initiated with a few steps that identify areas to investigate.

Motor will not start or stops unexpectedly
  • Check cords and circuit breakers
  • Assess motor housing temperature
  • Check housing ventilation
  • Check flywheel operability
Excessive vibration or noise
  • Check for loose mounting
  • Check shaft alignment
  • Check for bent shaft

Why Balance the Rotor?

An unbalanced rotor will cause vibration and stress in the rotor itself and in its supporting structure. Balancing of the rotor is, therefore, necessary to accomplish one or more of the following:

  • Increase quality of product
  • Minimize vibration
  • Minimize audible and signal noises
  • Minimize structural stresses
  • Minimize operator annoyance and fatigue
  • Increase bearing life
  • Minimize power loss

Unbalance in just one rotating component of an assembly may cause the entire assembly to vibrate. This induced vibration in turn may cause excessive wear in bearings, bushings, shafts, spindles, gears, etc., substantially reducing their service life. Vibrations set up highly undesirable alternating stresses in structural supports and housings, which may eventually lead to their complete failure. Performance is decreased because of the absorption of energy by the supporting structure. Vibrations may be transmitted through the floor to adjacent machinery and seriously impair its accuracy or proper functioning.