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An easy to follow guide on ac universal motor troubleshooting - power motor

What do the fridge, ceiling fan and hair blower have in common? They all have ac motors. What’s the first thing that we do when they won’t work? We seek help on ac universal motor troubleshooting. Below is a short quick guide on how to fix common errors on machines powered by ac motors. Hopefully, you’ll learn something new today.

The first step in ac universal motor troubleshooting is finding out what type of motor you’re dealing with. They’re two types of ac motors – the split phase one and another type with a capacitor. These capacitors are graded by their capacitance (measured in Microfarads). If you’re dealing with a capacitor motor, start by checking if the capacitor is charging and discharging as usual. They tend to wear out faster when in hot or moist conditions.

ac universal motor troubleshooting

To identify defective capacitors, first, de-solder them from the motor. Connect the capacitor in series with a 110 or 220 AC voltage and wire a 10amp fuse in series too. If you see the fuse bringing out then you have a faulty capacitor. Replace it before proceeding with the other ac universal motor troubleshooting steps. If the fuse functions as expected, let the capacitor charge for a few seconds (three are sufficient). Restrain from touching a charged capacitor as you may be hit by static charge.

Go on with the ac universal motor troubleshooting procedure by short-circuiting the two capacitor terminals. If you see a spark, then it’s in good working condition. A weak/ missing spark shows that the capacitor is ineffective. Replace it. Again, don’t touch the terminals. Unless you want to be electrocuted.

If the motor doesn’t spin after fixing worn out capacitors, proceed with the ac universal motor troubleshooting procedure. You should then unwind the motor. Both split phase and capacitor motors are unwound in the same manner.

Start by looking at those shorted wires that are connected to the frame. Is there a wire causing a short circuit? Inspect the windings carefully. The easiest way to identify those wires that case a short is by using an ohmmeter. Set your ohmmeter to an output of 500. Solder the culprits back into place

Most ac universal motor troubleshooting procedures fail to address checking the bearings on both ends of the motor. They fail by burning out due to friction or rust. A good efficient motor should spin quietly and with minimal vibrations. Listen for “shaky” sounds at close scrutinize it for awkward motions. Replace the commutator brush and bearings if there are signs of scraping.

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