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Electric Motor Failure Cause

Heat

Excessive heat is a major cause of Electric motor failure and a sign of other motor problems. Heat degrades motor insulation. When motor insulation is degraded, the windings are shorted, and the electric motor is no longer functional.

As the heat in an electric motor increases beyond the temperature rating of the insulation, the life of the insulation is shortened. The higher the temperature, the sooner the insulation will fail. The temperature rating of electric motor insulation is listed as the insulation class.

The insulation class is given in Celsius (centigrade) (°C) and/or Fahrenheit (°F). The electric motor nameplate typically lists the insulation class of the motor. See Figure 2.