Tips for Maintaining Motor Reliability and Efficiency

Electric motor-driven systems account for more than 40 percent of all electricity generated in the world and often represent the highest energy users in a facility. Therefore, adopting motor management practices is critical to reducing energy costs and saving money, and it can also improve productivity and decrease downtime.

Below we share tips that can help with the upkeep and cost-effectiveness of induction motors.

Extending Motor Lifespan

  • Use a motor that is correctly sized for the load
  • Install the motor properly with:
    • Vibrationally sound mounting
    • Adequate shaft alignment
    • Proper electrical connection
  • Use a balanced and rated input voltage
  • Maintain a clean environment
  • Keep the ambient temperature below the motor’s nameplate rating
  • Have a constant motor load of 75 to 100 percent of the rated load
  • Implement a scheduled motor maintenance program

Reducing Overall Energy Consumption and Downtime

  • Develop purchase specifications
    • Purchase high-efficiency motors
      • Only 2 to 3 percent of a motor’s lifecycle cost comes from its purchase price; the remaining 97 to 98 percent is from the energy used to power the motor
  • Consider using variable frequency drives for centrifugal applications with variable loads
  • Keep a database of your motor population, identify critical motors and build a spares inventory

Maintaining Efficiency After Repair

  • Only use motor repair vendors that follow a third-party quality repair accreditation program
  • Develop repair specifications for your motors (vendors are likely happy to help to gain your business)


Implementing a motor management program with guidance on installation, operations and maintenance, and repair can cut your energy costs and downtime while enhancing long-term motor reliability.