Running Electric Motors in Freezing Temperatures

Running Electric Motors in Freezing TemperaturesThroughout the cooler months it is important to take a few precautions while operating your electric motor-driven equipment. This is even true for machines designed to operate in such conditions, such as blowers, pumps and salt spreaders. By taking the proper steps to avoid freezing temperature related issues you can lengthen the life of your equipment. Here are four factors to consider when operating electric motors in cool weather.


Freezing temperatures can decrease the magnetization level of magnets in Permanent Magnet DC brush type motors. This can result in poor performance, especially during low voltage, high amp operation. The use of insulating materials can be used to help prevent this type of performance decrease.


It may seem strange to worry about overheating when the temperatures are so low, but it is a real issue. This is a common issue for motors that are actually ran more frequently in colder temperatures than other times, because they are often used for extended periods of time. Before operation make sure that no ventilation holes are blocked, as poor air flow is a primary cause of overheating.

Cycle Duty

It's important to pay attention to the motor's cycle duty, as using a motor differently than suggested by the manufacturer can shorten its life. Make sure that any motors you plan to run continuously in cold temps are rated to do so, opposed to only being rated for intermittent duty. Pay attention to these operating times and give your motors breaks as necessary to ensure they do not fail due to elongated use.

IP Rating

The Ingress Protection (IP) rating is used to provide a level of protection motors have against the elements. You will want to check the IP rating of the motor you have before operating it in cold and salty, dirty or snowy conditions.

If you're running a motor when it is freezing out be sure that you are doing so within its capabilities to prevent breakdowns. If you need to learn more about your motor's capability or would like to schedule electric motor maintenance in Denver prior to cold weather operation, reach out to Industrial Motors & Machining Inc. Our team will gladly provide any operation tips for your specific electric motor to ensure that it does not run into any trouble during cold weather use. To learn more call our electric motor shop in Denver at (303) 872-598 today.

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Written and Published By MORBiZ

Industrial Motors & Machining Blog

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