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6 steps to a perfect electric motor installation

You’ve ordered an electric motor for a pump, fan, conveyor, HVAC or other application and it’s just arrived. Before attempting installation, familiarise yourself with these six essential stages.

Receipt, handling and storage

When your electric motor arrives, the first task is to inspect it for scratches, dents or other defects. For example, chipped paintwork indicates that the motor may not have been handled properly during delivery.

Also check that nameplate information matches your order and review and file any accompanying documentation. Don’t accept delivery of the motor until you’re completely satisfied with its condition and specification.

If you plan to store your motor, ensure it’s kept in clean, dry conditions and away from sources of shock or vibration. Ambient humidity of 60 per cent or below and a temperature of 10-50°C are ideal. Read more on electric motor storage.


Choose a location that’s well ventilated and not surrounded by walls or other objects in order to ensure that the maximum ambient temperature on the motor nameplate is not exceeded. Unless the motor is specifically designed for operation in hazardous environments, make sure it is not exposed to flammable gasses or other volatile substances.

If the operating environment means the motor may be exposed to dust and moisture, make certain that it carries the appropriate Ingress Protection (IP) rating.


A level base for mounting an electric motor is essential, with each of the motor’s mounting points having to be on the exact same plane. A reinforced concrete foundation allows the motor to be firmly attached so as to minimise vibration, while slight adjustments can be made by placing shims beneath the motor feet.

To avoid soft foot, feet bolts should be tightened in sequence, with the same pattern followed every time to ensure consistency. In addition, the feet and mounting base should be completely free of debris.


Properly aligning an electric motor to the driven machine helps reduce energy losses caused by friction and vibration while improving process efficiency and productivity. Along with a successful mounting, laser alignment allows shafts to be lined up with maximum precision.


Oil-lubricated motors are commonly shipped dry from the factory, so follow the manufacturer’s guidelines on the type and quantity of lubricant to use. Effective lubrication reduces friction between the shaft and bearings while transferring heat away from hot spots, which helps keep the motor cool.

While too little lubrication leads to overheating due to friction, over-greasing can also cause energy losses as rotating bearing elements churn the lubricant and force it out of the way.


Be certain that power source voltage, phase and frequency match the motor’s nameplate data and that current capacity can maintain the rated voltage under all load conditions. If you’re in any doubt about electric motor connection, request an engineer visit from a trusted provider such as Gibbons.

For information on Gibbons’ wide range of electric motors and related services – including installation, servicing and repair – call 01621 868138 or email

HVAC Services, Humidification, Variable-Speed Drives, Electric Motors, Pumps & Controls, Transmission Systems

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