More Isn't Always Better: Why Over Greasing Can Cause Bearing Failures

Authored by: Allan Zieser, STLE, CLS

Over-greasing electric motor bearings is the leading cause of bearing failure by far. This is because many people come from a mentality of more equals better. If a little is good a lot must be great, right? Well, this mentality is wrong for a lot of things but especially greasing electric motor bearings.

When you over-grease you cause excess grease inside of the bearing to build up in front of the rolling bearing elements. This causes the bearing elements to have to plow through the grease which increases the amount of friction and the temperature of the bearing, making the motor work harder. This means the grease oxidizes at an accelerated rate, causing it to turn hard and crusty. This in turn increases the friction and the temperature even more. This cycle continues until the grease turns completely solid and causes too much friction for the bearing. Resulting in bearing failure due to over-greasing.

So, how do you know the correct amount of grease to put into an electric motor bearing and how often you need to regrease them? Well, there are formulas that will allow us to calculate both the amount of grease and the interval between grease applications. Many people will say that they do not have the time to do these calculations. Luckily for you, Ottsen Oil is here! Contact your Ottsen Oil Expert and we will come out and help you to calculate the proper amount of grease and help you to set proper greasing intervals for your equipment. It will increase uptime for your electric motors and allow your maintenance personnel to concentrate on tasks other than just replacing electric motors.

Contact your Ottsen Oil Expert today for more information on electric motor greasing!



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