Boosting Your Bottom Line: When You Elect To Repair Rather Than Replace

Repair-or-replace decisions are a crucial part of a motor management plan. In previous columns, we've talked about using life-cycle costing to help guide these important decisions. We've also discussed the benefits of NEMA Premium motors when replacement is the best option.

Sometimes, however, it is more cost-effective to repair a motor. In this case, it is important to make sure the service center follows "best practices" to ensure that efficiency is maintained. When "best practices" are not specified, a newly repaired motor might become less efficient and projected monetary savings might be consumed by higher energy costs.

Motor Decisions Matter (MDM) is a North American public-awareness campaign that promotes motor management and "best-practice" repairs. Its sponsors, which include motor manufacturers, sales and service centers, utilities and government agencies, recommend incorporating a motor repair policy into your motor management plan.

The first step is establishing a good working relationship with your service center representative. Develop a repair policy and discuss the type of repair and service you want.You might inquire about other motor management services, such as motor surveys, predictive or preventive maintenance programs or stocking assistance.

If you're not already familiar with Electrical Apparatus Service Association (EASA) or International Standards Organization (ISO) guidelines for best practices, visit the EASA and ISO Web sites to learn more about the tools available for service providers. EASA is an international trade organization comprising more than 2,000 sales and service centers across the United States. ISO develops standards and guidelines, used globally, to help service providers and managers provide sustainable services.

The EASA site (, see "Industry Info") can help you develop a written repair policy to communicate your requirements to your service center representative. EASA's Guidelines for Maintaining Motor Efficiency During Rebuilding is one helpful resource.

By accessing the ISO site (, look for ISO 9000), you can become more familiar with guidelines that can help you in the development of a preferred repair policy and also aid in the choice of a service provider. In addition, the U.S. Department of Energy offers a Service Center Evaluation Guide that provides customers with information about the quality of service centers. The guide is available online at or through the Efficiency and Renewable Energy office (EERE) Information Center.

If you have been following MDM's monthly columns, you may already be aware of the benefits of a motor plan. This month,we've explained why a motor repair policy is an important component of such a plan. Developing a close relationship with your service provider and having a best-practice repair policy can help guarantee that when a motor gets fixed, it's not just operating, it's operating efficiently. LMT

The Motor Decisions Matter campaign is managed by the Consortium for Energy Efficiency, a North American nonprofit organization that promotes energy-saving products, equipment and technologies. For further information about MDM,contact Ilene Mason at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 617-589-3949, ext. 225.

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