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Commutator maintenance tips and tests: Checking for loose bars and methods to tighten them

  • June 2011
  • Number of views: 2959
  • Article rating: 5.0

Gary Braun
Brehob Corp.
Indianapolis, Indiana
Technical Education Committee Member

When servicing DC motors, one of the many tests we do to determine the condition of the commutator is to check it for loose bars.

We check for loose bars by lightly tapping the face of the commutator with a very small hammer. Then we check for suspicious sounds and move­ment or vibration of the bars as they’re struck. A loose bar will have a dull thud while tight bars will have more of a crisp “peck.” You should not feel any movement of the bar with respect to adjacent bars. 

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