Omnia Mechanical Group

571 Timpson Place Bronx, NY 10455

Phone: 212-534-2500

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Electric Motor Rebuild vs Replacement — How to Determine Which Option Is Right for You

Properties in New York City typically have many electric motors powering various devices, such as pumps within the plumbing and heating system. If you’re a building owner or manager dealing with a malfunctioning or aging motor, you may be wondering if you should replace the motor or if it’s possible to have it rebuilt. To make the best decision for your property, you need to know the details about an electric motor rebuild vs. a replacement. In this article, Antler Pumps reviews questions you should ask to help you make the right choice.

Why Is the Motor Failing?

First thing to check

Before you can make a decision about a rebuild or replacement, it’s vital to understand why your motor is failing. You’d be surprised how often we see property owners or managers who are convinced they need a new motor when the issue is something that is either easily fixed or not actually a problem with the motor at all.

For example, your water pump motor may stop working because it needs lubrication. If everything else with the motor is in good shape, a lube job may solve the problem. Likewise, you might think the motor is the cause of your circuit breaker constantly tripping, when in fact the motor is fine, but you need new wiring or an electrical panel upgrade.

Often, age is a factor. All motors have a lifespan. If you have equipment that has been around for 15-20 years or more, it may be time for a replacement because all the parts are failing simultaneously (see “Catastrophic Failure,” below).

Are Both Options Feasible?

Repair viability and replacement availability

Once you have determined the cause of any malfunctions, it’s time to look at the feasibility of both repair and replacement. If one choice isn’t really an option, your decision may be made for you. Things to consider here include:

  • Are parts still available for an older motor?
  • Is a technician available to do the work?
  • Is a replacement motor available immediately, or is there a wait involved?
  • What is the timeline to complete repairs?
  • Can your property function without the motor if it has to be removed and go to our shop for rebuilding?
  • Is the motor so small in terms of power that repairing it is rarely done because replacement actually costs less? Some very small motors are made to be disposable and aren’t built to be taken apart.

Will Replacement Require Modifications to Other Equipment?

Hidden costs

We’ll talk about costs more in the next section, as that’s often a driving factor in decision making. But first, consider whether replacing a motor will require modifications down the line. This happens when a new motor requires more space, a different type of mounting, or new fittings and wiring to connect it to the existing system.

You may still elect for the replacement, but you definitely want to plan for it in advance in terms of both time and budget. The replacement will take longer and cost more in labor and parts. There’s also the possibility of increased downtime, which may affect tenants in the building. The more you can plan, the smoother the process will go, with the least amount of disruption for building occupants.

What Are the Expenses Involved?

Repeat repair jobs

Often clients initially want to repair electric motors rather than replace them, believing this is the more economical approach. However, over time, repeat repairs can add up, frequently amounting to more than the cost of a new motor.

You need to do the math to determine if constant rebuilds are worth it. If you are electing to do repairs over the better choice of replacement because of cash flow issues, it’s worth exploring payment plans or financing for a new motor.

Catastrophic failure

The cost of what we call a “catastrophic failure” must also be taken into account. This means the motor has multiple points of damage and is completely nonfunctional. Fixing a single part won’t solve the problem. In many cases, the rebuild is so extensive, you might as well spring for a new motor.

The parts within motors can have tenuous relationships with each other. When one part goes, others stop functioning properly. We see a cascade of failures that grinds the motor to a halt.

This is not uncommon with old motors, those that have had a previous major failure, or motors where upkeep has been spotty. You might have inherited a poorly maintained motor from a previous owner.

With catastrophic failure comes a catastrophe of a different kind: inability to provide basic services for tenants. If you have a long timeline to totally rebuild, only to face another catastrophic failure with the motor at the end of its useful life, it may well be less costly in the long run to replace the motor.

Energy efficiency

Long-term savings shouldn’t be overlooked when comparing rebuilding with replacing. Just as repeat repairs add up over time to cost more than a new motor, so does running an old motor that’s not efficient.

To determine the savings with a new motor, you’ll have to run a few calculations. Multiply the number of hours the existing motor operates each month by the cost of powering it per kilowatt-hour (kWh). This tells you how much you are spending on electricity to run the motor each month. Multiply that by 12, and you’ll have your annual energy expenditure for the motor. If you like, you can add repairs and maintenance to get the true cost of operating the motor.

Now, run the same calculations for a replacement motor. If you’ve been using a motor that’s about 15 years old or even older, you’ll probably be surprised at how much more efficient a new one would be. The true cost won’t be much more than the cost of the electricity to power it, as any unexpected repairs would be covered for some period of time under the warranty.

Those figures will give you a fairly accurate comparison between operating costs for the two. It assumes 100 percent efficiency, which is hard to achieve with any motor, but newer motors will come close if well selected and maintained. Even rewound motors can’t approach that, as you must expect some loss of efficiency with rewinding, a common step in motor rebuilding.

Are you trying to decide whether to rebuild or replace a motor in your property? Let Antler Pumps help you make the choice. Call us at 212-534-2500, or use our online form to schedule an appointment that’s convenient for you. Don’t wait until you have a catastrophic failure and your options become limited. Reach out today.


Our Privacy Policy

Omnia Mechanical Group(the “Company”) strives to ensure the highest standards for property listings and customer information privacy. Please review the following statement to learn about our company practices and policies. Please be aware that our Privacy Policy is subject to change at any time.

1. Purpose.

This Privacy Policy (“the Policy”) provides information on how the Company uses your personal information. By agreeing to the Policy, you agree to our collection and use of your personal information as described in the Policy. This Privacy Policy is effective for all new users of Sanitaryplumbing.com.

2. Personal Information.

You can browse some areas of Antler.nyc (“the Website”) without being a registered user. However, certain activities do require registration. (You consent to the transfer and storage of your information by registering with Antler.nyc). We may collect and store the following personal information:

  • Name, email, address, telephone number, and (depending on the service used), move-in dates;
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Our primary purpose in collecting personal information is to provide you with a safe and user-friendly experience. For example, the Company may use your personal information to:

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We may occasionally ask you to complete optional surveys. These surveys are used to improve and customize your experience with Sanitaryplumbing.com.

The Company always provides you the ability to opt-out of further communication such as promotions and surveys; see the Opt-Out section below.

The Company does not share any of your personal information with outside organizations, companies, individuals, etc. The only exception to this standard is if such a disclosure is reasonably necessary to respond to any and all legal processes.

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The Website may have links to other websites that may collect personally identifiable information about you. The Company is not responsible for the privacy practices of the content of those linked websites.

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The Website has strict security measures in place to protect you and your information from fraud. Once your information is provided to Antler Pump & Motor Corporation, we strive to ensure the confidentiality of your identity and information.

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The Company provides you with the opportunity to opt-out of receiving promotional and other non-essential, marketing-related communications from Antler Pump & Motor Corporation. If you would like to opt-out of these select communications, please see any of the Company’s email communications and follow the directions indicated.

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The Company does not guarantee the accuracy of information for any and all of its properties on the Website, and is not responsible for any errors or misrepresentations (made by Renters, the Client, or otherwise).

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We may amend this Privacy Policy at any time by posting the amended terms on the Website. All amended terms are immediately effective after they are initially posted on the Website.

13. Privacy Policy Questions & Concerns

Questions and/or concerns regarding the Policy should be emailed to the following email address: info@omniagroup.nyc.