Avoid Costly Downtime With These Early Warning Signs of VFD Failure

Avoid Costly Downtime With These Early Warning Signs of VFD Failure
Avoid Costly Downtime With These Early Warning Signs of VFD Failure

As businesses rely more and more on Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) to control the speed of electric motors, the risk of costly downtime due to VFD failure becomes increasingly significant. To avoid this potential setback, it’s crucial for maintenance teams and operators to be vigilant and proactive in identifying early warning signs of VFD failure. Here’s what you should be looking for that might indicate a potential VFD failure in the near future.

Heat Buildup

One common culprit is excessive heat buildup within the drive. This is typically caused by poor ventilation or overloading of the drive. Inadequate airflow around the VFD can lead to elevated temperatures, which may result in insulation breakdown and subsequent damage to components. If not addressed promptly, these issues can eventually culminate in catastrophic VFD failure, leading to costly downtime and equipment replacement. Regular maintenance and monitoring of cooling systems are crucial in preventing heat-related drive failures. Additionally, ensuring that the VFD is not overloaded and is operating within its specified capacity can help mitigate the risk of heat-induced failures. Investing in temperature monitoring and protection devices can also provide an early warning system for potential overheating issues, allowing for timely intervention before irreparable damage occurs.

Abnormal Motor Behavior

Another key indicator of an impending VFD failure is abnormal motor behavior. This can manifest as unusual noise or vibrations during operation, which could be indicative of impending issues with the VFD. Such abnormalities may be the result of electrical or mechanical faults within the VFD system. Electrical faults might include issues with power supply or wiring, while mechanical faults might involve problems with bearings, coupling misalignment, or motor load imbalance. It’s crucial to address any abnormal motor behavior promptly in order to prevent potential damage to the VFD and motor.

Erratic Electrical Outputs

Finally, erratic electrical output or random fluctuations in voltage can point towards underlying problems within the drive system. These issues could include overloading, inadequate cooling, or outdated firmware. Overloading can occur when the VFD is required to handle more current than it is designed for, causing stress on components and potentially leading to failure. Inadequate cooling may result in overheating of the VFD, affecting its performance and longevity. Outdated firmware can also cause instability in electrical output and voltage fluctuations, leading to potential malfunctions.


By staying attuned to these early warning signs and promptly addressing any abnormalities detected, maintenance teams can mitigate the risk of unexpected downtime and prevent potentially extensive damage to equipment. Ultimately, proactive monitoring and timely intervention are essential in preserving the functionality and longevity of VFD systems while minimizing operational disruptions that could negatively impact business productivity.

Get Help with Troubleshooting Your Variable Frequency Drives at ACS Industrial

When your VFDs encounter issues that are impacting productivity and performance, it’s critical to have expert assistance on your side. At ACS Industrial, we specialize in troubleshooting and repairing a wide range of motors, drive systems, and other electrical equipment. Our experienced technicians understand the intricacies of VFDs and can quickly diagnose and resolve any issues

We can repair your industrial electronic equipment and get them back to you within 7-15 days; plus, we offer a Rush Repair Service if it’s an emergency that requires immediate attention. Visit our website to learn more about our comprehensive industrial repair services. Contact us through our contact form or at 800-605-6419.