How to Replace DC Motor Brushes


Motor brushes are an essential component part of any motor, whether it operates using direct current (DC) or alternating current (AC). Two brushes are fixed diagonally opposite each other and touch the commutator ring on the end of the armature spindle. One brush provides negative electrons, the other positive electrons. The ring is split into two sections so the negative and positive electrons don't touch each other; otherwise, the motor will short circuit. Direct current motor brushes are inexpensive and relatively simply to replace.

Things You'll Need

  • Long-nosed pliers
  • Screwdriver
  • Wrench
  • Check the electricity supply to the DC motor is turned off. Remove the plug from the wall socket, if the motor operates using your home electrical supply, or remove the wires from the transformer or battery, if applicable.

  • Locate the two terminals on the motor. One is labeled "+" the other "-" and have two sets of wires connected to each. One wire from each terminal goes to the power supply. The other wire goes from each terminal to the brushes. Follow the wires from the terminals to the two brush containers. The wires disappear inside the containers.

  • Locate the clips on the end of the containers where the wires enter the container. Use a pair of long-nosed pliers to pull out the clips. Do this carefully as the brushes are held in place using springs so, when you remove the clips, the springs may jump out. Gently pull the wires from the container using your fingers and remove the springs as the wire comes out. The brushes are connected to the end of the wires, so keep pulling the wires until the brushes are out.

  • Loosen the two terminal connectors on the motor that hold the wires that go to the brushes in place. Use a screwdriver or wrench as appropriate. Slide out the wires from the terminal connectors. Dispose of the old brushes.

  • Attach the opposite end of the wires attached to the new brushes onto the terminal connectors on the motor. Ensure you connect the red wire to the "+" terminal and the black wire to the "-" terminal. Slide the wires under the terminal connectors and then tighten the screw or nut using a screwdriver or wrench.

  • Slide the new brushes into the brush containers. Push then in as far as possible using your fingers. Insert the springs into the container. Push the springs as far as possible then hold them in place using one hand. Use your other hand to put the retaining clip into the slot so the springs are held in place. Use the pliers to ensure the clips are securely fixed.

  • Turn the motor spindle a few times backward and forward to help bed the new brushes in using your hand. Connect your motor to the power source and turn on the power to check your motor operates.

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  • Photo Credit Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images
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