How to Test a Treadmill Motor with a Multimeter

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The new-era demands you to stay fit along with working day-long. This generation comprises of the ‘working-class’ people more, who work hard to earn a living. Ultimately, it demands you to stay fit and healthy for the same. The best and easiest way is to own a treadmill. The treadmill allows you to work out in any weather and at any place according to your free time.

Now, one might be thinking about the actual purpose of a treadmill. One can have a walk or run rhythmically to workout on a machine. The advantage it offers is the adjustability of speed. They mostly run at a speed of 12 mph. Getting a clear insight into the machine, let’s first know about the types of motors used in a treadmill.

The first one is an AC motor while the other one is a DC motor. DC motors are the weaker ones, while AC motors are quite powerful. However, the AC motors make much noise along with requiring a dedicated power line. AC motors are generally used in commercial treadmills that are large while the DC motors are used in machines for use at home.

How it works

One must consider the type of motor being used while buying a treadmill, as it provides the power to the treadmill being used. Also called the “heart” of the treadmill, the motor must be of the best quality for better performance. The level of a motor’s power reveals the horsepower (also called as HP) of a treadmill. The HP measurement is of two types- continuous duty and peak duty. Continuous duty HP, as the name goes, is responsible for maintaining the level of power continuously until the workout gets over.

Contrary to this, peak duty HP reaches the peak of its power but only for a shorter duration. You can see that the motor with continuous duty HP is apt for your treadmill. A continuous duty HP of around 3HP is best — approximately 700 Watts of energy is used by a treadmill.

You have to be careful while buying a treadmill. Even if your treadmill belt stops moving when turned on, it means you only need to replace the motor and not the treadmill. A multimeter is used to test a treadmill motor; if in case your treadmill is not working. Now you might be thinking, “What kind of multimeter do I need?”

For that, you first need to know what a multimeter is and what purpose it serves! Any electrical circuit needs to be tested to check whether it is working! A multimeter is a tool to test the circuits. To be specific, it is a device of measure of the resistance, voltage, and current in any electrical circuit. It is also called as volt-ohm-milliammeter (VOM). Again, you might be wondering, “what kind of multimeter do I need?” Let’s have a look at the type of multimeters first.

Using a multimeter

There are two types of multimeters- analog and digital multimeters. Analog multimeters show readings with the help of microammeter with moving pointer. The digital multimeters show the measured value through a graphical bar on a numerical display.

A multimeter consists of a DC and AC voltmeter, ohmmeter, and an ammeter, and hence the name goes. If a value varies rapidly, then analog multimeters are used, whereas the digit multimeters provide more accuracy at a low cost. Digit multimeters aren’t uncommon these days. Multimeters excel in finding out the faults and show the desired accuracy.

Best type of multimeter for the task

You have come to know what multimeters are and what exactly their use is! Giving thought to your requirements, again, the question “what kind of multimeter do I need?” might be striking your mind! So, be informed about what multimeters to be used and when. Highly sensitive circuits require an analog multimeter for their measurement.

If the circuit you are about to measure is one such, go for an analog multimeter. Digit multimeters show accuracy. Therefore, if you want to record even a slight DC voltage change, then digital multimeters must be preferred. Analog multimeters are quite difficult for this data to be read and logged, whereas the digital ones are easy to read. Make sure you also check the highest current and voltage ratings of your multimeter.

testing a treadmill motor with the help of a multimeter

The foremost thing before testing a treadmill motor is to unplug the treadmill. It is a very crucial thing to be done prior to the treadmill motor testing. Next, the cover of the motor must be removed. For that, take a screwdriver and unscrew the screws on the motor’s cover. Now, you have to disconnect the two wires leading to the power supply carefully. The DC lead is usually the red one.

If there’s a multimeter with a DC amp test setting, then you can put the meter inline on this red motor wire. Next, try running the machine at speed as low as 2.5 mph. Make sure there isn’t anyone on the treadmill. If the motor is in the working condition and everything is all right with it, then you may get a 2-3 amp reading.

If the desired reading is shown on the multimeter, then a person can be made to use the treadmill. Again, if everything is perfect, then the multimeter will display the reading to be around 6-8 amp. Readings are sure to fluctuate depending on the weight of the person using the treadmill.

However, on average, one will get an average reading of about 10 amps. If the value exceeds this, there is surely something wrong! In addition, if it shows a high reading when nobody is on the treadmill, then there might be some high resistance issues with the motor; or the belts of the treadmill might be too tight. High readings, when there is the absence of load, indicate that the belt is worn-out probably.

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