- 1). Unplug the electric motor or appliance. Before accessing the brushes, the device must be unplugged to prevent electrical shock.
- 2). Locate the DC electric motor. Many electric motors are located within the appliance itself, as in a washing machine, requiring removal of a panel to gain access. If the electric motor is stand-alone, such as a bench grinder, everything is out in the open. DC motors are usually cylinder shaped.
- 3). Identify the brushes. Usually, motors have two carbon brushes and they are found either at on one end of the cylinder-shaped motor, or in the middle. As they are located opposite of each other, look for a screw, or screw cap on each side of the DC motor. The screw or cap maintains the stationary electrical contact and holds the brushes in place.
- 4). Loosen the screws, or screw cap using a screwdriver. In the case of hard-to-turn caps, finish unscrewing with a small pair of pliers. Loosen slowly, as some brushes are connected to springs that maintain brush contact to the commutator and armature. Carbon brushes are sometimes mounted onto plastic plugs or clips, which either pull out by hand once the plug's clamps are unfastened, or by loosening the plug's mounting screws.
- 5). Pull the brushes out, making sure you take note of their positioning. Replacement carbon brushes need to be installed in the exact position as the old ones.
- 6). Install the new brushes into the motor armature one at a time. Refasten the brushes accordingly, depending on the type of mount used.
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