Why would ONE carbon brush burn on an DC motor

I got a nice Matrix T3X treadmill at a company cleanout.
Seems to be USA made, heavy, for up to 400 lb max runner weight,
with a US made Johnson 3HP motor etc.
Except that it sode not work and gives "Error 1". Some googling revealed possible reason as "burnt brushes", so I took the brushes.
One of them was indeed burnt, as follows: evidence of heat damage, the helical spring was no longer pushing it apart, and two out of three strands of copper wire were burned.
The other brush was in a fine condition.
What I do not understand is how could only one brush burn out?
Any idea?
i
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On Thu, 15 Oct 2015 20:53:37 -0500, Ignoramus15926

On those motors it is not uncommon for a brush to stick a little, which causes it to heat up, and the brush spring looses tension. Then the brush has even less pressure on the commutator, so it starts to arc, and pretty soon the brush has burned off - and the spring is totally toasted. The other brush can be totally OK.
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OK, this is great. I bought replacements from the mfgr, cannot wait for them to arrive.
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Also check for shorts from copper to housing. A Megger is useful for this.
Joe Gwinn
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On Thu, 15 Oct 2015 20:53:37 -0500, Ignoramus15926

That's something you'll never see come out of China. (Well, 400 pound people OR heavy duty treadmills. ;)

A loose connection on the back end can cause that. It usually burns up the wire's insulation. I had a brand new chop saw come to me with a loose brush. Ever since then, I've checked the brushes on all my new and used tools, just in case. (Cheap Chiwanese brand, money refunded because it ate the commutator.)
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OK, thanks., great to know
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On Fri, 16 Oct 2015 06:17:18 -0500, Ignoramus15926

As a followup, I researched chop saws more after that and decided that an investment of $10 in a trio of Starrett hacksaw blades was a better idea. I go through about one a decade. Until then, I had no idea how much better a hacksaw could cut, or how long a good blade could last. I consider that a triple win for myself, all because of a cheap tool. So, even when unusable, cheap Chiwanese tools proved themselves quite worthy. ;)
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Chop saws and hack saws are for different purposes.
i
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On Fri, 16 Oct 2015 19:42:52 -0500, Ignoramus19170

For cutting angle iron and sub-1" square steel tubing, either works, but a hacksaw doesn't throw abrasives around the entire shop while doing so.
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I agree on the hacksaw blade.
And if you have a metal bandsaw - get fluid on it to clean the chips. Cool the tips and it keeps on cutting. I use a Hydrolic oil container and put it on a sump with fluid.
Martin
On 10/16/2015 8:32 AM, Larry Jaques wrote:

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On Fri, 16 Oct 2015 21:13:54 -0500, Martin Eastburn

I did eventually buy a portable metalcutting bandsaw, a Harbor Freight portable. Noisy little bastids, but they work well. Bimetallic blades were the first (and yet, only) upgrade. I use cutting oil, for tough cuts of unknown metals, or Marvel Mystery Oil with it.
Has anyone developed a type of leakproof fluid container for use with portables, or is squirting the only solution? My buddy Glenn uses oil-soaked felt wiper strips on the blade of his 4x6.
A hinged mount and counterbalance will someday turn it into a fixed machine, but I'm too busy yet in my retirement to fab that up. This week, I'm painting my house. My masking machine fell off the top of the ladder and I had to repair it, too. I'm drilling new mount holes in the ripper extension today, to hold the blade firmly, but I got the new paper roll pivot built yesterday. Had to hack out washers to fit the bloody offset hole in the resin on the back. I may redo that by drilling out a pair, as it wants to wander a bit now. The longer I'm retired (first check hit my bank last Wednesday), the more I understand the gripes I've heard in the past which didn't make sense at the time. "Now that I'm retired, I don't have -time- to do that."
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    Maybe from China, but if you add Japan -- what is the typical weight of a sumo wrestler?
    Enjoy,         DoN.
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wrote:

Um, just for giggles, how many sumos have you seen on treadmills, Don?
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On Fri, 16 Oct 2015 19:53:46 -0700, Larry Jaques

I have never seen a Sumo wrestler on a treadmill but they exercise an amazing amount. And the amount of beer they drink each day is astounding. Just part of their diet. If I worked out as much as they did with my present diet I would have zero fat left anywhere. Eric
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    At a guess -- the square or rectangular tube that it slides in is a bit undersized or bent in a bit, so the tip of the brush was sort of skating on the high points of the commutator, drawing arcs whenever it should be descending to follow the surface.
    Try moving the good brush to the other tube and see how smoothly it slides.
    Good Luck,         DoN.
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Ignoramus15926 wrote:

If the copper braid pigtail develops a bad connection, then the thin spring has to carry the current, and it will get annealed in a second.
The braid is supposed to be buried deep into the carbon before it is pressed and sintered. Sometimes they cheat on material, and only a mm of braid is inside the carbon. Or, the braid could get fatigued, corroded or not be soldered well to the spring retainer/current contact piece. Any of these will fry the spring, and often the whole plastic brush holder assembly.
Jon
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