Are you wondering how to protect a treadmill’s electronics? It’s a good question since broken electronics can make your expensive treadmill worthless. Here’s what you can do to keep your treadmill’s electronics in good condition.
Cleaning and maintenance are the most important in keeping your treadmill’s electronics healthy while putting it in a safe spot where humidity, dust heat and extreme cold are limited are also very important. Besides those things there are some things to be aware of like the right extension cord.
How can you implement these things exactly and why should you? Keep reading below to find out.
How To Protect Treadmill Electronics
A modern treadmill has quite a few electronics. There is of course the motor that runs the belt. If the treadmill has power incline, there is a separate motor for this. The console has all the buttons, screens and chips and then there’s all the wiring in between all the parts.
There is actually quite a bit that can go wrong there so it’s important to take care of the electronics in your treadmill and here’s how you can do it.
1. Do Maintenance
One thing that makes a big difference you can actually work on every week and month is doing proper maintenance.
One thing that kills treadmill motors is overloading them. This happens when the treadmill gets very dusty on the inside and the belt isn’t lubricated and adjusted properly. Cleaning once a week and regular checks and lubrication make a big difference.
Getting dust in the moving parts increases resistance. Not lubricating the belt increases resistance and a belt that’s not properly aligned increases resistance. All that means the motor has to deliver more power which increases heat. Combine this with a lot of dust buildup around the motor and which means cooling is less effective and you can get overheating issues.
Also read: How to maintain a treadmill
2. Put The Treadmill In a Safe Spot
Last but not least, pick a good spot for your treadmill. Electronics don’t like water, dust, heat and extreme cold.
Water can short things out, dust causes things to get too hot/not cool properly and can cause shorts under certain circumstances. Heat decreases the lifespan of electronics, especially overheating but even modest increases in temperature can have an effect.
Extreme cold can be a problem since the warming up after turning it on can cause condensation which can increase the risk of short circuits, especially in humid places. Especially if the inside is covered in dust this can happen quite quickly. That’s also why putting a treadmill in an uninsulated garage or basement can be a problem.
So a spot where the treadmill can’t get wet or is exposed to high humidity, isn’t too hot or cold and isn’t exposed to sunlight is best. Spilling a sip of water or dripping some sweat on a treadmill is no problem. However, leaving a treadmill exposed to rain will destroy it pretty quickly.
3. Turn Off And Unplug After Use
Now we get to some of the smaller things you can do to prevent treadmill issues. Unplugging your treadmill after use is a good way to save a little bit of electricity and protect the electronics when not in use.
Also read: Should you unplug your treadmill after use?
Most treadmills don’t really turn off but go into stand-by mode which means electricity is still running through part of the circuitry. This uses a bit of electricity and the electronics are still exposed to things like power surges which can be damaging.
It’s also safer to have a treadmill that can’t easily be turned on by accident. Especially young children like to push and explore everything so an accident could happen quickly.
4. Use a Surge Protector
A power surge is a good way to fry all the electronics and stick you with a big repair bill or treadmill that’s useless. While unplugging helps when the treadmill is not in use, a surge protector can help with surges and brownouts when it is plugged in. You’ll need a good one that can handle the power your treadmill draws.
Even a surge protector can’t always protect your appliances from a lightning strike which is why unplugging is still safer.
Read this post for more information on treadmills and surge protectors.
5. Choose Your Extension Cord Wisely
Treadmills have to be plugged into an outlet and sometimes the power lead that comes with it isn’t long enough. Extension cords can be used but don’t just use any random cord you’ve got laying around.
For a more in depth explanation read this post: Can you plug a treadmill into an extension cord?
Treadmills can pull quite a bit of power, especially the ones with high HP motors. An extension cord that is too thin and/or too long can overheat which is a fire risk. (and if you’re using a reel, please unroll it completely before use since a rolled up one can easily catch fire even under medium loads.) Undersized extension cords can also cause the voltage at the treadmill which can cause damage to the electronics.
A 4 horsepower treadmill can draw up to 20 amps @110 volts which is the territory of heavy duty extension cords. Most standard extension cords can handle 10-15 amps which is just not enough. So look up the maximum power rating of your treadmill and get an extension cord that can comfortably handle this. Also keep it as short as possible and if you need a very long cord, consider a different spot for your treadmill.
6. Check The Circuit Breaker
This doesn’t have something to do with the electronics inside your treadmill but it might confuse you into thinking something is wrong with your treadmill. Treadmills draw quite a bit of power and in some cases you can draw so much power it trips the circuit breaker which cuts the power. This might initially seem like something went wrong with the treadmill but it’s just the circuit breaker.
That said, if this happens often, you should do some more investigating into why it’s happening since it could indicate a problem with your mill. If you are having problems with your treadmill tripping the circuit breaker, read this post to find out what could be wrong.
Came to the conclusion you need a new treadmill? Click here to find a complete guide on how to select the right treadmill for you.