Are Brushed Motors Waterproof? [3 Situations Analyzed]

You might have started on a new project that needs a brushed motor. Chances are, your project is water-based to a certain extent. Are brushed motors waterproof enough for the task at your hand?

Yes! Brushed motors are waterproof to an extent. They have specific materials that make them waterproof. Additionally, such motors are usually broken down underwater for better performance.

On top of that, simple methods exist that can make your brushed motors waterproof. Simply customizing your motors, using a plastic casing and waterproofing spray can waterproof your brushed motor.

Now, if you want to know more about this, please read along. We have a simple guide that will show you all that you need to know. Once that’s done, you will know about waterproof brushed motors in no time!

You may be wondering as to what type of motor you are dealing with. You might also look for other options for brushed motors. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered on that too!

The Typical Concept of Being Waterproof 

These days, waterproofing comes with an ‘IP’ rating for most devices or products. And this might lead you to judge the waterproofness of the brushed motor by looking for an IP rating too. 

But you’ll be fooled if you do so. 

You see, IP(Ingress Protection) rating indicates the level of sealing effectiveness that a product can offer. Meaning, the higher the IP rating you’ll see, the less dust and water can get into the product. For example, IP65 can protect against simple water jets, and IP67 can protect up to 1m of water immersion. 

But this whole IP thing does imply when it comes to understanding the waterproofness that a brushed motor comes with. The reason is, brushed motors can’t technically be ‘sealed’ as per their design and it doesn’t even need to be so. 

Nonetheless, leaving the IP ratings behind, we’ll learn how waterproof brushed motors actually are in the next section. 

So, Are Brushed Motors Waterproof? 

Yes, brushed motors are waterproof, but not in a sense of being ‘sealed’ all the way. They can perform well even while submerged in water. In fact, many RC-ers often break in brushed motors underwater to enhance their performance. 

But is it good for the health of the motor? Doesn’t it take its toll? 

Well, that depends on what kind of emerging you’re taking your brushed motor through. Also, the component of the water, the functions of the motor, the volt that it’s running on- everything matters. 

For a pinpointed answer, let’s talk about each of the situations differently, and point out the effects on the motor- 

How Waterproof Brushed Motor Are Under Clean Water?

Most of the time, a brushed motor is taken under clean water for breaking it in. As mentioned before, RC-ers do that to enhance the performance of the motor. And most of the time, it works with sealed quality brushed motors where the parts are hard to disintegrate. 

However, breaking in under clean water takes its toll on the ‘brush’ of the motor. Over regular breaking in, it causes the brushes to wear and seat. Done so, the brush would obviously lose its functionality at a slow pace. 

Note that such break-ins don’t usually affect the commutator. 

How Waterproof Brushed Motors are Under Dirty Water?

Under dirty water, the health of a brushed motor would face even bigger threats than clean water. It would still be able to perform its job. Because, as you know, bare contact with water doesn’t really stop a brushed motor from working. 

But the abrasiveness that comes along with the dirty water, will affect both the motor brush and the commutator. 

Compared to the brush, commutators are softer parts of a motor. So, the effect will be harsher on the commutator than the brush. Over regular such events, the entire commutator must be replaced. 

It also Depends on How Many Volts the Motor is Running on

At this point, the concern is more about what volt the motor is running on than what kind of water is intruding into the motor body. 

You might know that, up to 15V of voltage, water barely starts conducting current. But when you’ll run a motor underwater that’s 15V or higher, water will most likely be conducting current. Result? Expect a spark of short circuit and a sudden silence from your motor. 

Hence, you’re not advised to run brushed motors underwater that operate at 15V or close.

Brushed vs Brushless Motor – Which is Motor Waterproof?

Brushless motors are of two kinds- with sensors and without sensors. For RC and hobby purposes, sensored ones are more common. 

Either way, brushless motors are built in a pretty sealed and enclosed way. The goal is not to let water break in any way. From that point of view, you can say, brushless motors are built in a waterproof way. 

But in practice, most of the time, it becomes hard to keep even small droplets of water from getting into the motors. Call it the rough tracks on the road or a sudden crash of an RC airplane. 

The bad news is, if water manages to get into a brushed motor, it’s meant to corrupt its functionality. In the case of brushed ones, the scene is exactly the opposite. 

The endnote is, brushed motors are more protective against brushless ones, and offer more longevity. 

Some Tips if Your Brushed Motor are Run Under Water

Although we’d advise you not to let water into your brushed motor. But it’s understandable that it’ll happen all the time. 

Said so, keep these tips in mind to take care of the situation after the break in- 

  • If your motor is removable by parts, take them off and clean the parts. 
  • Do lubrication over again once they’re dry-cleaned. Lubricate the bushes and bearings with utter care. 
  • Don’t run a brushed motor underwater that has mineral content in it. This will enhance the chance of the electric conductivity of the water. 
  • Try to avoid breaking in your brushless motor using water. 


Are brushed motors good?

Brushed motors are an amazing option if you want good speed control with smooth control over low speeds. They are also great for small projects where a steady output is what you are looking for.

How long does a brushed motor last?

A brushed motor can work anywhere from 1000 hours to 3000 hours. The runtime will vary across motors and their manufacturers. However, this is considered the standard for brushed motors.   

What is the difference between a brushed motor and a brushless motor?

Brushed motors are traditional, relatively small, and low-cost motors that have brushes and a commutator that help rotate and flip the magnetic field which then lets the rotors turn 360°. A brushless motor doesn’t use brushes. Instead, they have sensors that do the job.

Wrapping Up

It is easy to understand whether are brushed motors waterproof or not. Once you get them, nothing should stop you from excelling at the project at hand.

Follow through with our advice and leave us a comment on what you think!