I have a typical small electric induction motor given to me in pieces. It has two wave washers which I am told should sit between the bearing and the assembly.

I am not sure which bearing needs the wave washers.

  1. Do I place on one wave washer before the front and rear bearings ?
  2. Both wave washers on the rear bearing?
  3. Both wave washers on the front bearing?

Please advise.

  • $\begingroup$ Update: After placing both wave washers at one side of the shaft I could hear the shaft grinding in the back plate. Definitely not what it is meant to do. Thanks for the feedback guys. $\endgroup$ Jul 11, 2018 at 9:59

3 Answers 3


I would assume one wave washer for each bearing - this allows pre-load to limit any play and expansion control as it get hot in normal operation.

  • $\begingroup$ This is not universal. I just took apart a 1990s 5HP motor which had 2 wave washers stacked together at one end only. $\endgroup$ Sep 7, 2021 at 10:35
  • $\begingroup$ @StayOnTarget probably badly assembled by a cowboy in the past... $\endgroup$
    – Solar Mike
    Sep 7, 2021 at 10:45
  • $\begingroup$ In my case the two bearings are different sizes... the two washers are the same. So perhaps 1 washer would have done it but the second couldn't fit at the other (larger) end. $\endgroup$ Sep 7, 2021 at 10:46

I intuitively agree with Solar Mike, there should be one washer per bearing. I wanted to find a source/reference, however:

This image appears to show wave washers in front of each bearing motor cross section 1

But this image doesn’t appear to show any wave washers at all:motor cross section 2

So the short answer is: probably 1 washer per bearing, but it will of course depend on the exact motor design. We’ll need more information from you if you want us to comment further.


Yes,only one wave washer at each end located under the bearings to add pressure to keep them in place.

  • $\begingroup$ Did you have more to add to the answer? It seems like there could be more detail that you could add. $\endgroup$
    – hazzey
    Feb 14 at 14:23

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