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What is the Linear Actuator?

The linear actuator is the component that moves the platen upward and downward. It converts the rotary motion of a motor to straight line movement by way of gears and screw threads.

How Does the Linear Actuator Work?

Its motor is controlled by the motor speed board, and can move accurately in tiny increments.

When to Troubleshoot

If the platen has issues moving up and down, troubleshoot the linear actuator.

Follow these steps to troubleshoot both electrical and mechanical issues with the linear actuator.

Step 1: Test for electrical issues with the linear actuator. At the motor speed board, disconnect the black and orange wires going to the motor of the linear actuator.

Step 2: Set the meter to the Ohm scale to measure the resistance of the motor windings, which should be between 10 and 20 Ohms.

Any reading greater than 20 Ohms indicates a problem with the motor, and the linear actuator should be replaced.

Step 3: Place one of the probes on the motor case, and leave one of the probes on the terminal. The meter should read Open or Infinite.

Then move the probe from one wire to the other, and the meter should read Open or Infinite. If there is any resistance at all or a closed-circuit reading, the motor is shorted and the linear actuator must be replaced. A shorted motor will damage the motor speed board, so if you find a shorted motor, you’ll need to replace the board along with it.

Step 4: To test the mechanical components of the linear actuator, remove the linear actuator from the unit.  If, once it’s removed, the actuator shaft binds or does not turn smoothly, it should be replaced.

Step 5: As a final test, swap the suspect linear actuator with another linear actuator on the grill, but do not do this is if the motor has shorted. 

Step 6: Re-test the board. If the board is OK, inspect all cables/connections to the linear actuator, motor speed board, and main controller. When replacing a linear actuator, tests must be run to ensure the encoder is communicating correctly with the motor speed board and the main controller.

To learn more, subscribe to the Welbilt Equipment Bundle to check out our full Interactive Training Course on the Garland Clamshell Grills.