Are Drone Motors Waterproof? Brushless? Brushed?


Are Drone Motors Waterproof?

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Drones have continued to grow in popularity in recent years because of how incredibly versatile they are and the many features that they offer. Drones are especially useful in capturing some amazing pictures or videos but nothing captures our imagination more than pictures of extreme weather taken from high in the sky! 

Many people make a business out of capturing this extreme weather with their drones while other people simply want to get a cool shot for themselves. No matter which camp you fall into you of course would want to know whether your drone and drone motor are waterproof or can handle the water from the storm you are looking to fly into. 

Drones and drone motors actually are not waterproof and should not be used in the rain at all as overtime that will damage the electronics and eventually destroy the drone entirely. 

You can likely get away with a light sprinkle or drizzle if you are in the process of landing your drone and get caught in the weather but intentionally flying your drone in rain, snow, or ice will cause it to break quite quickly. 

Some people continue to use their drones in the rain saying how it hasn’t affected their drone yet, but the problem with that statement is that you might not think that it has affected your drone but it likely has. Your drone likely has rust and other things that are happening to the motor and other electronics and instead of getting many years of use out of your drone you might only get 6-8 months because you constantly flew it in the rain! 

There are currently very few drones that are designed to be used in the rain/water and they are very expensive and lacking many important features that other drones have. 

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Can brushless motors get wet? 

Often people wonder whether their specific motor is able to handle water at all so after they find out what type of motor they have they then start searching whether that motor type can get wet. 

In this section specifically we will talk about whether the brushless motor can get wet. 

In general you should avoid getting your brushless motor wet if at all possible but if it is a sensorless motor it can run in water while a sensored motor cannot. 

However just because you can use a brushless motor in water doesn’t mean that you should or that the other electronics components of the RC vehicle will handle the water as well as the motor does. Running a motor underwater will also contribute to much more wear and tear on the motor which in turn will mean your motor will wear out much faster than it should or would normally. 

Where you are using a sensored or sensorless brushless motor it’s a good idea to avoid water as much as possible. 

Are brushed motors waterproof? 

Once people learn that brushless motors that are sensorless can be used underwater (although it isn’t good for them) they will often then ask about brushed motors. Afterall if brushless motors work underwater then brushed ones would too… right? 

Brushed motors are technically waterproof and they will certainly run underwater. However when you run them underwater you will severely shorten their lifespan as the water will damage the brushes and cause them to wear out much faster. 

As with brushless motors that are sensorless (mentioned above) just because you can use the motor in water doesn’t mean that you should or that doing so won’t result in any damage to the motor. 

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I can drive my car by accelerating and braking as hard as possible every single time I accelerate or stop and my car can handle that just fine… for a while, but eventually I will find myself having to replace or repair things that have been damaged because of the hard driving. 

The same holds true with brushed and brushless motors and water. Just because they can be used and run under water doesn’t mean they should be used that way. 

Are brushless DC motors waterproof? 

Another common question that many people wonder about is whether a brushless DC motor is waterproof or if that makes a difference at all in the waterproofing. 

Brushless DC motors that are sensorless can be used underwater and it won’t harm them if done for a short time. Sensored DC motors should never be submerged in water at all. 

As mentioned earlier, just because you can put a brushless DC motor underwater doesn’t mean that is the best thing for it. No matter which RC motor you are talking about (brushed or brushless) neither of them will work better underwater! Both of them have less wear and tear and will last longer when run out of the water. 

Are sensored brushless motors waterproof? 

Another type of motor that people often wonder about is the sensored brushless motors. Since they are used in many different RC vehicles it is important to know whether they are waterproof before you ever take your RC vehicle out. 

Sensored brushless motors are absolutely NOT waterproof. If you put a sensored motor underwater and attempt to run it it will be destroyed! 

The sensors in the motors make them not watertight. Although there are shields to help keep debris out those shields will not keep water from getting inside the motor and destroying it. 

There are ways to waterproof your sensored brushless motor but out of the box sensored brushless motors are not waterproof. 

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Does DJI make a waterproof drone? 

Now that we have discussed some of the different types of motors and whether they are waterproof or not the question that still remains is whether an entire drone is waterproof and more specifically whether any of the DJI brand drones are waterproof. 

There are currently no DJI drones that are designed to be waterproof. There are actually not any DJI drones that are water resistant either! 

Although some DJI drones have a design that works better to keep the water out when flying in bad weather none of the different DJI models should be used in rain ever if at all possible. 

Some people think that certain DJI models are waterproof but that is actually not true according to DJI. All of their drones have air intakes that run over the different electronics to keep them cool so if it is raining the water will get sucked into the drone through that intake and overtime the drone will get damaged or destroyed because of that moisture. 

Conclusion 

In general water is always bad for any electronic devices and just because certain parts of a drone or RC car are labeled as waterproof that doesn’t mean the entire thing is or that running the motors in water won’t have some negative consequences. 

For most people it is better to simply stay away from water and rain when using your drone or RC vehicle to prevent any accidental damage from happening. 

There are some ways that you can actually waterproof a drone or RC vehicle but these methods are difficult many times and also won’t always be 100% effective so unless you know what you are doing it it best to avoid these things as well. 

Matt Robbs

I love to spend time with my wife and 3 kids. There is no better way to get them off the couch and outside than for us to grab the RC cars or boat and enjoy the sunshine!

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