Are RC Motors Waterproof? (Brushless & Brushed) – (2021) In-Depth

by Hobby Source | Last Updated: August 16, 2021

In the RC vehicle community, one of the most interesting issues or trending matters is the one regarding the waterproof nature of the RC motors.

Many enthusiasts are interested in knowing how waterproof the RC motors are and how they can utilize in water. 

Most RC motors can run underwater and will run afterward if you dry and drain them out properly. The problem is the type of water. Fresh water is fine but salt water will destroy the motor.

Are Brushless Motors Waterproof?

It is not unusual to buy a vehicle and it comes with a package on it that says it is waterproof but how true is that?

The answers to that are going to be provided in this section, that will be quite helpful for all the enthusiasts who are very curious about the topic. 

As hinted earlier, there are instances where brands of radio-controlled vehicles are listed as having the RC waterproof.

Well, there are two types of motors in this case and these are the sensorless and the sensored motors. 

While the brushless motor can work perfectly underwater, it is not necessarily waterproof but the bearings are going to undergo wear and tear.

So, if you still want to go ahead and use it underwater, you will have to do either of two things.

The first thing will be for you to do preventive maintenance which means that you have to check and clean the bearings after use so that you will reduce the impact of wear and tear on the ball bearings.

Another option is for you to not take any action until the bearings are worn down totally. 

Also Read: Best Brushless RC Trucks

Are Brushed Motors Waterproof?

It is not surprising at all that brushed motors come with the reputation for being resilient and operational even under very wet conditions.

Yes, they can run underwater or even when submerged but the truth will be discussed here.

Brushed motors are regularly described as being waterproof and can be an excellent illustration of what you can do with making the best of the motors and also having to cope with damage in the long term. 

The fact is that brushed motors can be totally submerged underwater and they will work well.

Many of those in the RC community will tell you that in the past, many RC racers will deliberately put submerge their brushed motors inside the water and rev them up deliberately for performance but that is not the whole truth. 

The main thing you need to know that when this was done, it was based on the fact that it involved resilient hard brushes.

This strategy was utilized because it was like the only alternative for the non-rebuildable and sealed motors or because the task of breaking in had to be done swiftly.

But that said, dipping in water is not the ideal way to break in a motor.

You need to always have it at the back of your mind that water dipping leads to quick wear and tear of the motor.

Even clean water is going to damage the brushes swiftly by breaking them down and it is even worse with dirty water.

This is because dirty water contains a lot more materials that can be abrasive so this hastens the wear and tear.

So, the summary here is that a brushed motors can work well in water but there is a consequence to that. If you go ahead to make use of it underwater, you are going to end up wearing the motor out quickly.

You will also need to take the step of doing lubrication for the bearings or bushings and that is not easy.

You will need to remove the motor from the vehicle for proper maintenance or cleaning. 

Can I Make My Motor Waterproof?

Well, the reality is that there is no way by which you can make your motor to become truly waterproof.

This is because there is practically no space that water cannot penetrate so you really cannot make your motor to be completely waterproof. However, what you can do is to make the motor water-resistant. 

It is fine if the motor is submerged underwater but you need to know that you will have to carry out maintenance procedures every time you submerge it underwater.

You can create a casing or housing that confers water-resistance nature on the motor. This will allow you to also reduce the effort done regarding maintenance. 

You can easily do the water-resistant housing for your motor on your own as a DIY activity.

The main supplies that you need to get this done will include bottles like old prescription containers, silicon or grease (marine variety), and some tools and bits needed for making wire holes or drilling shaft holes.

Those who have the skills can do the water-resistant casing for themselves but those who cannot handle it can get the services of company experts.

If you can handle the casing yourself, then follow the steps below. 

You need to get a container that has approximately the same size as the motor then you get a drill bit to get the shaft and hole for the wiring done.

Get the marine grease and apply with there is a protrusion of the motor shaft, hold it in place then apply the glue. The sealant should also be applied so that everything remains well in place.

If you take these steps, you will be able to ensure that your motors are water-resistant.

So, as stated earlier, no motor can be fully waterproof but what you can do is to try and make it as water-resistant as possible. 

Can All RC Cars Get Wet and Work In The Rain?

All RC vehicles can get wet but they are not truly waterproof.

You can enjoy them in the rain and in puddles, however, what the owner can do is to carry out customizations that can increase the water-resistant profile.

No vehicle can be said to be truly waterproof because of the nature of the water itself.

So, even though the RC vehicles can be used in or even submerged in water, you need to know of the impact on the bearings needing extra maintenance.

Those who want to reduce the impact of water on the car can go for water-resistant measures like the provision of the casing for the motors described above.