Planets bearings of planetary gear sets exhibit high rate of failure; detection of these faults which may result in catastrophic breakdowns have always been challenging. The objective of this paper is to investigate the planetary gears vibration properties in healthy and faulty conditions. To seek this goal a previously proposed lumped parameter model (LPM) of planetary gear trains is integrated with a more comprehensive bearing model. This modified LPM includes time varying gear mesh and bearing stiffness and also nonlinear bearing stiffness due to the assumption of Hertzian contact between the rollers/balls and races. The proposed model is completely general and accepts any inner/outer race bearing defect location and profile in addition to its original capacity of modelling cracks and spalls of gears; therefore, various combinations of gears and bearing defects are also applicable. The model is exploited to attain the dynamic response of the system in order to identify and analyze localized faults signatures for inner and outer races as well as rolling elements of planets bearings. Moreover, bearing defect frequencies of inner/outer race and ball/roller and also their sidebands are discussed thoroughly. Finally, frequency response of the system for different sizes of planets bearing faults are compared and statistical diagnostic algorithms are tested to investigate faults presence and growth.