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How to rewire a 3 phase motor to a single phase

Updated July 20, 2017

Industrial and commercial facilities often require the use of three-phase electrical systems because the high-voltage motors and machines used in such places require the use of continuous alternating current. Three-phase system can supply such current due to the multiple phases they employ. If your shop has only a single-phase power supply but you need to use a three-phase motor, it may seem that rewiring the three-phase motor for use in single-phase systems would be a good idea. However, this is rarely practical. Instead, you can solve the problem by installing a converter through which single-phase electricity can be transformed to three-phase power.

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Install the converter on or near the motor on a flat surface. Drill mounting holes with a drill and insert internal thread anchors into the holes. Hammer the anchors in place with a hammer and set tool and align the converter with the holes. Bolt the converter down with a ratchet and socket.

Run two wires from the motor to the converter and run two more wires from the converter to the power supply. Strip the ends of the wires with strippers. Input L3 on the motor goes to output C on the converter, and input L2 goes to output B on the converter. Input A on the converter goes to phase one of the power supply, and input C on the converter goes to phase two of the power supply. Fasten the wires to their termination points using a flat screwdriver.

Run a grounding wire from the grounding screw of the power supply to the grounding screw of the converter and run another wire from the converter to the grounding screw of the motor. Fasten the wires to their termination points using a flat screwdriver to finish the conversion.

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Things You'll Need

  • Ratchet and socket
  • Flat screwdriver
  • Drill
  • Internal thread anchors
  • Set tool
  • Hammer
  • Strippers

About the Author

Eric W. Thompson began his writing career in 1996 and is now a member of the All-USA Academic Team, having been featured in "USA Today" as one of the top 20 community college students in the country. He is currently taking a break from earning an undergraduate degree in contemplative psychology at Naropa University.

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