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Thread: Powermatic 20” Planer 209HH-1 DOA - 5 HP Motor Dead Short

  1. #1

    Powermatic 20” Planer 209HH-1 DOA - 5 HP Motor Dead Short

    I need some help from the community. Please do not devolve this into any manufacturer bashing. I am a happy owner of many Jet / Powermatic products and I believe that they manufacture high quality products and consider this a one off manufacturing defect.

    I request input on the proper procedure to remove and replace a 5 HP Single Phase Motor on a 4 Post 20” Planer (preferably Powermatic). Basically I welcome input from anyone who has done the repair or observed the repair being made on the 4 Post 20” Planer (different brands are similar). Also since the 15” 4 Post design is similar I’d welcome your input on that as well.

    My questions are:

    1. Can the Planer Motor be removed out the Back Base Panel? (Note: Powermatic does not have a Front Base Panel). According to my measurements there is only about 1/4” clearance between the motor diameter and back base panel opening but there is a bar in the center that is narrower than the motor diameter.

    2. Does the repair require lifting the Planer Cast Iron Top off of the Base to make the repair?

    Background: I purchased a brand new Powermatic 20” Planer 209HH-1 from the local Woodcraft who setup and delivered it in early Nov. I had an electrician install a new 240V 40A circuit and plug last week ago today. Powered up the Powermatic Planer after first confirming the outlet and plug was wired correctly. The Planer immediately tripped. Repeat - immediate trip again.

    Powermatic Service did their diagnostics over the phone and then sent a local tech out who did further isolation to confirm it was a Dead Short in the Motor. The local tech said once Powermatic sent out the new motor he would need to remove the In-feed Table and tip the Planer on its side to access the motor. I informed the tech that the Planer weighed over 800 pounds and the correct way to lift the Planer according to the Powermatic Manual was by the Lifting Bars. The tech said he was not aware that the Planer had Lifting Bars.

    I called Powermatic the next business day and explained the encounter and asked for written Field Service Repair Procedure for the 5 HP Motor of the Powermatic Planer or either a different technician to do the repair, one who was familiar with the Powermatic 20” Planer. Powermatic Technical Support including my escalation to the Powermatic Technical Support Supervisor stated that they do NOT have a written Field Repair Procedure for the Motor and were not able to answer these questions on how the technician would make the repair and said it was up to the Field Technician to determine the correct Motor remove and replacement procedure. They also said they would not send a different technician to do the repair.

    So if anyone knows and can provide the correct 4 Post 20” Planer Motor Removal and Replacement Procedure even from a different manufacturer it would be greatly appreciated. I have searched the forums and internet and I could not find the answer. I want to have this knowledge prior to the technician coming on site to make the repair.

    Thank you in advance for your assistance.

    Gary Vaiskauckas

    • Powermatic 20” Planer 209HH-1
    • Powermatic 8” Parallelogram Jointer PJ882HH (recently purchased),
    • Jet 17” Drill Press JDP-17
    • Jet 2 HP Vortex Cone Dust Collector with 2-Micron Canister DC-1200VX-CK1
    • Jet Air Filtration System AFS-100B
    • Sawstop 3 HP PCS with 72” Incra TS-LS including router table and lift
    • Porter Cable 3 1/4” HP Router Motor
    • Laguna 14/12 Bandsaw
    • Dewalt DW735X 13” Planer
    • Dewalt DW718 SCMS
    • Rigid EB4424 Oscillating Edge / Belt Sander
    • Festool TS 75 EQ Track Saw
    • Festool RO 90 DX Rotex Sander
    • Festool ETS EC 150 EQ-Plus Sander
    • Festool CT 26E Dust Extraction
    • Bosch Router MRP23EVS
    • Lie-Nielsen No. 62 Jack Plane
    • Lie-Nielsen No. 60-1/2 Block Plane

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    East Virginia
    Can't answer any of your questions specifically, but in general I would advise you to view the PM drawing and parts list with extreme suspicion.

    I needed to replace the arbor bearings in my PM 64A table saw, and the drawing and parts list bore only the most superficial resemblance to the assembly as I'd received it, new, from the factory.

  3. #3
    Jacob, Good advice. Thank you for your input.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    West Lafayette, IN
    I’m a little confused. This is a warranty issue right? It’s Powermatic’s responsibly to make the issue right and install the new motor.

    I have a jet 15 HH and have moved with it a couple times. If memory serves, The motor is attached to the base, and is independent of the cutterhead and castings. I actually need to dismantle it in the next couple days as we are moving again

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Flower mound, Tx
    Have you tried another machine on that circuit?
    I had an electrian wire up a machine for me once and he did a poor job with installing the plug. A wire had come off the terminal in the plug? It was the last thing I checked after hours of diagnosis and thinking my machine was faulty.
    Secondly, I think most machinery techs are not necessarily brand specific techs. Basically “contract” techs.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Falls Church, VA
    Blog Entries

    I think you are right to be proactive in your investigation. You don't want some incompetent tech to to the wrong thing and leave you with a back and forth tussle with the manufacturer.

    I'm looking at the manual for the 20-hh and it seems clear to me that the motor is mounted to the base and there is no need to tip anything. It appears to me that you remove the vented cover and you should be able to wrench the motor out of there. But that's going to be a heck of a fight. 5HP? Really? Yikes!

    In any case, it shouldn't take but a minute to pop that cover off and have a look.

  7. #7
    John, Thank you for your response.

    Unfortunately it is the only 240V 40A machine that I own and it has a different plug than my other 240V 20A machines or I would have already done it.

    However I have personally checked that the voltage at the 240V 40A outlet was correct with a meter (244V between hot wires and 122V between either hot and ground wire). The electrician performed the same test on the plug connectors in the planer junction box - same result. P.S. I had the electrician use copper lugs to make the connection in the plug junction box and will use the Powermatic supplied Twist Caps for lighting.

    During his troubleshooting session the Powermatic tech removed the motor from the circuit and asked me to plug in the planer and then turn the machine on via the operator switch and the switch and the magnetic switch performed correctly without tripping the circuit breaker. That is how he concluded that the Dead Short was in the 5 HP motor.

  8. #8
    Roger, Thank you for your reply. Yeah, I want the repair to be successful on the first attempt and most importantly with no one getting injured.

    The Powematic 20” planer back panel is about 9 3/8” height opening and the motor is 9 1/8” in circumference. And there is a center bar welded in that reduces the opening to 9”. So it will be a tight squeeze without lifting the top of the unit off of the base. The PM design does not have a panel in the front so I will not be able to help support the weight for the tech on motor removal or replacement. P.S. The 5 HP motor probabably weighs 50 to 80 pounds.

  9. #9
    Matt, Thank you for your reply. I hope that all goes well on your move.

    To me it makes sense that the top would need to be removed to best access the motor given the tight tolerences in the Base Back Panel - only about 1/4" more opening than the diameter of the motor. I don't know why Powermatic Technical Support does not know the Motor removal and replacement procedure or are unwilling to tell me in advance.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    SE Michigan
    As a small retailer, I deal with a number of very high tech massage chairs, lift assist chairs, etc. Whenever we have a customer with a warranty, or even post warranty issue, and they are not getting what they want directly from the manufacturer, we get involved. We sell a lot of their products, and we can typically make a few phone calls to our reps and get things straighted out much faster than the customer. So, have you called the local Woodcraft folks and asked them to see if they can get their hands on the instructions? Either they, or the Woodcraft corporate folks should be able and willing to help.

  11. #11
    I've checked my Powermatic 20HH machine and it appears that there's no need to tip the machine for motor removal. It does appear that the motor will fit thru the access panel although the lifting and support of the motor will probably be awkward. The removal of the outfeed extension table will certainly make working on machine easier because it's directly above the access panel and bumping heads isn't fun.

    This is how I would approach the motor removal and installation if I were to tackle the job myself. Especially since my machine is a few years old and is out of warranty service period. However, if my machine was being repaired under warranty, I'm just going to let the technician do the repair as he/she feels is best and I'm gonna have a cup of coffee.
    Last edited by Bill Orbine; 12-06-2018 at 6:48 PM.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    LA & SC neither one is Cali
    Let the tech into the shop, go inside and don't come out until he lets you know the work is done. Check the machine over and if there is an issue let him and Powermatic know. Have some lumber available to plane to verify it is working properly.

    Never watch the sausage being made, especially when it is someone else's responsibility to make it. Just be happy it isn't one of the many brands that would have just shipped you a motor and said have at it.
    Of all the laws Brandolini's may be the most universally true.

    Deep thought for the day:

    Your bandsaw weighs more when you leave the spring compressed instead of relieving the tension.

  13. #13
    Hey Great News!

    I just got off the phone with the Powermatic Technical Support Supervisor and he has worked out a plan with the local Woodcraft to take back my 20" Planer and replace it with a brand new one.

    Thank you to everyone who responded for all of your comments and suggestions.

    I consider this issue to be closed pending execution of the plan.

    Powermatic is truly the Gold Standard and their Service and Support is the best in the business.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
    That's smart.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    LA & SC neither one is Cali
    Of all the laws Brandolini's may be the most universally true.

    Deep thought for the day:

    Your bandsaw weighs more when you leave the spring compressed instead of relieving the tension.

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