Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 26

Thread: Electrical hook up question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Carlsbad, CA
    Posts
    2,137
    Blog Entries
    1

    Electrical hook up question

    Iím not electrician and on top of that Iím primarily a hand tool guy, so really could use some help/advice about electrical hook ups.

    I just started Subsitute Teaching at a high school wood shop that has 4 top-of-the-line Powermatic stationary power tools that have never been plugged in/used in two years: I donít have the model numbers off the top of my head, but descriptions: 25 inch thickness planer, 24 inch bandsaw, 8 inch jointer and 10 inch table saw.School district electrician says he canít hook them up.

    We have 220 V service to the panel in the shop. As I recall, all of these tools are 230 V, phase 1 power, except for the 25 inch thickness planer. Assume the thickness planer needs a step up transformer, but couldnít the other phase 1 tools be wired to run on the 220 V service? I know, not ideal, and probably would shorten the lifetime of the motor but at least they would work for a couple years right?

    Could they install an individual step up transformer just for the 25 inch thickness planer, or do we need to have step up transformer for the entire shop? The ladder seems like super expensive option Ė is that necessary?

    Could they install an individual step up transformer just for the 25 inch thickness planer, or do we need to have a step up transformer for the entire shop? The latter seems like super expensive option Ė is that necessary?

    Thanks advance for any advice and suggestions! I am way over my skis here, and really appreciate the help!

    Best, Mike.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Somewhere in the Land of Lincoln
    Posts
    2,424
    The best thing you can do is take photos of the motor data plates and maybe the plugs on the machines. Are they single or 3 phase machines? You seem to think the planer is but it wouldn't be unusual for all the 240 volt machines to be in that environment. Are you saying they were never used at the school or that they haven't been used in two years? The more you can tell us the more likely the electrical experts here can help.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    2,749
    Why does the electrician say they cannot be hooked up?

    Voltage is one requirement for the connection. Amperage is the other requirement. Could be there is not enough amperage available.

    What is the power requirement for the thickness planer? A transformer will not convert 220V 1 phase to 480V 3 phase. To get 3 phase from single phase you will need a VFD (up to 2HP) or a phase converter.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
    Posts
    8,056
    Mike, sorry but your post doesn't make a lot of sense. 220v Service is just a common name for what is really a 240 volt service since the early 1930's. It was 110 and 220 before power companies all over the country standardized to 120/240 then. There is only one single phase current standard all over the country now. Any tool marked for 230V single phase will run on it. They were even designed to run on it. The call name of 220, 230, or 240 volt single phase makes no difference at all.

    The tool motors are either single phase, or three phase. This is what you need to know.

    It makes no practical sense than an electrician says they can't be hooked up.

    Step up transformers play no part in any of this.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Modesto, CA, USA
    Posts
    8,661
    Do these tools have plugs on the cords? Look either at the plug or the actual cord if no plugs. They should have three or four wires. Three wires is single phase. Four wires can be single phase 240/120 or more likely three phase.
    I would guess the planer motor can have a few wires moved around to run on three phase 220 volt. My powermatic 18" has the option of 220/440 three phase inside the motor.

    First step in any shop class is safety, tool id, measuring/fractions. then comes drawing plans. This is coming from a retired resource teacher. I include home ec and art in those learning steps.
    Make sure students pass a safety test as they start to use each new tool, and you keep a signed copy. Good idea for parents to countersign.
    Bill D.
    https://buy.wesco.com/static/catalog...92_893_894.pdf
    Last edited by Bill Dufour; 03-04-2023 at 1:12 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Modesto, CA, USA
    Posts
    8,661
    Post a picture of the inside of the shop breaker panel so we can see if you have three phase. Write down the main breaker amp rating since we will probably not be able to read it.
    Do you share service with an electric kiln or welding shop? Do you know?
    Bill D

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Modesto, CA, USA
    Posts
    8,661
    If this is the planer, it is 230/460volts 37/18.5 amps.
    I would guess the dust collector will need almost half those amps by itself.
    Is the dust collector working?
    In that planer the motor is buried and will be hard to read the nameplate. Any luck finding the original instruction booklets?
    Bill D.
    https://powermatic.com/1791303
    Last edited by Bill Dufour; 03-04-2023 at 1:33 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Peoria, IL
    Posts
    3,519
    Mike, not you job to figure out the electrical system at the school shop. Is it a public or private school? All you have to do is call the school district maintenance department. If you mess it up, you'll need a great lawyer.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    63,490
    There is no "220" and "230" volt single phase power...it's 240v in north America despite what it gets called. There are unfortunately many labels on things that use those numbers interchangeably. So any tools that are 220/230/240v single phase can run on 240v single phase power that is the standard in north America. The circuits have to be rated and terminated for the appropriate amperage for the single phase tools in question.

    It's likely that the 25" thicknesser is 3-phase power due to its size. It could still be 240v, but it's not going to run on single phase power without some, um...other stuff. But a school likely has three phase power available.

    That all said, I agree with the advise that this isn't your problem to solve, although you can certainly encourage it to be solved. There are two things at play here...appropriate physical configuration and also a whole bunch of code compliance things that come with commercial/educational properties relative to electrics.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Marina del Rey, Ca
    Posts
    1,769
    Quote Originally Posted by Ronald Blue View Post
    The best thing you can do is take photos of the motor data plates...
    This. Need photos.
    "Anything seems possible when you don't know what you're doing."

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    New Westminster BC
    Posts
    2,486
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Allen1010 View Post
    School district electrician says he can’t hook them up.
    Can't get past this part of the OP. Why? Is he/she too busy?, if so you need to get authorization from the school principal to hire a licensed electrician. Or is it because the equipment doesn't meet school district safety standards in which case it should be sold to someone who can use it, again with the principals approval. In either case, you shouldn't be touching it both for the student's safety and your wallet and future employment points of view, (if you hook it up and someone gets hurt you could be sued and fired with cause, end of teaching career).

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    382
    4 top-of-the-line Powermatic stationary power tools that have never been plugged in/used in two years...School district electrician says he can’t hook them up.

    Either the school district electrician doesn't know how to hook them up (in which case s/he should be fired) or is unable to because electrical service to the shop is inadequate for those machines.
    If the latter, and the situation (4 machines unused) has been that way for 2 years, the school obviously thinks everything is OK, and has no incentive to change it (upgrade the service), especially if the change will cost money.**
    The OP can beg and rant and wheedle but inertia, especially where spending money is involved, is a powerful, weighty thing to overcome.
    I hope that it is the former situation (ignorance/laziness on the part of the electrician) and the OP can eventually get the machines up and running.

    ** It's entirely possible that some member of the school board, who doesn't know which end of hammer to use, will suggest selling the idle equipment *** because it hasn't been used in two years, and the funds can go to more "pressing" school needs.

    *** getting pennies on the dollar
    Last edited by Patty Hann; 03-04-2023 at 9:14 PM.
    "What you see and what you hear depends a great deal on where you are standing.
    It also depends on what sort of person you are.Ē

  13. #13
    "all of these tools are 230 V, phase 1 power, except for the 25 inch thickness planer"

    you say you have single phase 220v (240) at the panel...so plug the 3 machines in, and use an electronic phase converter for the 3 phase planer.


    Kindness Every Day......All Day

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    New Westminster BC
    Posts
    2,486
    Quote Originally Posted by Lawrence Duckworth View Post
    "all of these tools are 230 V, phase 1 power, except for the 25 inch thickness planer"

    you say you have single phase 220v (240) at the panel...so plug the 3 machines in, and use an electronic phase converter for the 3 phase planer.


    If this was his home shop I'd agree with you but this is a school shop, much higher level of responsibility.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Garson View Post
    If this was his home shop I'd agree with you but this is a school shop, much higher level of responsibility.

    don't use the planer..
    Kindness Every Day......All Day

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •