porter cable table saw died

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Forum topic by culver52 posted 05-26-2016 01:29 PM 425 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 154 days

05-26-2016 01:29 PM

Topic tags/keywords: tablesaw question

I got a porter cable table saw a few years ago and it worked fine till today. it wont make a sound or turn on when I press the switch. I am getting power to the rocker switch but don’t know what to check next. I made a mistake and unhooked the wires from the switch and did not write down the location of the of the wires to hook them back up. any ideas what to check next

6 replies so far

View Lazyman's profile


618 posts in 810 days

#1 posted 05-26-2016 01:52 PM

You said you are getting power to the switch, are you getting power out of the switch? If not, check to see if the switch has a built in circuit breaker/fuse. If you cannot see a way to reset a breaker in the switch, the switch might need to be replaced. Also check to make sure that sawdust hasn’t fouled the switch to the point it doesn’t work. I replaced a switch once and afterward I took the old one apart and found that that it was full of sawdust.

Does it have a separate reset-able fuse or circuit breaker? I can’t remember how they are typically wired but you might see power to the switch even if the fuse is tripped. Breakers typically trip if you overloaded by trying to saw at max depth or had a piece bind or kickback. I’ve had those fuses trip during thunderstorms too. Also, sometimes when the reset-able breakers trip, they burn out so you might have to replace it. Fortunately they are pretty cheap. If it doesn’t have a separate breaker and it is not built into the switch, it might be on the motor.

If it is not a switch or breaker problem, check the brushes on the motor. Unless you use your saw for several hours everyday, they should last more than a few years but they can simply fail.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View scjetson's profile


10 posts in 158 days

#2 posted 05-26-2016 11:23 PM

not sure what PC model you have but here is my PC table saw wiring print if it

will help

View Redoak49's profile


1824 posts in 1412 days

#3 posted 05-26-2016 11:25 PM

One of the best uses for a cell phone camera is taking pictures as you take something apart. It has saved me several times.

View Loren's profile


8168 posts in 3071 days

#4 posted 05-26-2016 11:41 PM

First thing to do if you don’t have any special diagnostic
skills is to try bypassing the switch.

Actually, switches can get clogged with sawdust and
if you can take the switch apart cleaning may suffice.

View MrUnix's profile


4039 posts in 1622 days

#5 posted 05-27-2016 07:03 AM

Kind of impossible to say without knowing what saw you have and what other things you have tested besides power going to the switch. As for the switch, it should just be a standard DPST type, so it’s pretty easy to figure out what terminals are switched with a cheap multimeter. Then just hook it up so white and black on one side get contacted to white and black on the other side of the switch.

Not running – that could be just about anything and most likely will require you to break out the meter and go start checking where the power stops. First try the obvious… spin the motor first and try, make sure wires are connected, check the overload/thermal protector/circuit breaker isn’t tripped, etc… If you still have the switch disconnected, test it with a meter to make sure it’s making contact. After that, then start tracing. Check for power at the outlet, input to switch, output from switch (after placing it in the ‘on’ position), power at the motor wiring junction and anything in between. Be extremely careful and keep yourself away from the blade should it fire up unexpectedly on you (like when you hit that loose wire you missed earlier :)

Once you narrow down where you lose power, it should be easy to fix.


-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

View culver52's profile


2 posts in 154 days

#6 posted 06-01-2016 09:05 PM

sorry for the slow response. I bypassed the switch and the saw ran just fine. I took the switch apart and there was connection that had came loose. I put it back together and all is good. thanks for all the help with my problem

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