Running a 110 volt 60hertz motor on 50hertz system

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Forum topic by leeh100 posted 06-23-2011 08:29 PM 1268 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3 posts in 2502 days

06-23-2011 08:29 PM


Wondered if I good get some info/advice from forum members with experience with electric motors.

I am building a overhead drum sander and got hold of a 110v 60hertz 3/4 hp motor at a very good price, but I live in the UK and we have a 50hertz system , I wired it all up and running it through a Transformer, as in the UK we also run a 230-40volt electrical system, I started the motor running but it kept Tripping out the Transformer after about a minute or so, I have overcome the trip out on the transformer, but the motor gets quite warm, I do understand the reason for this ,
What I would like to know is , is it OK for me to run this motor? and also, how hot can this motor be allowed to get before it goes POP!


5 replies so far

View Charles Maxwell's profile

Charles Maxwell

1099 posts in 3771 days

#1 posted 06-23-2011 10:08 PM

I spent 3 years in the UK with US Naval Forces in London (I love London and the Brits) and all of my 110V 60hz motors (washing machine etc) worked fine. As you indicated, you need to run your motors through a step down transformer suitable for the max current draw. The motors did get hot (running slower due to lower hertz rating) but, I’m here in the USA using all my equipment on 110 systems again and they’re fine. It depends on how much use you intend to get out that motor. If you’re running under heavy loading conditions and for a long period (hours at a time) I’d seek a 240v 50hz motor and give up the anxiety!

-- Max the "night janitor" at

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3259 posts in 2639 days

#2 posted 06-23-2011 11:26 PM

I have no actual experience but I worked on the mechanical side of the engineering dept for my employer. the electrical boys always told me it would work as Charles has described.

View leeh100's profile


3 posts in 2502 days

#3 posted 06-24-2011 08:16 AM

Thanks for the replies
Charles, you say give up the Anxiety, Yes I have been thinking on that myself.

The transformer I am using is a 1500VA (I know it should not be done) but to stop it popping the trip on the transformer, I had to disconnect the trip switch, The person I got the motor from says that he uses the same motor on a cement mixer with a transformer and he has NO trouble with it tripping out his transformer, I am wondering now if I have it wired up correctly, I know these motors will run even when incorrectly wired.


View bluekingfisher's profile


1250 posts in 2943 days

#4 posted 06-24-2011 03:08 PM


I also live in the UK and had a similar request (was going to buy a US tablesaw and have it shipped over) I am no expert, although what I found out was that our kit will work in the US on their 60 Hz cycles but but not the other way around. Well, it will work but the resistence is severe hence the heating of the motor windings. The motor will have to work harder and not produce its full output of power and will eventually fail….or cause a fire due to the build up of heat.

BTW a 3/4HP seems a little light for an effective overhead/drum sander anyway??. The motor in mine is 2HP

-- No one plans to fail, they just, just fail to plan

View KayBee's profile


1083 posts in 3210 days

#5 posted 06-24-2011 09:33 PM

Ditto what Charles said. I spent 3 years in Spain with the USN, and all my stuff still works as it should. Didn’t burn anything down either.

-- Karen - a little bit of stupid goes a long way

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