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Forum topic by brownred posted 597 days ago 864 views 0 times favorited 25 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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brownred

34 posts in 612 days


597 days ago

Not sure if im posting this in the crrect forum topic or not but here it goes.

I know nothing about electricity. I am planning a wood shop in my basement. I have 3520B on order. I know it is 220 because it says so. But some machinery doesnt say if it 110 or 220 and that where im having problems.

Example: The Jet 1000CFM Air Filtration System w/Remote Control (AFS-1000B), all is says about the motor is, 1/5 HP, 115V Only. Now im assuming that it will work on a 110 but i dont know that for sure because it doesnt say it. What is 115 volts?

Another example: The DELTA 50-760 1.5HP 1,200 CFM Vertical Bag Dust Collector, all it says is, 1.5-horsepower, 3,450-RPM, 120/240-volt, 60-hertz, single-phase induction motor. I dont know if it will work with a 110 outlet or not. Now here is the volts again….What does 120/240 volt mean?

Other machinery is the same way. How do I know if something will work with 110 or 220 is it doesnt say it?

Thanks

-- Phil in Sutallee Georgia


25 replies so far

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lab7654

250 posts in 843 days


#1 posted 597 days ago

120/240 simply means you can convert it to either voltage to suit your needs. I believe 115v will work with 110v.

-- Tristin King -- When in doubt, sand it.

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crank49

3336 posts in 1567 days


#2 posted 597 days ago

Voltages are approximate and are different from one power company to another and from one day to another, for that matter. 110 volt, 115 volt, 120 volt are all the same. Same thing with 220 volts and 240 volts.

Beware of tools rated 230/460 volt as they are probably 3 phase and you are not likely to be able to have or get that in a home. That is industrial power and will require a converter to run on single phase power.

In general, the biggest 120 volt induction motor that will run on a standard outlet is 1 3/4 HP, possibly 2 HP. This does not apply to portable tools like shop vacs, circular saws, routers, etc. These tools are often rated by folks in the marketing department instead of the engineering department. A good example is a shop vac with a 6 HP rating but still plugs into a standard outlet.. someone is lying.. won’t say who.

-- Michael :-{| “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” ― A H

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Vrtigo1

430 posts in 1587 days


#3 posted 597 days ago

Electricity is sometimes pretty vague. For example, 110V, 115V and 120V are sometimes used interchangeably, whether or not that is intentional or not, or correct or not I am not sure. In my experience anything marked as 110, 115 or 120V will work on standard household power.

The volts tell you one part of the equastion and amps tell you the other. You could say voltage is what kind of electricity and amps is how much. Most household outlets are 15A outlets. Around here a 20A outlet looks similar to a standard 15A outlet but it has an extra slot:

If you have a 20A tool it may operate on a 15A outlet but it is not safe to do so. Sometimes you can upgrade 15A outlets to 20A outlets but the gauge of the wire in the wall must support it. The higher amp rating of a circuit, the bigger wire gauge is needed to safely carry that current. A 10 gauge wire can withstand more current before it overheats than a 12 gauge wire can and so on. This is why the wires that come into your house from the street are much larger than the wires serving the individual outlets inside your home.

120/240V simply means that the load can be configured to accept either voltage. Usually devices like this will come prewired for either 110V or 220V (see, another vagueness, some call it 110/220 others 120/240) and you can rewire it to use the other voltage.

60 hertz refers to the power cycle. If you were to look at the electricity coming out of your wall socket (assuming you live in the USA) on an oscilliscope you’d see a series of up and down waves. There are 60 of them per second.

A lot of devices can run on a variety of power types. For example, laptop computers can generally run on anything from about 100V up to 250V and the only thing you have to care about is getting the plug physically adapted to fit into the receptacle. I suspect machinery with universal motors is probably more likely to be this way than induction motors but that is just a guess.

Phase is another thing you hit on in your question. As I understand phases, a phase is basically different timing of the power cycle. So if you have 60hz power with two phases, the phases will have opposite “on” and “off” cycles. I.E. When phase 1 is on, phase 2 is off and vice versa. This is how you get 220V power. There are two phases coming into your house from the street.

If you look at a standard household plug, it will probably have three prongs. Hot, neutral and ground. The hot prong connects to one of the phases coming into your house and that delivers 110V. Now if you look at a dryer or an oven may see three (older) or four (newer) wires. The three wire connection is two hots (one from each phase) and a ground and the four wire connection is two hots (one from each phase), a neutral and a ground. The key here is that you have two hots from two separate phases so you have the aggregate voltage of each phase, so 110 + 110 = 220V, and that’s how you get 220V.

If you were to look at your circuit breaker panel without any circuit breakers in it, you’d see two separate buses in the back (a bus is what the circuit breaker connects to). Each of those buses is connected to a separate phase. The bus bars alternate back and forth so if you looked at the top left spot for a circuit breaker, that might be on phase 1, the spot right below that will be on phase 2, the spot below that on phase 1 and so forth. That is why 220V circuit breakers are double the height of a 110V breaker, because they need one leg of the circuit on phase 1 and the other on phase 2.

Now you probably don’t care about most of that, all you probably care to know is that your home probably has single phase power. I’ve read online that some older homes have three phase power because that’s what the AC units a long time ago required, but the vast majority of homes have single phase power.

Three phase power is more of an industrial thing. When you start talking motors above 5 HP you will see three phase come into the picture. As I understand it three phase is the exact same as household 220V (two phases) but in three phase as the name implies there are three phases and each phase is 1/3 out of phase with the other two.

Three phase power is generally not available in residential areas so if you have three phase equipment (a lot of times you can find three phase equipment cheap on craigslist, etc when industrial shops close down) you would need a converter. A converter can convert your household current into three phase current, but the converters are not cheap and in my opinion aren’t worth the hassle.

After all of that I feel obliged to mention that I am not an electrician and my understanding of electricity is limited to what I have read online, so you shouldn’t rely on anything I’ve said. As everyone always says if you aren’t 100% certain you know what you’re doing and 100% comfortable doing it, call a professional electrician.

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Swyftfeet

169 posts in 767 days


#4 posted 597 days ago

Youre likely going to have to add some wiring and add some plugs both 110V and 220V. Get a basic wiring book(make sure it covers 220) from lowes or HD or Maynard’s. If you are scared about anything hire a pro. It’s not at all dangerous if you cut the main then go step by step and take your time, but you have to be sure of what you’re doing and do it safely.

-- Brian

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Vrtigo1

430 posts in 1587 days


#5 posted 597 days ago

Not to detract from Brian about safety with cutting the main before doing any work, but if you’ve done anything wrong there could be extreme consequences when you turn it back on. I had an electrician come out and inspect everything I did myself before I energized it as it was much cheaper this way. For what it’s worth he said one of the most common problems he sees is connections that aren’t properly tightened. I don’t really see why a connection would work itself loose over time, but apparently they do.

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Swyftfeet

169 posts in 767 days


#6 posted 597 days ago

Also in single phase 220 the incoming power is leg 110V at 0 degrees and the other leg(hot/source whatever) is 180 degrees out of phase. So when your at (0 seconds) both voltages are at 0V at t(0.25s) hot 1 is at +120V hot 2 is at -120v (difference in potential of 220) at t(0.5) both legs are at 0V at t(0.75) hot 1 is at -120V and hot 2 is +120V , at t(1)s both are back to 0V and you’ve completed one full cycle of 60hz

-- Brian

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RussellAP

2938 posts in 882 days


#7 posted 597 days ago

I think you’d know when you’re buying a tool that runs on 240v because it’s likely to be big and expensive.
Amperage is what you need to be mindful of. You need a couple dedicated 20 Amp breakers in your work area minimum. If you have a light overhead, you can tap that for more lighting usually. Don’t run TS, MS, or DC on a 15 Amp circuit or it’ll blow the breaker a lot. Most people have some sort of wire(s) running out to the garage. An electrician can find them and make sure you’re safe. I’d call one.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

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exelectrician

1459 posts in 1023 days


#8 posted 597 days ago

Vrtigo1 – Spoken like a well educated electrician, good job.

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

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oldnovice

3578 posts in 1963 days


#9 posted 597 days ago

Vrtigo1 since you did such a good job I was wondering if could also explain when a manufacturer adds in +10%/-5% to a voltage requirement; i.e. 110VAC, +10%,-5%! I have a couple of old electronic controllers, actually PLCs, that have an input voltage rated that way.

Does that mean 110+11=121 maximum voltage and 110-5%= 104.5 ~105 minimum voltage?

I also have some with different percentages.

Just curious!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

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Monte Pittman

13204 posts in 934 days


#10 posted 596 days ago

If you’re the least bit uncomfortable with doing the wiring, hire it out. I wired my house and shop. Just because you may have plenty of outlets doesn’t mean you have enough circuits. Again, if you’re not comfortable with checking or correcting this, seek help.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it. - It's not ability that we often lack, but the patience to use our ability

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Swyftfeet

169 posts in 767 days


#11 posted 596 days ago

Oldnovice, that’s exactly what it means.

-- Brian

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Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1754 days


#12 posted 596 days ago

An electrical device, like a motor, will pull the amount of amps required in order to run. It will tap into the voltage you have available, which differs from location to location (my 110/120v is actually 124v at the socket) , and will pull enough of that electricity (amps) in order to run the device.

This is what allows a motor to run the same even if in separate locations, where our actual voltage or “potential” might vary at the source. If your “house current” or 110/120v only provides 115 actual volts at the source, then it will pull more amps than my 124 actual volts to compensate.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

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brownred

34 posts in 612 days


#13 posted 596 days ago

Thanks everyone. I don’t intend on wiring anything. I just want to be carful not to buy something, bandsaw, dust collector etc. and once I get it home find out its to much for my home. I would rather know ahaid of time so I can have it wired by a professional if néed be. But I would rather have tools that use 110 if possible.
Now I am having a professional come in and wire me a 220 for the 3530B and an extra 220 just incase I need another 220 in the future.

-- Phil in Sutallee Georgia

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RussellAP

2938 posts in 882 days


#14 posted 596 days ago

Remember you’ll rarely use more than one tool at a time so make one line with several outlets. I’d put DC on it’s own line.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

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brownred

34 posts in 612 days


#15 posted 596 days ago

RussellAP, What do you mean, one line with several outlets, are you talking about the 220 im having put in?
DC on its own line? You lost me there too. Told you, i know nothing about electricity.

Thanks

-- Phil in Sutallee Georgia

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