converting stationary machines from 110 amps to 220amp

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Forum topic by twsdetailnmore posted 01-25-2015 03:03 PM 714 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View twsdetailnmore's profile


29 posts in 2283 days

01-25-2015 03:03 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question tip

looking for pros and cons on converting my machines to run 220 instead of 110. whats the benefits of 220? I am able to change the motors over I just need to run new wiring outlets is it worth the cost and hassle of doing this.

-- TWS

3 replies so far

View johnstoneb's profile


2932 posts in 2195 days

#1 posted 01-25-2015 03:15 PM

The motors running on 220 will have more torque. When I built my shop I ran several 220 outletsand converted my tablesaw to 220. The most noticeable thing was the saw came on speed much faster. This is due to the increase in torque it may cut faster but I also put a new high quality sharp blade on at the same time. I think that had more to do with cut than 220. I have an outlet for my bandsaw and bought a plug but haven’t gotten around to changing it yet.
To answer your question is it worth it. Maybe. If you are building new or rewiring entire shop probably. If the power is at the shop and you don’t have to run a new line out there or tear up a bunch of walls to get it there maybe.
If it is going to take major money to get it there then probably not.
The tool won’t use any less power. They just use half the power on each leg. A 12 amp machine will use 6 amps per leg for a total of 12 amps.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4947 posts in 3982 days

#2 posted 01-25-2015 04:10 PM

Don’t confuse amps and volts. BIG difference.
220 v tools do start up faster, but there is no diff in power consumption.


View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 2993 days

#3 posted 01-25-2015 06:24 PM

I’m sorry to be so blunt, but if you don’t know the difference between volts and amps, you do not need to be wiring anything up yourself.

To answer what I think you meant, changing 110 volt tools to run on 220 volts, you can’t change some tools.
If a large stationary tool has a motor that is designed for dual voltage it will usually be less than 2 hp. A 2 hp or larger motor would draw so many amps on 110 volts it would require a special dedicated circuit anyway so they might as well be connected for 220 volts.

A dual voltage motor, designed for 110 / 220 volt, will usually draw twice the amps when connected for 110 volts. So, logically that same motor will draw half the amps on 220 volts. That is the only advantage. Lower amps require smaller wires and at the same time, if a wire is only half loaded it will have less voltage drop.

Voltage drop is what happens when an extension cord or other wire is too long or too small. The resistance of the wire does two things. It causes the wire to heat up and it reduces the voltage at the end of the wire. So, if you run a 16ga extension cord (with a capacity of 12 amps) to a 1 3/4 hp motor that is pulling 15 amps, that cord is going to heat up and the motor will be trying to run on less than 110 volts. It will run, but it will over heat and it will appear to have less power. If that same motor and cord setup was running on 220 volts the amps would be less than 8 amps, the cord would not heat up and the motor would appear to have more power.

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