How to Run a 3 Phase Machine with Single Phase Power with a AC Drive including VFD Installation

How to Run a 3 Phase Machine with Single Phase Power with a AC Drive including VFD Installation

In this video we cover one of the popular ways to run a 3 phase machine when you only have single phase power such as you have at your house. We go through identifying the motor size and voltage and how to tie into the machines existing wiring. Also check out this 100 year old shaper. She’s a real beauty.

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  1. Jeff on April 26, 2022 at 7:12 pm

    This is a great Vlog. Could have been 45mins covering more of the VFD. People VFDs are truly a blessing, accept for Rockw**l. You can pick up a VFD from G*lco for $100-350. If you have time wiring in to your House panel and you have patients, you can figure this out. You don’t know how many times I’ve called out โ€ฆ and find the build / Data plate has either been; painted over, rubbed or scratched up. That tells me; Someone is wiring up, praying as they energizes….people please, protect your motor data plates like you would your family. One more suggestion…invest in a Brady BMP21 (Kit) use: M21-750-499 3/4" labels…and label your wires for the next guy.

    P.S. not a bad idea to check and see if there is an In/p torque on the VFD Leg and motor screws. Especially the unit / motor lugs… tighten your wires down

  2. dongwei jin on April 26, 2022 at 7:14 pm


  3. Shir Wilbo on April 26, 2022 at 7:15 pm

    Neat video. Thanks for taking me into the shop.

  4. Joe W on April 26, 2022 at 7:18 pm

    Hey Tim, could you explain how you measured continuity from the ground to the motor frame ? Is that simply using meter on ohms? I didnโ€™t Know I could measure continuity like that. I always thought I needed a wire

  5. Mr Bean on April 26, 2022 at 7:21 pm

    How about for bigger loads? For the supply of single phase 220V then the load will be 20 hp 220V or 440V motor. Is it still advisable to use this kind of setup?

  6. Seung K on April 26, 2022 at 7:21 pm

    The language sounds all foreign to me…video was interesting you sure know your stuff. I just came to find a way to power my 3 phase equipment, not sure how to do it..14.4 kW / 60 hz/ 220 v…rotary motor?? anyways thank you for your video

  7. Metal Illness on April 26, 2022 at 7:22 pm

    Shaper is wired in reverse, don’t let that go. Dad is at a planer, good photo. Thanks keep the video’s coming!

  8. stuarth43 on April 26, 2022 at 7:23 pm

    my CAZENUEVE has beautiful switchgear too, I treasure it 12 hp 1972 575x 2000 lathe, use df on my presses

  9. Tim Wilborne on April 26, 2022 at 7:25 pm

    Several people have pointed out a few corrections to this video.

    My guess on the motor rotation was wrong and I had it running backwards. It should be faster on the retract than the extend.

    Also my dad was standing by a planer, not a shaper. On a shaper the tool moves and the part of stationery. On a planer the part moves and the tool is stationary.

    Thanks to everyone for their input!

  10. Hits Rules on April 26, 2022 at 7:26 pm

    Informative videos ๐Ÿ‘

  11. Alam Zeb on April 26, 2022 at 7:28 pm

    Hats off, Great deal of knowledge.

  12. Peter Ramjattan on April 26, 2022 at 7:31 pm

    thanks exultant content

  13. Umesh Umesh on April 26, 2022 at 7:32 pm

    How to calculate input current of 1ph vfd

  14. randel robbins on April 26, 2022 at 7:33 pm

    Thanks for showing the hiccups! It’s a big help!

  15. BRAINWASHED on April 26, 2022 at 7:33 pm

    Any suggestions on a Variable Frequency Drive Inverter for a parts washer with these specs 208-230/460 volts and 21-18/9 amps 3ph ?

  16. mibrahim mibrahim on April 26, 2022 at 7:35 pm

    Hi sar
    0.18 kw
    motor 3ph
    Run 220 singal ph
    Sar campastar ……..uf ( plz help me ) me

  17. Jim Barry on April 26, 2022 at 7:37 pm

    Hey Tim, interesting video series. Wondering if you can help out a non-electrician. I’m looking to purchase a welder that requires 400 Volts / 3 Phase / 60 Hz for my backyard workshop. What sort of VFD might I need? 3phase can be brought in for $25K, says the power company! So looking for another alternative.

  18. Gavin VON MEYER on April 26, 2022 at 7:38 pm

    What does this gorgeous machine make?

  19. M M on April 26, 2022 at 7:39 pm

    Is VFD used for single phase motor?

  20. MrWaalkman on April 26, 2022 at 7:39 pm

    Nah, that motor isn’t that old, the really early ones didn’t have a junction box (aka the "peckerhead" in electrician-speak). The standard method back then was to put a weatherhead on the end of your conduit and curly-coil the wires through the air to the exposed leads on the motor. Just use plenty of tape and no one gets hurt. ๐Ÿ™‚

    And I’m not suggesting that I am old or anything like that, but I have wired this type of motor up…

    I think that you are correct in being cautious about using a VFD on an old three phase motor. I’m not sure how a "wound rotor" 3 phase motor would react.

    The old starter is pretty old, just two of the legs have overloads on them, that hasn’t been legal in ages. And the slide relay (solenoid) in the starter harkens back to the old copper-carbon contact days.

    These were used in old elevators, and you can still buy replacement carbon pads. The beauty of these is that they a) won’t weld together, and b) the metal part of the contacts forms itself to the carbon/graphite pad. But mostly a) they won’t weld together. Something to do with safety. Elevator mechs are funny that way. ๐Ÿ™‚ And old-timey elevators use limit switches that are designed to destroy themselves rather than allow a set of welded contacts to keep the lift running.

    And it’s interesting that the motor is a six-pole motor – another reason to be careful with it.

    Now, this is old:

    At 1:20 in the video you can see a couple of carbon pad relays. ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. Joel Simon on April 26, 2022 at 7:41 pm

    Hi Tim . Don’t we have to use VFD cables. On the load side of the VFD? Have you noticed much problem of harmonics if you use regular unshielded cable? Well its a small VFD probable that wouldn’t be an issue.

  22. aaron roby on April 26, 2022 at 7:41 pm

    What wire do you use is it 3phase wire? And is it possible to wire a normal 240 plug on it and not hard wire it to the fuseboard?

  23. richard power on April 26, 2022 at 7:43 pm

    I’d prefer to watch this machine at work than watch the TV. Good work it keeping it going.

  24. bamaboy1242 on April 26, 2022 at 7:47 pm

    can you use one of these on a plasma cutter ? I bought a 3 phase plasma cutter and only have single phase power. need help !!!!! lol

  25. adam45899 on April 26, 2022 at 7:49 pm

    There are so many VFD converters out there that im confusd to whats a good reliable one and whats not? I need one for a 5hp 3 phase baldor motor on my air compressor i need somebody to just point me to a reliable one i can trust to run my Saylor Beall compressor

  26. Joe W on April 26, 2022 at 7:49 pm

    I swear every time I search for a video youโ€™re #1. Iโ€™m looking for a cheap motor to pair with my training plc and vfd. I see one at Harbor Freight for $164. Itโ€™s only 1 phase though I kinda want 3 phase in order to maximize training

  27. gus bisbal on April 26, 2022 at 7:51 pm

    Tim, I subed on this vid because you screw things up more than I do and I like that in a guy. ๐Ÿ™‚ Remember never read the manual completely that is for wimps.

  28. Brendan Wylie on April 26, 2022 at 7:52 pm

    Are you able to post a link to the AC drive you used?

  29. onjoFilms on April 26, 2022 at 7:55 pm

    I love old machines.

  30. Kurt McCormick on April 26, 2022 at 7:55 pm

    Tim I am needing to convert 30 amps of 240 volt single phase into 3 phase output with 4 wires at 208 volts(L1L2L3N). Could you please point me in the direction of the product im looking for? The output load isnt relevant here because i can change my output needs in the input settings of my appliance. Thanks in advance and great videos

  31. Shaman King on April 26, 2022 at 7:56 pm

    I red once that if you run an old motor using a VFD there is a chance to damage the motor because old motors when the coils were insulated , very often had small tiny little air bubbles , these air bubbles over time can create an ark ( corona effect ) that damages the motor wiring, therefore shorten the life of the motor.
    vfd can make the motor run hotter if motor is not vfd rated; today’s motors are dipped and put in a vacuum chamber to remove any possible air pockets or bubbles.
    excellent video Tim.

  32. M M on April 26, 2022 at 7:58 pm

    In my home we have single phase (240 ac volt), can I run 3 phase motor (240 volt) ?

  33. Hello Kitty Fan Man! on April 26, 2022 at 7:59 pm

    Run _off of_ 3-phase? So… anything _but_ that?

  34. Charles Mwape on April 26, 2022 at 8:00 pm

    Good Explanation

  35. Dennis Jiu on April 26, 2022 at 8:01 pm

    Incredible video ! Deep dive for single phase, three phases, VFD, motor , starter, grounding etc. One question pumps up to my mind: The start and stop pushbuttons are sinking inputs for the VFD? Thank you very much. TIm.

  36. DSR on April 26, 2022 at 8:01 pm

    Iโ€™m wanting to convert a newer vertical mill and it has a control box with e stop. Start forward. Reverse. Coolant on. I would like to keep all that and not have to mess up the original wiring. Is there a way to make this happen so I can essentially keep the machine as factory as possible?

  37. Madeline W on April 26, 2022 at 8:01 pm

    Hey Tim, great video! Awesome machine.
    I have an old General 360 Table Saw (Drummondville make) and it’s currently 3 phase. I only have single phase in my shop…would I be able to use one of these to run it on our single phase power? ๐Ÿ™‚

  38. baron von chickenpants on April 26, 2022 at 8:02 pm

    What about a welder they use two phases

  39. Lift Arc Studios on April 26, 2022 at 8:04 pm

    Amazing seeing this thing up and running. We were sad to see it leave the shop but knew it would be in good hands with Larry! – Tay

  40. CSmothers Forge on April 26, 2022 at 8:08 pm

    Can you use a VFD for a 10Horse motor?

  41. Hello Kitty Fan Man! on April 26, 2022 at 8:08 pm

    "And actually, some of theirr smaller ones… will run [on] 120, so you can just plug it into the wall."

    What: like if it’s 220/240, you couldn’t just plug it into the wall? 220/240 outlets aren’t on the wall?

  42. Gavin VON MEYER on April 26, 2022 at 8:08 pm

    Do you think this device will power up this machine: I.e. The Machine is a Heidelberg Kord 64 – The Gross Power is 42 kw (56.32 hp)
    , I think the machine requires between 380v-400v to run?

  43. Daniel Benson on April 26, 2022 at 8:10 pm

    Please can I use one single phase to three phase inverter to control 2 three phase electric motors at the same time?

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