230-Volt Motors on 208-Volt Service

      Will slightly under-powering 3-phase shop equipment cause trouble? Probably not, but there are ways to modify voltage just in case. November 21, 2005

I'm looking at a machine that is rated for 3 phase 230 volts, but my shop is wired for 3 phase 208 volts. Will the machine run or will it run poorly?

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor R:
We have 208 three phase in our shop and a mix of machines with motors rated for 230 and 208 with no problems. Contact your local motor repair folks for a more detailed explanation, but I recall that it may not have full power. However, we can't notice any measurable difference.

From contributor L:
Operating a motor rated at 230 vac on 208 vac will cause the motor to operate at a higher temperature and slightly less HP will be produced. Motors are usually rated to run at +-10% voltage, so this falls within the guidelines, barely. If you want to do the proper thing, get yourself a pair of buck/boost transformers to boost your voltage to 230. They will cost you about $110 apiece and when you get them, make sure you ask the seller to send you the literature on how to wire them up for your 3 PH power. You can always find wiring diagrams on the net. Good luck, and be safe when playing with power.

From contributor B:
I have the same situation and had the same concerns. No problems for two years running. I think you'll fall within the percentage.

From contributor J:
Most of the time you will not have any problem running a 230 motor on 208. Do keep in mind that during the summer months, our voltage sometimes drops down to 194-198 volts, which is well more than the +/- 10%. If you have more than one machine that is rated at 230, consider installing a larger dedicated transformer and panel board to run those machines at 240 delta. You need a 240 volt primary by 208Y/120 secondary transformer. You'll be using this in step-up configuration, so do not hook up the neutral wire. A 30 KVA transformer will give you 72 amps at 240. If you can afford to wait a little while, you can find everything you'll need on E-bay for probably just a few hundred dollars.

Would you like to add information to this article?
Interested in writing or submitting an article?
Have a question about this article?

Have you reviewed the related Knowledge Base areas below?
  • KnowledgeBase: Knowledge Base

  • KnowledgeBase: Solid Wood Machining

  • KnowledgeBase: Solid Wood Machining: General

    Would you like to add information to this article? ... Click Here

    If you have a question regarding a Knowledge Base article, your best chance at uncovering an answer is to search the entire Knowledge Base for related articles or to post your question at the appropriate WOODWEB Forum. Before posting your message, be sure to
    review our Forum Guidelines.

    Questions entered in the Knowledge Base Article comment form will not generate responses! A list of WOODWEB Forums can be found at WOODWEB's Site Map.

    When you post your question at the Forum, be sure to include references to the Knowledge Base article that inspired your question. The more information you provide with your question, the better your chances are of receiving responses.

    Return to beginning of article.

    Refer a Friend || Read This Important Information || Site Map || Privacy Policy || Site User Agreement

    Letters, questions or comments? E-Mail us and let us know what you think. Be sure to review our Frequently Asked Questions page.

    Contact us to discuss advertising or to report problems with this site.

    To report a problem, send an e-mail to our Webmaster

    Copyright © 1996-2019 - WOODWEB ® Inc.
    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without permission of the Editor.
    Review WOODWEB's Copyright Policy.

    The editors, writers, and staff at WOODWEB try to promote safe practices. What is safe for one woodworker under certain conditions may not be safe for others in different circumstances. Readers should undertake the use of materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk.

    WOODWEB, Inc.
    335 Bedell Road
    Montrose, PA 18801

    Contact WOODWEB

  • WOODWEB - the leading resource for professional woodworkers

      Home » Knowledge Base » Knowledge Base Article