config converter for three-phase motor

Can anyone speak to configuring a static/electronic converter to convert a three-phase motor for use in a typical garage with 110 electricity? Is this something that can be done easily or does it require electrical skills? This motor that I have has variable speed control and that is why I want to use this motor (versus buying a single-phase motor). The press is a C&P 10x15 NS.

I had an electrician stop by today to quote configuring the motor and converter and it was $3K. Uh, no thank you.

I know I can get the converter for a reasonable amount but am curious how involved configuring it is.

Rich, thanks again for your input on this. Trying to find a local electrical repair shop and haven’t had success with that yet.



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Many people make their own converters and hook them up themselves, I’m assuming then having an electrician sign off on it. I’m not recommending that but it seems absurd to me that the guy you checked with wanted $3000.

You basically wire the motor to the converter and wire the converter to the circuit. The converters come with instructions how to do this. It’s not rocket science. Even at $60 an hour I can’t believe that if you attached the converter to the wall, got the wire you needed and ran it from point to point that an electrician couldn’t come in and connect everything up for you in an hour, two at the most.

He may need to add a 220 circuit which could add to the time and cost so you’ll want to see if that’s necessary for the converter and see if you have room in your breaker box for it but you probably do unless your in an old house.

Your house setup may be more problematic than usual so that may be a problem but the basics of setting up a converter are straightforward. I think you need a second opinion.

Milford, NJ

Thanks, Rich. Yeah, I almost laughed in his face when he told me the quote. Off to do some research. I’m finding a few sources online that mention that a static converter might not be the best choice for a variable speed motor? I’ll continue to investigate.

You might check out the VFD VARIABLE FREQUENCY DRIVE as seen on ebay 400055127096. used with a three phase motor it offers variable speed and almost no loss of power.

jjdewitt, the 3phase converters I have worked with take 220
into an electric motor out to a breaker box to be dedicated to a specific machine to create your false third leg. Thus 3 phase. Most older 3phase motors have old 3 phase and need a buck boost to bring it to the proper 3phase. 3 phase can kill a human being thats why we have electricians. Have you considered asking another electrcian for a price or find one that moonlites.
best james


When I hooked up my Heidelberg with a phase converter. I got quotes all over the place from 2 - 6k. I ended up finally getting a moonlighter for $600.00.

Good Luck.

Thanks, everyone, for your feedback. I will get a second opinion. I’m going to send a mass email tonight to 10 or so electricians listed on craigslist. Nothing like a little market competition to drive the price down.

Don, thanks for the VFD info. I’ll explore that further too.

This is fun.

You can search for VFD and then single phase to three phase. A number of manufacturers have web offerings. Once you specify the voltages and HP requirement you will get to a model number. Search for the manuals for that model and read them. You will soon see how involved it is. If you are comfortable with what you see, you are then in a much better position to hire an electrician. The electrician will have to read the setup instructions just like you, and if you have all the answers (lots of things to do with operating the machine like ramp up rates and how the speed is controlled etc.) you are then the one to set the parameters into the VFD.
Just keep asking.


Picked up a variable frequency drive ($100 with guarantee) and have an electrician that can configure it for $300. Just need to set up 240 to the vfd from the garage. Think I’ll go for it unless I somehow learn to do this on my own!

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