Vandercook SP15 - Electric problem


I have a Vandercook SP15 with an electric problem:
1- I turn on the press
2- Main cylinder don’t move
3- I help the cylinder to turn with my hand
4- Cylinder start turning
5- 30 seconds after, the fuse of my electric switchboard blows !

(I have enough electric power)

Any idea ?

Thanks !

Log in to reply   11 replies so far


You may have an electrical short somewhere. Check all your wires for housing cracks or breaks, and all connecting points for weak connections. I just recently worked on a Universal III that had a short at the wire connection to the motor causing the brake to not work, and blow a fuse every time a new one was put in. If you have digital multimeter, check all wires for ground as well.


If your motor is single phase, either 120 or 240 volt, you probably have a capacitor start motor. In that case either the centrifugal switch inside the motor is stuck or the cap is bad. Does the motor have a small half cylindrical sheet metal cover attached,if so that is the cap.

Can you get some info off the motor dataplate and post here. That would help narrow down the possible problems.


And note that a capacitor can hold a charge, so do not remove the cover and poke around. It makes quite a pop when the technician discharges it.

Thanks Marshall !
Here is some photos of the motor.
Yes, you’re right, there is a capacitor next to him.
It is probably down !?

image: IMG_6297.JPG


image: IMG_6299.JPG


image: IMG_6296.JPG


Not to steal Marshall,s thunder! But (author) have made the mistakes, quite a few, and would hope to avert the Newer devotees doing the same.
Re Capacitor(s), fairly important, when replacing, (generally) the working Capacitance is that stated in Micro Farads, - as seen in shot 6299, middle line, first part, looks like,6(?)7(?), unfortunately partly obliterated, but followed by the Micro Farad symbol

Ideally the capacitance should be fairly close, if not exact, for replacement.

But be careful, Your supplier, should be able to cross reference, from Your legend plate, perhaps not from Your dead capacitor because it looks suspiciously like an aftermarket replacement, from the *wrong font* wiring connections, as in the red/white amateur(ish) under fig.3.

Ex factory, would usually be, same colour and unbroken into the motor windings.

Perhaps take a Close(r) look into the cover, underside (red oxide painted) for possible evidence, of OR, missing, schematic diagram, for the wiring of the Motor, itself, and the Capacitor and usually the reversing *straps*

Again and generally, schematic, either within the capacitor cover OR under the end cover plate, perhaps trace the route of the Steel armoured input cable seen in shot 6299, lower right.

has this press been working properly, and then started tripping the breaker, or have you just installed it? One thing that could cause that is if the motor is wired for 220v and you are running it on 110v, or maybe vice-versa. Could also be the capacitor, or a problem with the motor winding, or (if it has one) the switch that disconnects the start winding (internal to the motor)

assuming this problem has come out of no where, check ALL connections. They do loosen up.

Thanks for all your answers !
This press was built for export and work for many years without problem. But more than 60 years after, some repair are needed :)
I looking for factory motor diagram and bring it to a motor repair shop.
I’ll Give you some news.

a good motor repair shop would likely already know what to do. they may even already have a usable diagram.

Used Westen no 4 press which is licensed Vandercook sp15….similar problems….it was the capacitor.

Problem solved, it was the capacitor ;)
Thanks for your help !