Electrician Training Electrical Certification wiring recessed light fixtures Electrical Wiring Electrical Troubleshooting and Electrical Repairs wire outdoor light fixture Home Electrical Wiring Diagrams
wiring home generator and transfer switch wiring a 220 volt range cord outlet Wiring for GFCI Outlets Wiring Outlets and a Switched Outlet Wiring and Installing Ceiling Fans and Remote Controls wire dimmer switch wiring diagrams for switches wiring a dryer cord and 220 outlet circuit breaker panel
Electrical Wire and Cable

Converting a 120 Volt Motor to 240 Volts

How to Convert the Electrical Circuit Voltage for a Motor: There are multiple problems here. You and the electrician did not discuss exactly what the 240 volt outlet would be used for. This is a big mistake, and I’m amazed that the electrician did not ask you what the circuit would be used for.

Converting the Electrical Voltage of a Motor
Electrical Question: I have an old Craftsman table saw that can run on either 120v or 240v with a minor change within the motor, which has three input wires – a ground and two lines.  For some years, I’ve operated it at 120v, but it lacks the power to rip certain hardwoods.

Clearly, I’m missing something, but what?
Background: Michael, a Handyman from Sherwood, OR

Dave’s Reply:
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Michael.

How to Convert the Electrical Circuit Voltage for a Motor

More about Electrical Wiring:

Guide to Home Electrical Wire
electrical-wire

Electrical Wire for the Home

Complete listing of electrical wire types and parts used for home projects with electrical code information serves as selection guidelines.

240 Volt Wiring Diagram
240 Volt Wiring Diagram

Wiring 240 Volt Electrical Outlet

Home electrical wiring includes 110 volt outlets and 240 volt outlets and receptacles which are common place in every home. See how electrical outlets for the home are wired.

Electrical Outlets

How to Install Garage Electrical Wiring
garage-electrical-wiring

Garage Electrical Wiring

Fully Explained Photos and Wiring Diagrams for Garage Electrical Wiring with Code Requirements for most new or remodel projects.

How to Install Workshop Electrical Wiring
electrical-wiring

Work Shop Electrical Wiring

Fully Explained Photos and Wiring Diagrams for Workshop Electrical Wiring with Code Requirements for most new or remodel projects.


« How Do I Wire a Remote Control Ceiling Fan? What Is The Best Type of Under Cabinet Lighting? »

Learn How to Wire it Right with my
Complete Guide to Home Electrical Wiring
Perfect for Homeowners, Students,
Handyman, Handywomen, and Electricians
Includes:
Wiring GFCI Outlets
Wiring Home Electrical Circuits
120 Volt and 240 Volt Outlet Circuits
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Electric Range
Wiring 3-Wire and 4-Wire Dryer Cord and Dryer Outlet
How to Troubleshoot and Repair Electrical Wiring
Wiring Methods for Upgrading Electrical Wiring
Electrical Codes for Home Electrical Wiring
....and much more.

Click here to learn more about Home Electrical Wiring
  repair electrical wiring  

Not the answer you're looking for?
Browse other questions in the following categories:

220 Volt Wiring
Motor

Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.

See more about Electrical Wiring in Your Local Area

FAQs Frequently Asked Questions and Comments

5 Responses to “Converting a 120 Volt Motor to 240 Volts”
  1. John Healey says:

    I bought 2 ALECO DRYWALL SANDERS from a source online. They both have 120 volt electric motors. Can these motors be changed to 240 volts as I live in New Zealand where our country is 240 volts. I look forward to hearing from you.
    Kind Regards,
    John

    • Dave Rongey says:

      Hi John,
      Typically the voltage of these types of motors cannot be changed unless it is specifically stated on the label. However you may want to contact the manufacturer and see if they recommend a voltage converter that may be used to change the voltage from 240 to 120.
      I hope this helps you,
      Dave

  2. don Julien says:

    Ask the Electrician:

    I have a 700 hp 900 rpm 4999 volt electric motor (3).
    It is 120 v 60HZ.
    I would like to change it to 220 Volts 50HZ?
    Is it possible to begin with?
    Is it fairly simple(less expensive)?
    Is it very time consuming(More expensive)?
    How does one do it?

    Much Appreciated

    don julien

    • admin says:

      Hi Don
      It would be very helpful for you to provide the Brand, Model, and the nameplate information from this electric motor in order to see what different wiring configuration are allowed.
      Dave

    • Matt says:

      Don, there are two problems here. One with the frequency difference and another with the voltage difference. Lets start with frequency: It is unlikely that you can convert the motor from 60 Hz to 50 Hz unless the motor nameplate specifies that it was already constructed to handle this frequency range. The 50 Hz European utility frequency is actually less efficient than the 60 Hz American utility frequency. This means that motors built for European systems must generally contain thicker gauge windings than an equivalent American motor in order to attain the same level of thermal performance. In other words, if your motor was built for the American 60 Hz standard, it likely has thinner motor windings, which could overheat if used on 50 Hz power. Now for the voltage problem: There are a lot of countries in Europe and they sometimes differ but in general they run on 230V per leg, where as America runs on 120V per leg and 240V when 2 alternating legs are used in combination. In a conversion from an American 120V to an American 240V system, you replace the neutral with a 2nd hot leg. In a conversion from an American 120V to a European 230V system, you still have just 1 hot leg, –but it would just carry more voltage, which the motor wires may not be rated to handle. Performing this conversion is ill advised.

COMMENTS and QUICK QUESTIONS:

If you are asking a Quick Question please make sure it is about This TOPIC:
“Converting a 120 Volt Motor to 240 Volts”

Comments Posted here are Open for Quality Discussion and Participation.
PLEASE NOTE: WE DO NOT PUBLISH 3RD PARTY SPAM COMMENTS, TRACK-BACKS OR LINKS.



By submitting you agree to our Site Terms