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Old 12-02-2011, 09:42 AM   #1
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120v or 220v


First of let me warn you I hardly know anything about electricity other than the fact that I know that 120v and 220v are different.

I just inherited a lathe from a family member. I took it home and I realized that the plug was different. It is a 3 prong locking plug. I am assuming this lathe is made to run on 220v since its not the kind of plug I am used to plugging in my outlets in my garage. This lathe is also made in austrailia so I didnt know if they use different plugs there.

On the plug it says "30A 125/250V"

On the motor the plate has the following specs:Direct Current Motor, Volts 180, Amps 7.6, HP 1.5

The wiring inside the plug has 3 wires, White, Green, and Black.

I'll attach photos also. I guess my main question is, Do I need to hire an electrician to install 220v in my garage or do I need to buy an adapter so I can plug this in to my 120v outlets?

Thanks for your help!

Ps. sorry the motor plate photo is upside down..not sure what happened there LOL
Attached Thumbnails
120v or 220v-photo.jpg   120v or 220v-photo2.jpg   120v or 220v-photo3.jpg   120v or 220v-photo4.jpg  


Last edited by tigerpaws17; 12-02-2011 at 09:44 AM. Reason: upside down photo
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Old 12-02-2011, 10:01 AM   #2
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120v or 220v


this is a twist lock 230v plug, you need a 230v circuit to make that motor runs, the motor is actually a 180v dc motor but there must be a controller inside that machine

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Old 12-02-2011, 11:42 AM   #3
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120v or 220v


An expert could probably confirm for me but this should work for you.

At Home Depot you can get an outlet that matches the plug, just make sure you get a 30amp one.

From that 30 amp outlet, run 10g 2/1 Romex cable to your breaker to a 30amp 2 pole breaker.

Putting in a breaker isn't a huge deal, but If you are nervous, I would recommend having someone with some experience pop it in for you, that's what I did for my first couple electrical runs. Otherwise you can kill the main breaker when you do it, just be careful not to touch the 2 big lines coming from outside the house, those will still be live even if you turn off the main breaker.

For the outlet side, follow the instructions that come with it on connections, should be a white/black and a bare copper ground.


On the Breaker side, white and black screw into the breaker, bare goes into the grounding bar. (The silver Bar with all the screws. You should see a bunch of bare wires already plugged into this.)

The black and white are the same in this instance and can be wired in either spot on the outlet side and the breaker side.

BE CAREFUL! If you are unsure about anything please ask.

Also that plug looks like its seen better days, I'm sure it will probably work fine, but you might consider changing it. The hardware store should have these. You can just change the plug on the end, just make sure its the same rating. If they don't have the 3 prong locking style, you can get a straight 3 prong (like a 3 prong dryer plug) just make sure its the same ratings also, and match the outlet accordingly.

Last edited by roidrage152; 12-02-2011 at 11:45 AM.
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Old 12-02-2011, 12:12 PM   #4
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120v or 220v


Thanks for the help! I do have another question. Ive done some reading and let me ask this.

On the motor plate it says it uses 7.6 amps. This is really the only thing I plan on plugging into this plug. Do I really need to install a 30amp breaker? Could I use smaller one, say 15 or 20amp? The installation process seems pretty straight forward, I just wanna get the specifics correct.

I was thinking maybe this lathe had a 30amp plug/breaker on it because my grandfather maybe had other machines that used higher amperage.
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Old 12-02-2011, 12:32 PM   #5
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120v or 220v


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Originally Posted by tigerpaws17 View Post
Thanks for the help! I do have another question. Ive done some reading and let me ask this.

On the motor plate it says it uses 7.6 amps. This is really the only thing I plan on plugging into this plug. Do I really need to install a 30amp breaker? Could I use smaller one, say 15 or 20amp? The installation process seems pretty straight forward, I just wanna get the specifics correct.

I was thinking maybe this lathe had a 30amp plug/breaker on it because my grandfather maybe had other machines that used higher amperage.
Well you're getting a bit out of my range of knowledge, as I don't really know anything about motors. In regards to the plug style on the Motor. It's my understanding that the type of plug you are looking at is more along the lines of the type of plug that would be on a dedicated circuit. If it was something that looks like your grandfather rigged himself, then maybe the plug he put on it is well beyond needed specs because he just happened to have it lying around. A 15 or 20 amp breaker MAY be enough, but In my limited experience i've never found the need to do a double pole breaker for that small amperage. Now what you might actually consider, and don't do it without confirming with someone else who knows about this type of equipment, is seeing if it can just be rewired for 110, it will save you the trouble of making a new run at all. You can plug it into a standard 110v standard outlet (usually rated at 15amp) and make sure you don't have other stuff using that circuit at the time to take you over maximum load.
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Old 12-02-2011, 12:54 PM   #6
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120v or 220v


Open up the cover where the electrical cord runs to. Look on the bottom of the cover and see if there's an electrical diagram. Most motors like that can be wired 110 or 220. Just looking at where the jumpers area and which terminals are hooked up can tell how it's now wired. That plug you have really tells you nothing because depending on how the plug was wired it can be used for both 110 and 220 volt.
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Old 12-02-2011, 12:55 PM   #7
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120v or 220v


you can replace the plug by a 230v 15A,then you can install a regular 15A 230v circuit.
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Old 12-02-2011, 12:56 PM   #8
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120v or 220v


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Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
Open up the cover where the electrical cord runs to. Look on the bottom of the cover and see if there's an electrical diagram. Most motors like that can be wired 110 or 220. Just looking at where the jumpers area and which terminals are hooked up can tell how it's now wired. That plug you have really tells you nothing because depending on how the plug was wired it can be used for both 110 and 220 volt.
this is true for AC motors but this is a DC motor that runs from a controller, im pretty sure that this machine has a speed controller
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Old 12-02-2011, 01:25 PM   #9
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120v or 220v


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Originally Posted by carmusic View Post
this is true for AC motors but this is a DC motor that runs from a controller, im pretty sure that this machine has a speed controller

Yes it does have a speed controller.
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Old 12-02-2011, 02:31 PM   #10
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120v or 220v


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Originally Posted by tigerpaws17 View Post
Yes it does have a speed controller.
Still not my area of expertise, but I think the specs you need to look at are the ones on the Speed regulator/controller. Assuming those are up to specs with the motor because its an original part, then I think what you are actually sending juice to is the controller.

The specs on the actual motor would be in relation to the type of controller you would need to use with it. Now maybe do what that guy said about checking out a wiring diagram for the actually controller, not the motor and see if that can be wired for 110v and what the wiring requirements would be for that.
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Old 12-02-2011, 04:12 PM   #11
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120v or 220v


The fact that the motor name plate says 180v,
means it was supposed to be used in conjuction with
a SCR based speed controler.
DO NOT hook the motor up to 220/240 without
the correct speed controler in line.
Or you will burn out the motor.
The motor will run quite happily on 220v
even thou it was designed for 240v.
It might run slightly hotter on 60hz,
but it should not be a major problem.

You might need a 220/240v power circuit.
Get an electricain to check what voltage the motor is configured for ?

Last edited by dmxtothemax; 12-02-2011 at 04:15 PM.
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Old 12-02-2011, 08:29 PM   #12
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120v or 220v


A 180 volt DC motor will have a controller somewhere. The AC power will go into this controller, the DC will go out to the motor, and there'll be some sort of speed control dial.

If the motor is 180 DC, the controller will be 240 AC input. It cannot be changed to 120 AC. 90 volt DC motors use 120 AC controllers.

A 7.6 amp DC motor will need about 10 amps of 240 AC.

You certainly can (and I'd recommend) change the plug on the cord to either a 15 or 20 amp 250 volt one. These come in either twist-lock or straight blade. The straight blade ones are about the same size as a standard 125 volt household plug, but the prongs are configured differently.

The voltage and amperage has a NEMA designation. For 15 amp 250 volt, it's 6-15 for straight blade and L6-15 for twist-lock. For 20 amp, it's 6-20 and L6-20. Receptacles are also readily available.

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