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View Full Version : OT: Is there a test to determine if a motor is 115VAC or 230VAC?



SpyGuy
03-01-2010, 11:01 PM
I have a large submersible pump made by Homelite (2" discharge). The only nameplate data on the pump is the model number (SP21) and serial number. Frankly, I'm surprised there is nothing to indicate the voltage and current ratings.

I have tried contacting Homelite, but apparently they were acquired by TTI and the pump division was not part of the acquisition. So they have no knowledge or information about this pump.

I suspect from the size that it's a 230VAC motor, but I'm hesitant to plug it into power based solely on a guess. Are there any tests I can perform to determine the voltage requirement of this pump?

Bob Ford
03-01-2010, 11:10 PM
Do you have the controller that runs it. I would be surprised if it was not 220/240. Do not run without water- seals and cooling.

Bob

SpyGuy
03-01-2010, 11:14 PM
Do you have the controller that runs it.
There is no controller.

Bob Ford
03-01-2010, 11:26 PM
If it is single phase there usually is a box that has capacitors and timer circuit for start winding. There would be 3 wires to motor, 2 for run winding , 1 for start winding. The other side of start winding is normally tied to line 2 side in motor. OHm meter should show line 1 and start winding common to line 2. Start winding will be higher reading than run winding. If 3 phase reading will be same between any 2 wires and you should get the same reading between L1 - L2. L2 - L3, L3 - L1.
Bob

ADGO_Racing
03-01-2010, 11:28 PM
Plug it into 110, if it grumbles and/or does not start it is 220. Always better to start out too low, too low won't hurt it for a short period.

SpyGuy
03-02-2010, 12:21 AM
Thanks Bob, but I already know that it's a single-phase motor. I just don't know what its votage requirement is.

SpyGuy
03-02-2010, 12:22 AM
Plug it into 110, if it grumbles and/or does not start it is 220. Always better to start out too low, too low won't hurt it for a short period.
I considered that. But I was hoping for a more definitive test that I might be able to use to determine the voltage requirement before applying power.

darryl
03-02-2010, 02:45 AM
I don't think there is going to be any test that will tell you for certain what voltage it is made to run on. If you put two motors side by side, same hp rating and motor type, the resistance measured on the input wires will be lower for the 110 v motor. But since you have nothing to compare it to, any measurement would have little meaning.

As I see it, there's three things to consider- one is that most submersible pumps of the size that one seems to be will be 220, second is that if there are several wires in the connection box, some could be wired in either series or parallel, with series being the connection for 220, and parallel for 110. If there are few wires, then you're still in the dark, and thirdly the test by wiring it to 110 to begin with is about the quickest way to resolve the issue.

I'm trying to think of whether a submersible pump has a capacitor or not- the gremlins in the back of my mind are saying no. But if there is, I would suspect the voltage rating would be 600 at least. If it's lower, like 350 or something, it wouldn't be suitable for a 220 motor. That might give a clue, but still nothing definitive enough to be a reliable preliminary test as to the rated voltage.

SpyGuy
03-02-2010, 04:24 AM
Thanks to all for the helpful advice so far. I had a feeling there would be no straightforward test to acertain the voltage, but I thought I'd at least ask.

So assuming it is a 230VAC motor and I test it by connecting to 115VAC, what should I expect? Since I'll probably be testing this in shallow water, it won't have much dynamic head to work against. Will the motor still groan or grumble with no load or very little load?

Peter.
03-02-2010, 04:51 AM
Can you not get access to the shaft? How about powering it with 110V and checking the shaft speed? Other than that can you not find the GPM rating and measure what it's pumping at 110V?

SpyGuy
03-02-2010, 05:29 AM
Can you not get access to the shaft? How about powering it with 110V and checking the shaft speed? Other than that can you not find the GPM rating and measure what it's pumping at 110V?
I can get access to the shaft only by dissassembling the pump (which I may do anyway for PM purposes).

But even if I do that, I have no data on the pump or the motor, including shaft speed or GPM rating. The only info stamped on the pump is manufacturer, model #, and serial #. :mad:

BillDaCatt
03-02-2010, 05:59 AM
Thanks to all for the helpful advice so far. I had a feeling there would be no straightforward test to acertain the voltage, but I thought I'd at least ask.

So assuming it is a 230VAC motor and I test it by connecting to 115VAC, what should I expect? Since I'll probably be testing this in shallow water, it won't have much dynamic head to work against. Will the motor still groan or grumble with no load or very little load?
I actually did this by accident several years ago when the power was out for an extended period. I had very little understanding of the difference between 220vac and 110vac then so I hooked our well pump up to a 110v extension cord running to the generator. It worked; but it never ran strongly. It was not until after the power came back on that I learned that it required 220v.

Then two years ago I was building a small 1" x 42" belt sander and needed a motor for it. The local motor repair shop sold me a 1/3hp motor that seemed under powered for its rating. It was less than $10 so I got it anyway. After I got it home I cleaned the crud off of the name plate and discovered that it too was a 220v motor. It ran very strong with 220vac and is still going strong today.

I think testing with 110vac will tell you for certain. If it runs strong, then it is 110v. If it runs weak, or not at all, than it is 220v. Pay attention to wire color too, if there is any. A 110v motor will have black(hot), white(neutral), and green(ground) wires. A 220v motor will have two black or red wires(both hot) and a green wire(ground), and may or may not have a white(neutral) wire.

I just did a search for your pump and found the company that bought the Homelite pump line in 2002. http://www.riversidepumpmfg.com They may be able to help too.

Here is their manual download page. http://www.riversidepumpmfg.com/Downloads.html It even has manuals for many of the Homelite models. Maybe one of those will help identify your pump.


From their website "Jerry B. Leach became a Homelite dealer in 1959, and developed a solid understanding and appreciation of these excellent pumps. When he had the opportunity to acquire the Homelite pump line in late 2002, Riverside Pump Manufacturing, Inc. was born."

SpyGuy
03-02-2010, 06:42 AM
Thanks Bill,

My main concern is knowing what constitutes "running strong" since I've never seen or heard this pump run before. Even with 115V, it may throw a lot of water out the discharge pipe, considering it won't have any head. I'll try the test, but it seems rather subjective.

I did consider the wire colors, but I'm not sure that's definitive either. As it turns out, the pump has black, white, and green wires. But this is an appliance type cord (albeit, a very heavy one) and I believe that cords like that are rather generic, so they might be used for a 230V application, even though it has a white insulated conductor inside the cord body.

I actually did call Jerry Leach a while back, but he didn't have any immediate information on this pump. He did say he would search more and get back to me, but I didn't hear from him. That may mean he wasn't able to find anything, or perhaps he just got too busy and it fell to the bottom of the "to do" list. I'll try calling him back tomorrow.

Peter.
03-02-2010, 07:10 AM
There's another idea. Most of the centrifugal electric pumps we use at work will pump up to 30' of head. Try it on 110v and if it will pump more than say 15' of head I'd keep it at that.

BillDaCatt
03-02-2010, 07:12 AM
I think even with nothing to compare to you should be able to decide if 110v is the right voltage or not. A 220v motor running on 110v is quite sluggish and is severely under powered because only half of its coils are energized. So in your case with a water pump, if it is a 220v, you will probably be able to tell that it just seems weak with 110v.

The 220v sander motor I mentioned earlier pulses and surges on 110v. You may see similar behavior with your pump.

RancherBill
03-02-2010, 10:25 AM
I think the Pump Division became Riverside Pumps.

http://www.riversidepumpmfg.com/index.html

They seem to sell only gas powered units, but, there is probably some "institutional knowledge" there.

Boucher
03-02-2010, 07:11 PM
When you say submersible pump, Does this go in a pond or a drilled water well? After 35 years in the water well business I have only seen a few 110 volt pumps. Submersible well pumps will need an appropiate control box, and this will also have the voltage on it. The only Homelite pump that I have seen is one my dad had for pumping out of the Lake to water his garden. This was not a Sump pump but it was 110 volt.

ADGO_Racing
03-02-2010, 08:34 PM
An AC motors speed is determined by the frequency. Here in the US it is 60Hz. it will run slower on a lower frequency and faster on a higher frequency. This is how an inverter changes the speed of an AC motor.

At half of the power (i.e. 110V Vs 220V) it will still try to run at the same speed assuming the frequency is the same, however, it will not have any guts. It probably will "pump water" to some limited extent, but it will definitely be a gutless wonder.

Even with a low head pressure, it should produce some relativlt serious pressure on the outlet side, assuming it is running on the proper voltage. If you hook it up to 110 you will be able to tell if it is lazy.

I used to do a lot of machine work for a local motor shop, I know when they were in doubt of a voltage requirement they started with 110. Even a one or two HP motor running on the lower voltage, you can definitely slow the shaft just by grabbing it with your hand. (I am not recommending that test, as, even though I do not know you personally, I will still feel really bad if you get hurt.:confused: )

aboard_epsilon
03-02-2010, 08:43 PM
has it got a cap.

i know that 220 volt motors have 400 plus volt caps ..

so i suppose 110 volt motors would have 220 volts plus caps ..

all the best.markj

saltmine
03-02-2010, 09:43 PM
Plug the motor into 480V and observe the smoke.

If it's green, it's a 220V motor

If it's orange, it's a 110V motor.



If no smoke comes out it's either a 440V motor, or it's burned out.

Boucher
03-02-2010, 09:56 PM
You say this is a large submersible with 2" discharge and no control box. What is the intended application? The 2" discharge probably indicates pumping rate of more than 25 gpm. A submersible well pump with 2" discharge is going to need a control box, therefore I would surmise that you are talking about something else. A sump pump while it is submersible is not normally referred to as such. Submersible pump motors for water wells are long thin designs to go into a 4" hole. Most are capacitor start/induction run. There are a few that the start capacitor is built onto the bottom of the motor, and have no control box. As the diameter of the motor increases as in above ground and sump pumps the door is open to use other types of motor design. It was stated that this was single phase and there was no control box. We need more information in order to help you. A photo would be good. The 21 in the model number would normally be 21 stage or 21gpm in well pumps. The ball is your court.

ADGO_Racing
03-02-2010, 10:35 PM
That's funny Saltmine.....Don't get me wrong, I like the way you think, but I think we are trying to HELP the man, not amuse him...:D

J Tiers
03-02-2010, 10:41 PM
has it got a cap.

i know that 220 volt motors have 400 plus volt caps ..

so i suppose 110 volt motors would have 220 volts plus caps ..

all the best.markj


Only over there.....

In the US we use manly 120V caps in 120/240 motors, and they hold up fine.

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.
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The fact that they are connected across only one of the two windings, and so receive only 120V may have something to do with that.;)

If you connect the motor to 120V, and measure the current with it running unloaded, you can often tell. A 120V motor will draw somewhere about 40% of its marked full load current running unloaded. (at a horrible power factor, so the watts are low).

A motor that draws only 20% of the marked full load current is probably being run on the wrong voltage.

Boucher
03-02-2010, 11:30 PM
Rat poison is 97% good food, it is that other 3% that kills the rats. Submersible pump motors are different in design and construction than most motors encountered in everday situations. Until the op tells us what he has the advice is not going to help him.

SpyGuy
03-03-2010, 03:21 AM
Thanks again for all the continued assistance. I'll take photos and post them.