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

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

    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?

  • #2
    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

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Bob Ford
      Do you have the controller that runs it.
      There is no controller.

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      • #4
        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

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        • #5
          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.

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          • #6
            Thanks Bob, but I already know that it's a single-phase motor. I just don't know what its votage requirement is.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by ADGO_Racing
              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.

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              • #8
                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.
                I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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                • #9
                  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?

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                  • #10
                    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?
                    Peter - novice home machinist, modern motorcycle enthusiast.

                    Denford Viceroy 280 Synchro (11 x 24)
                    Herbert 0V adapted to R8 by 'Sir John'.
                    Monarch 10EE 1942

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Peter.
                      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 #.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by SpyGuy
                        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."

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                        • #13
                          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.

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                          • #14
                            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.
                            Peter - novice home machinist, modern motorcycle enthusiast.

                            Denford Viceroy 280 Synchro (11 x 24)
                            Herbert 0V adapted to R8 by 'Sir John'.
                            Monarch 10EE 1942

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              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.

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