Ask Rick: 208v vs. 230v Motor Question

Q.  I have 208 volt service and want to run a 230 volt motor on that.  Will this work?

A.  Most motors that are rated at 230 volts will run on 208 volt power, although this is not recommended.  Most AC motors are built to tolerate a 10% variation from nameplate voltage.  The range for a 230 volt motor is 207 to 253 volts.  If the service was a pure 208 volts, at a minimum, then the motor would work.  But typically because of voltage variation the 208 volt power can vary from 187 to 229 volts.  If the service continually drops below 207 volts then the motor draws more amps, overheats and fails.  Rick

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