I have a 3HP X5 Unisaw and would like to know if it is possible or if
anyone has had experience converting or reconfiguring the motor to
work on 120V as opposed to 220V?
The saw and the remainder of my belongings will be doing a 6-month
tour of duty in a "temporary" residence as I explore the local
real-estate market. The conversion is less a choice and more a lack
of options as 120V outlets are everywhere but there appears to be only
one 220V circuit in the house and that feeds the AC. I could
certainly just hijack the 220V circuit but the fact that it is not my
house makes me want to explore other possibilities before taking that
step. Not to mention the pre-emptive "LEAVE IT ALONE" from SWMBO.
Whole thing is very depressing as I just got the saw a few months ago
and have been tricking it out and doing really cool stuff with it ever
since - and now I have to take it down, move it and possibly neuter it
for a short time.
Thanks in advance for your help . . .
Wellll, there's absolutely no reason not to tap into the A/C circuit.
But, if you are serious, just find one outlet on each side of the 220 and
run a line from each into a junction box with a plug to fit the US. Use the
hot from each and either of the neutrals.
The motor doesn't know from where the power comes.
DO NOT flame me, he asked.
LOL ... around here that's otherwise known as the "Mexican framing crew
method" of getting 220v to a piece of equipment on a building site.
They typically run a single wire from alternate sides of two 110 receptacles
on the "t-pole", and keep stabbing different receptacles until they finally
get a hot wire from each leg and the equipment runs.
Definitely NOT recommended ... but I'd gladly take a nickel for every time
I've seen it done. :(
Ease up on that Polish stuff.
Had a pair of recent retirees move in a mile up the road and a quarter mile
back. I'd only met them briefly, but I can report with confidence their
ethnicity is Polish after the appearance of two plastic flamingos as
This is what I was thinking and just thought I must be missing something.
As long as there is a double slot in your box, stick a 220 20v breaker in
there and run the two (both hot) wires from it and the other from the bus
ground to a 220 wired outlet and you're good to go.
Thanks everyone for your input. I have thought VERY seriously about
tapping into the AC circuit and calling it a day. Putting another
breaker in the panel is not an option in this case as the panel is
"full". I think my best bet is to talk to the property owner and get
his blessing to have an electrician tap into the AC circuit as it is
existing and a junction box, a couple feet of #10 AWG and some splices
will about do it.
Thanks again . . .
OK, I've got a weird, and probably impractical, idea. In the breaker
box you have two seperate hots to provide 240v. The breakers alternate
between hots. It seems possible, although maybe not wise, that you
could take two extention cords, plug them into two outlets from
different breakers (and hots), cut off the female end (not in that
order), install a 220v female end and then plug it into the saw.
Not sure if I'd want to try this (enough disclaimers yet?) but I don't
see why it wouldn't work. Of course if the breaker tripped you'd still
have one hot wire.
firstname.lastname@example.org (Larry Fox) wrote in message
For many years I've had a heavy extension cord, three insulated
conductors (#10 awg) and a ground. About like you see at the carnival
running the rides. When I'm going to be somewhere a short time, I
install a couple of breakers and a 50 amp outlet right next to the box.
The cord gets the juice to my tools. On the other end of the cord I
have a piece of wood with several outlets on it 120 and 240. When I
move on, it's pretty simple to remove the outlet next to the breaker
panel and leave no evidence. I don't leave a bunch of wire I've
purchased routed through holes in joists or whatever. I'll probably
leave the breakers rather than the open holes where the knockouts have
FWIW, you can buy inserts to fill those holes. If you can't find them at
Lowe's or HD, try www.dale-electric.com
Doug Miller (alphageek-at-milmac-dot-com)
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My Unisaw came with directions for both 120V and 220V wiring. The
3HP Unisaw at start up draws 20A when wired for 220V and 40A when
wired for 120V. It's possible (I tested it); but not very practical.
Best solution is to add a 220V circuit if you possibly can.
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