I'm pretty sure the power poles running along the front of my lot are
three phase. I really doubt the power company would install a transformer
and the underground feed to my shop that would provide me with three phase
power, even if it is there. If they did do it, they would probably charge
an arm and a leg.
I actually called one time to inquire about three phase and just got
shuffled from department to department and gave up at the time.
The power for my house actually comes from poles run down the center of my
two lots. There was an alley easement, but it was vacated many years ago.
The power company has to drive on customer driveways and across customer
yards to access their poles and wires.
Actually if the situation warrents it (demand is there) I don't believe they
charge to provide power (up to the "service wiring"). Naturally they aren't
going to do all that for a heating pad in fido's dog house!
If you called your local power co. I can believe that. You'd have gotten
some real answers from a contractor. You know.. in regards to quoting a
A contractor has nothing to do with getting power to a meter socket. I
could have a contractor put in a meter scoket and service, and then have
the contractor call for a hookup and find it won't happen or only for big
I bet most residential electricians have never wired a house for three
phase and have no idea if the power company would even do it.
Best explanation I've seen is on the Old Woodworking Machines site
3 phase, what it does, how to convert one to the other.
(Even if the bunch of tightasses don't think _my_ saw is good enough!)
If you've got it, or can get it cheaply, three phase every time.
Die Gotterspammerung - Junkmail of the Gods
Three phase is more economical to run, and the motors are cheaper. It also
allows you to instantly reverse the motor (without allowing it to coast to a
stop or to slow way down, as you do with a single phase motor).
But, three phase power is generally very expensive to bring into a residence.
Except for a few special metalworking machines where the instant reversing is a
plus - such as for some tapping and lathe operations - you would always choose
a single phase machine in a home or small shop.
If you get a used three phase machine, you can run it on single phase current
by using a phase converter or a VFD (variable frequency drive).
Unless you already have 3 phase feeding your shop and pay for it, I think
you will find that the power company will charge a premium to supply it to
you. It requires more equipment on their part to supply it to you and they
in return expect higher useage to justify it. Check with your utility
company to see what your costs to get 3 phase would be, before you even
entertain which is better for a saw.
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