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Motors » Baldor » Phase

1 phase & 3 phase motors

What’s the difference between single-phase & three-phase motors?

Single-phase AC motors run on a single phase power source, and power pulsates between peak and zero.

Three-phase AC motors run on a three-phase power source, with constant power.

A single-phase motor needs two wires, a live (main) wire and a neutral wire to complete the circuit. This simple network is low-maintenance and adequate for domestic and small business applications.

A three-phase motor needs four wires, three live (main) wires and one neutral wire. The complexity of the 3-phase network makes maintenance more involved. Three phase motors are most often used in commercial and industrial applications.

The majority of commercial and manufacturing facilities use a three-phase power circuit for optimal power density. 

Compared to single-phase motors, three-phase motors provide more power with the same amount of current.

Single-phase motor advantages

  • Single phase motors cost less than 3-phase motors
  • Wiring & set-up is simpler & cheaper
  • Ideal for smaller equipment & machines requiring lower horsepower
  • Low maintenance

Three-phase motor advantages

  • More power for larger applications
  • Constant power
  • More efficient power transmission
  • Safer & more reliable operation
Contact us online for help choosing the best single-phase or three-phase motor for your application.

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