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Thread: 33 amp, 3-phase Clothes Dryer

  1. #16
    Like an engineer alternety's Avatar
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    At any given location, look at the hot distribution wires on the power pole. If there is one - single phase. If there are three - three phase is available.

    The guy up the street from me has three transformers on the pole to supply his three phase power. He is also the last one on the street that has it available. The power company had to upgrade all the poles back to the nearest 3 phase feeder.

    Unless the three phase is already available on the pole, the costs could be extraordinary.

  2. #17
    DIY Senior Member molo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alternety View Post
    At any given location, look at the hot distribution wires on the power pole. If there is one - single phase. If there are three - three phase is available.

    The guy up the street from me has three transformers on the pole to supply his three phase power. He is also the last one on the street that has it available. The power company had to upgrade all the poles back to the nearest 3 phase feeder.

    Unless the three phase is already available on the pole, the costs could be extraordinary.
    Hi Alternety,
    I learned from the utility company that there even if three-phase is at the pole the costs could still be high. For example, I would have to pay the labor fro them to install a transformer and a service line to the house. Then I have to hire the electrician to get it into the house so I could plug the dryer in. I think that will start to get expensive, perhaps in the 2-3k range. It might make sense if I were doing a laundromat. But 2-3k (if that's accurate) is a bit high to be able to plug in a dryer. Do you guys think my estimate is close?
    "Any American who is prepared to run for President should automatically, by definition, be disqualified from ever doing so."
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  3. #18
    Like an engineer alternety's Avatar
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    My point was that if 3 phase was not at the pole there were costs in ADDITION to the ones you were already aware of. The following information is drawn from real old parts of my brain. I am not a power guy (and I really hated the motors course).

    In figuring cost if it is on the pole:

    A new drop from the pole will be needed. Leave the old service in place and add the 3 phase drop. You are still going to need single phase for everything else. If you don't do it this way you will have to have a large transformer in the house/building to generate single phase. There are a number of permutations for obtaining single phase from the three phase but the transformer is probably the best. Amongst other things, three phase is going to be 208 V. The power company can supply it as three wire or three wire and neutral.

    Is the drop aerial or buried. In any case you will need a new entrance panel/disconnect and breaker panel, and meter box. Your electrician should be familiar with the concept of "phase order". For non-resistive loads it matters.

    As you noted, you will also then need the wiring routed to the load.

    You have to really really want to use three phase to pay for all of this. If you really want to do this I would suggest just seeing what it would cost to just replace the appropriate pieces of the dryer. I suspect it may be cost effective to simply buy other dryers. The advantages of three phase are smaller wires (for the same load) and more efficient motor operation.

  4. #19

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    Why would anyone use anything but gas for a commercial dryer, gas(natural) is usually more economical then electricity, but that does assume that natural gas is avail. On a second note depending the utility, voltage could be 120/240V 3 or 208Y/120V 3 one cannot automatically assume they will supply 208V.

  5. #20
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default wires

    Australia may use a single wire, and it is 240 volts, but everywhere in the USA has three wires for single phase 120/240, or 4 wires for three phase.

  6. #21

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    Here's a single-phase to three-phase converter for less than $100.00. Made in America to boot. Perhaps not enough for what's needed here, but might help someone else.

  7. #22

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    Here's a much larger unit for well under $200.00.

  8. #23

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    Here's a much larger unit for well under $200.00.

  9. #24
    Code Enforcement codeone's Avatar
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    One thing you need to think about is code requirements for homes. Most areas require appliances used in homes to be listed as household appliances from UL labs.

    The reason is the commercial appliances do not have all the same safety limitation devices as the household rated appliances.

    Also using a three phase converter is not a efficent as using the proper rated ones. You are not really saving anything by using the phase converter to use the unit your talking about using.

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