3 phase converter

We are in the process of closing on a building that we are going to renovate for our pizzeria. Two questions (that I have not brought up to my GC yet because I want to sound like I know what I am talking about).

  1. Anyone have and estimated cost to run 3 phase to an older building? Luckily the converter box for the building is only about 20 feet away, but still I am not sure if we will have to update the panel etc.

  2. I have seen a few 3 phase converters on ebay. Anyone have any experience with these.

I would reallyl like to get a fork mixer but I am not sure we can afford the extra cost with the 3 phase problem


I bought one of my mixers used and the guy was using a phase convertor on it. It worked fine but was a bit slower than with normal 3 phase electricity.

The electric company would be who to call about getting 3-phase power to the building. I checked once on a building and was told about $5k. However, there was no 3-phase power on that block (and maybe even further from it). Of course, every electric company is different.

There are also two types of phase converters. One has a motor and supposedly puts out real 3-phase power. The other kind doesn’t have a motor and only runs at 2/3 voltage or something like that. There’s a guy that sells them on ebay (search for hobart phase converter) and he is good about answering questions. I know just enough to kill myself :).

I just bought a rotary phase converter from an Ebay vendor that was very knowlegeable. I am installing it this weekend, if you like I can relay my experience. This converter will generate “real” 3 phase power and shoudl run my M-802 at full power, I bought a 5HP model which is about twice as big as the 2HP motor in the M-802, so that there would be no problems with it.

I put a 3 phase converter on my hobart 80 qt mixer and it works fine.
it runs 2/3 power but I havent had any problems yet.
I have mixed up to a 50 lb bag of flour for pizza dough with no motor strain what so ever.

I know there is three phase right behind us. I’m thinking if I can get it run for around 2,000 it’s worth it. Otherwise I’ll check out these phase converters you guys recommended.
Thanks guys.

I think it would be well worth your money to upgrade to three phase power, especially if you own the building. You can save some serious money in the future on your electric bills. When a large single phase piece of equipment goes out just replace it with three phase. The biggest savings come from air conditioning, walk-ins, ovens if they are electric, and things like mixers and taylor soft serve machines.

i had the engineering company i work for build me an electrical converter (no motor) and it works fine (over a year now). on a univex m60. it cost about $350.00 and i mounted & wired it in myself (pretty simple).

I have been installing phase converters, mostly for machine shops, but several resturants for over 20 years and if you want the best value in a rotary phase converter, try American Rotary, I think they sell some on ebay. They are extremely electrician friendly, super quiet, and they are one of the only voltage balanced units right out of the box. OThers need a transformer or some modification to achieve the same balance. Also, they have a built in starter.

As for rotary vs. static phase converters, the statics work, but you can figure on loosing about a third to half your power. Also, your equipment will run louder and hotter if you need the power of the machine. The rotary type converters actually produce three phase power that is really no different than what the power company provides, and in some cases better. Just make sure you get it sized properlly, a converter that is too small is just a headache.

If you get a good one, it should last a lifetime.

Here is a link


FYI the converter I purchased was an American Rotary and I must say the unit is very well built, right down to the panel and box they supply. I am installing this weekend and the instructions are very clear.