Can a 50Hz motor run on 60Hz power supply?

Can a 50Hz motor run on 60Hz power supply?

50Hz motor 60Hz power supply

Yes it can! A 50Hz motor can run on a 60Hz power supply.

Running a 50Hz motor on a 60Hz power supply (at increased frequency) will bring up a few problems:

  1. The motor runs 20% faster,
  2. The starting torque is reduced,
  3. For blowers and centrifugal pumps the load increases drastically for a slight increase in speed and the value of the current will rise,
  4. The motor overheats,
  5. Ageing of insulation will be accelerated due to over-heating and current value,

The economic loss from premature motor failure is devastating. In most cases, the price of the motor itself is trivial compared to the cost of unscheduled shutdowns of processes. Both high and low frequency can cause premature motor failure and installation damage.

Here, we’ll look at the effects of low and high frequency on motors and the related performance changes you can expect when you use frequencies other than those noted on the nameplate.


Use frequency converters or…

Can cooling help?

The other thing you can take into account is cooling. The motor will be specified at a certain ambient free flow air environment. If you can increase the air-flow over the rotor or otherwise extract heat from the core, you can in fact drive the motor harder with little significant effect on the motor other than reduced brush life.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Kevin

    I am troubleshooting a well pump. It is a 220V 1hp 50hz pump running in Canada (so on a 60hz system). It seems the run capacitor in the control box is failing, & the breaker is subsequently tripping. Would this be due to the difference in hz? I’m wondering if the motor has been fried, but I doubt that’s the case as all this pump has been doing its filling a watering trough for a couple horses

    1. Stefan S.

      There can be many things that can cause that breaker to trip (faulty capacitor, jammed rotor, etc). Check carefully all the components in the system and do not power on the motor if you suspect that the motor is fried or another component is malfunctioning. Get a qualified electrician to check the whole system.

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