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There are many types of 3 phase motors but by far the most common is the induction motor.

It is quite useful to be able to test them for serviceability. Before carrying out electrical tests it is a good idea to ensure that the rotor turns freely. This may involve disconnecting any mechanical loads. The rotor should rotate easily and you should not be able to hear any rumbling from the motor bearings. Next, if the motor has a fan on the outside of it, check that it is clear of any debris which may have been sucked in to it. Also check that any air vents into the motor are not blocked. Generally, if the motor windings are burnt out there will be an unmistakable smell of burnt varnish. However, it is still a good idea to test the windings as the smell could be from the motor being overloaded. Three phase motors are made up of three separate windings in the terminal box there will be six terminals as each motor winding will have two ends. The ends of the motor windings will usually be identified as W1, W2; U1, U2; or V1, V2. The first part of the test is carried out using a low resistance ohm meter. Test each winding end to end (W1 to W2, U1 to U2 and V1 to V2). The resistance of each winding should be approximately the same and the resistance value will depend on the size of the motor. If the resistance values are different, then the motor will not be electrically balanced and it should be sent for rewinding. If resistance values are the same, then the next test is carried out using an insulation resistance tester. Join W1 and W2 together, U1 and U2 together and V1 and V2 together. Carry out an insulation resistance test between the joined ends, i.e. W to U then W to V and then between U and V. Then repeat the test between joined ends and the case, or the earthling terminal of the motor (these tests can be in any order to suit you). Providing the insulation resistance is 2M or greater then the motor is fine. If the insulation resistance is above 0.5M this could be due to dampness and it is often a good idea to run the motor for a while before carrying out the insulation test again as the motor may dry out with use. To reconnect the motor windings in star, join W2, U2 and V2 together and connect the 3 phase motor supply to W1, U1 and V1. If the motor rotates in the wrong direction, swap two of the phases of the motor supply. To reconnect the motor windings in delta, join W1 to U2, U1 to V2 and V1 to W2 and then connect the 3 phase motor supply one to each of the joined ends. If the motor rotates in the wrong direction, swap two phases of the motor supply.

For 3 phase AC motors: If an AC motor is STAR connected 3 of the 6 terminals will be connected together by links. If an AC motor is DELTA connected the links will join opposite terminals together so you will have 3 pairs of terminals. If an AC motor is to be started by a STAR DELTA starter then all 6 terminals will be separate and 2 cables are used to connect it to the starter. Testing the motor should be done with all cables and links removed. Test the motor to earth with a megger, 1 lead connected to the motor earth terminal and the

other to each terminal in turn. You should get a reading near infinity, but it should be at least 2 megaohms. Also check for continuity, you should get 3 readings of equal value for each phase. Check for short circuits between phases you should get infinite resistance between each phase. One thing to bear in mind is that opposite terminals are not of the same phase, they are diagonally opposite.
Ideally you should test phase to ground and phase to phase but phase to phase is only possible if all of the winding ends are brought out. If you only have 3 wires then the link (wye or delta) is made inside and you can only test phase to earth. There are 2 tests to be carried out Continuity of the windings of which there are 3 (Will it Work) Insulation Resistance (Is it safe) Each winding is exactly the same length so using a multimeter the resistance measured should be generally the same within about 5%. If a cable is connected then measure across the cable ends between Phase 1 and Phase 2 Then between Phase 1 and Phase 3 and finally between Phase 2 and Phase 3 if the windings are OK the readings will be the same. Note it does not matter if the motor is Delta or Star (WYE) connected. To test the integrity of the insulation use an insulation tester set (in UK) at 500 V DC measure between one phase cable and earth(GND) if its star or delta connected we will test all 3 coils at the same time. The results should be high Megohms. If the motor is being tested at the terminal block and there are no links we will have 6 terminals Line up the terminals like a 6 on a dice three on the left and three on the right. Using multimeter test between bottom left side terminal and middle right side terminal Record reading if no reading test between bottom left and top right one of these combinations should give a reading as we are trying 2 find 3 sets of pairs. The winding ends are diagonally opposite Next left middle to top right record reading if no reading then left middle to bottom right Last test top left to middle right if no reading top left to bottom right. You will see the ends of each winding are diagonally opposite this allows easy linking across for Star(wye) or Delta connections. The resistance of each winding should be the same If a reading is higher than others then it indicates a problem with that winding often they will be open circuit. Variations of a few ohms probably means loose connections check and re-test Now Insulation test 500 VDC test left bottom terminal to earth(gnd) then middle left to Earth then top left to earth This tests each coil to earth one at a time. Now test

insulation between coils Bottom left to middle left, bottom left to top left and finally middle left to top left. All insulation readings should be very high in UK minimum acceptable value 1 Megohm practically above 10 Megohm is preferred