Powermatic 20” Planer 209HH-1 DOA - 5 HP Motor Dead Short

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Forum topic by Gary Vaiskauckas posted 12-06-2018 05:50 PM 802 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Gary Vaiskauckas

9 posts in 579 days

12-06-2018 05:50 PM

I need some help from the community. Please do not devolve this into any manufacturer bashing. I am a happy owner of many Jet / Powermatic products and I believe that they manufacture high quality products and consider this a one off manufacturing defect.

I request input on the proper procedure to remove and replace a 5 HP Single Phase Motor on a 4 Post 20” Planer (preferably Powermatic). Basically I welcome input from anyone who has done the repair or observed the repair being made on the 4 Post 20” Planer (different brands are similar). Also since the 15” 4 Post design is similar I’d welcome your input on that as well.

My questions are:

1. Can the Planer Motor be removed out the Back Base Panel? (Note: Powermatic does not have a Front Base Panel). According to my measurements there is only about 1/4” clearance between the motor diameter and back base panel opening but there is a bar in the center that is narrower than the motor diameter. 

2. Does the repair require lifting the Planer Cast Iron Top off of the Base to make the repair?

Background: I purchased a brand new Powermatic 20” Planer 209HH-1 from the local Woodcraft who setup and delivered it in early Nov. I had an electrician install a new 240V 40A circuit and plug last week ago today. Powered up the Powermatic Planer after first confirming the outlet and plug was wired correctly. The Planer immediately tripped. Repeat – immediate trip again.

Powermatic Service did their diagnostics over the phone and then sent a local tech out who did further isolation to confirm it was a Dead Short in the Motor. The local tech said once Powermatic sent out the new motor he would need to remove the In-feed Table and tip the Planer on its side to access the motor. I informed the tech that the Planer weighed over 800 pounds and the correct way to lift the Planer according to the Powermatic Manual was by the Lifting Bars. The tech said he was not aware that the Planer had Lifting Bars.

I called Powermatic the next business day and explained the encounter and asked for written Field Service Repair Procedure for the 5 HP Motor of the Powermatic Planer or either a different technician to do the repair, one who was familiar with the Powermatic 20” Planer. Powermatic Technical Support including my escalation to the Powermatic Technical Support Supervisor stated that they do NOT have a written Field Repair Procedure for the Motor and were not able to answer these questions on how the technician would make the repair and said it was up to the Field Technician to determine the correct Motor remove and replacement procedure. They also said they would not send a different technician to do the repair.

So if anyone knows and can provide the correct 4 Post 20” Planer Motor Removal and Replacement Procedure even from a different manufacturer it would be greatly appreciated. I have searched the forums and internet and I could not find the answer. I want to have this knowledge prior to the technician coming on site to make the repair.

Thank you in advance for your assistance. P.S. I did post this in the other popular woodworking forum site.

Gary Vaiskauckas

• Powermatic 20” Planer 209HH-1
• Powermatic 8” Parallelogram Jointer PJ882HH (recently purchased),
• Jet 17” Drill Press JDP-17
• Jet 2 HP Vortex Cone Dust Collector with 2-Micron Canister DC-1200VX-CK1
• Jet Air Filtration System AFS-100B
• Sawstop 3 HP PCS with 72” Incra TS-LS including router table and lift
• Porter Cable 3 1/4” HP Router Motor
• Laguna 14/12 Bandsaw
• Dewalt DW735X 13” Planer
• Dewalt DW718 SCMS
• Rigid EB4424 Oscillating Edge / Belt Sander
• Festool TS 75 EQ Track Saw
• Festool RO 90 DX Rotex Sander
• Festool ETS EC 150 EQ-Plus Sander
• Festool CT 26E Dust Extraction
• Bosch Router MRP23EVS
• Lie-Nielsen No. 62 Jack Plane
• Lie-Nielsen No. 60-1/2 Block Plane

12 replies so far

View MrUnix's profile


8089 posts in 2971 days

#1 posted 12-06-2018 06:00 PM

Why don’t you just let the tech do his thing? Worst case, you get a new planer.


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View Gary Vaiskauckas's profile

Gary Vaiskauckas

9 posts in 579 days

#2 posted 12-06-2018 06:28 PM

Brad, Thank you for your response.

One of the most important things on a planer is the flatness of the planer table (bed). Currently my planer bed is perfectly flat using a Lee Valley Veritas 50” straight edge (no light showing through).

Improper handling by the tech may cause the bed to no longer be “flat” but still within Powermatic specs which I believe is +/-0.01”. Any “flatness” issue will be very difficult to argue with Powermatic to provide a new planer.

But thank you, I will take a “flatness” picture when the tech arrives and before he performs any work for documentation purposes.

And if I wasn’t clear in my earlier post I will let the tech do his work, but I wanted to know the correct procedure in advance.

View Aj2's profile


3080 posts in 2570 days

#3 posted 12-06-2018 07:31 PM

On my pm 15 the motor sits in the base cabinet. I can open a panel on the side and reach right in there. I’m pretty sure the 20inch is the same. A motor swap is easy peasy and cannot possibly change anything with your table flatness.
Your lucky you have tables dead flat although I don’t really consider a aluminum straight edge from lee Valley reliable and precision.
My pm15 has developed a pretty good dip in the middle between the rollers. I don’t expect machines from China or Taiwan to hold great value or tolerances. Taiwan deserves and good Bashing now and then so does China.

Did you get the Bryd head ?

-- Aj

View CaptainKlutz's profile


3171 posts in 2266 days

#4 posted 12-06-2018 07:54 PM

+1 Let Powermatic fix it.

By your description of table removal and tipping, it sounds like the motor has to come out the bottom of stand.
My question for Powermatic is how does the tech plan to tip the unit over and back upright?
Are they bringing a lift, or are you required to provide one?
Without a forklift, engine lift, or overhead crane; this repair is going to be total impossible.

Best Luck.

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

View Gary Vaiskauckas's profile

Gary Vaiskauckas

9 posts in 579 days

#5 posted 12-06-2018 09:22 PM

AJ, Thank you for your reply.

I did get the Byrd headon the planer. I have one in my Powermatic 8” Jointer PJ-882HH and I love it. That is the main reason that I bought the planer.

The PM 20” planer back panel is about 9 3/8” height opening and the motor is 9 1/8” in circumference. And there is a center bar welded in that reduces the opening to 9”. So it will be a tight squeeze without lifting the top of the unit off of the base. The PM design does not have a panel in the front so I will not be able to help support the weight for the tech on motor removal or replacement.

I agree that the Lee Valley 50” straight edge is not perfect according to specs but it is dead flat when placed upon my granite countertop with the light test and that is good enough for me for woodworking.

View Gary Vaiskauckas's profile

Gary Vaiskauckas

9 posts in 579 days

#6 posted 12-06-2018 09:30 PM


Yes, PM will do the repair. I just wish that they would explain the procedure to me in advance so that I can prepare the workshop. They have not indicated whether the tech will be removing the motor through the back panel (even whether it fits or not) or lifting off the top. They have left that decision to the tech. Since the tech was not aware that the planer could only be lifted by Lifting Bars or even that the planer had Lifting Bars, I do not have confidence that the repair will go well.

The tech sent me a note that the part was in today and he would try to schedule the repair for tomorrow. I did ask for a plan for his approach, but have not yet recieved a response.

View Gary Vaiskauckas's profile

Gary Vaiskauckas

9 posts in 579 days

#7 posted 12-06-2018 11:02 PM

Hey Great News!

I just got off the phone with the Powermatic Technical Support Supervisor and he has worked out a plan with the local Woodcraft to take back my 20” Planer and replace it with a brand new one.

Thank you to everyone who responded for all of your comments and suggestions.

I consider this issue to be closed pending execution of the plan.

Powermatic is truly the Gold Standard and their Service and Support is the best in the business.

View Fresch's profile


489 posts in 2693 days

#8 posted 12-06-2018 11:08 PM

Great, but how’s the motor come out; don’t leave us on the edge!

View Gary Vaiskauckas's profile

Gary Vaiskauckas

9 posts in 579 days

#9 posted 12-06-2018 11:13 PM


I never could get an answer to that question. I guess it will continue to be one of those great mysteries of life.

In any event I’m a very happy customer right now.


View Aj2's profile


3080 posts in 2570 days

#10 posted 12-07-2018 12:02 AM

A good tech will have sneaky creative ways to get the job done. Your lucky they are sending out a person with the motor. Grizzly would have just sent the motor in junky cardboard box.

-- Aj

View ruger's profile


142 posts in 867 days

#11 posted 12-07-2018 12:45 AM

hay gary.theres nothing wrong with being very picky about how they perform the repair. sounds like with your concerns with the tech and your calls to tech support with their repair procedure it was in every ones best interest just to replace the unit.

View Gary Vaiskauckas's profile

Gary Vaiskauckas

9 posts in 579 days

#12 posted 12-07-2018 02:19 AM


Thank you for your kind words. In every person’s life and every company interactions with customers there are moments of truth and it is great to see a great American company like Powermatic do the right thing.



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