Source for 3 phase electric motors

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Forum topic by SweetTea posted 04-21-2019 11:37 AM 252 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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399 posts in 1022 days

04-21-2019 11:37 AM

Do any of you guys have a good source for medium sized 3 phase electric motors? I need a 20HP motor to make a phase converter. Might go with a 30hp or even 40hp depending on the price. I have been told that there are sources for used 3 phase electric motors in the horse power range that I am looking at in the $150-$250 range but I can’t seem to find any. I don’t want to pay $700-$1,000+ for a new or used model. Anyone mind sharing a good source for these?

4 replies so far

View Madmark2's profile


452 posts in 951 days

#1 posted 04-21-2019 02:27 PM

View dbw's profile


273 posts in 1999 days

#2 posted 04-21-2019 02:59 PM

Give Tolbert Motors in Garland, TX a call. 972 272-6541. They may have some ideas for you.

-- measure 3 times, cut once

View CaptainKlutz's profile (online now)


1236 posts in 1857 days

#3 posted 04-21-2019 03:51 PM

Local motor shops
Local industrial auctions
Local scrap yards

Nominal frame for 20HP motor is 254T or 256T. Cost to truck ship a single 20HP motor that weighs ~300 pounds on pallet is at least $125 in freight, so cheap motors are only found local, or bought via local pick up.

Don’t know where you got that price, but that is basically scrap metal price on non-functional motor. If motor is tested and full operational without issues, they sell for $350-$500, as no one wants to scrap a good motor for less.

Another issue with large motors is need for crane and HD hydraulic press to change bearings out. Not many folks have this kind of equipment laying around, at least that is not being used to make money. Hence, cost to rebuild large 20HP motor is several hundred dollars, which typically puts a freshly rebuilt motor as worth $400-500+.

Chasing cheap large motors requires chasing large equipment. Sometimes best way to get used motors is to buy old heavy duty equipment, strip out motors and sell the rest for scrap. Note you will probably spend $500-$1000 in rigging fees removing old equipment from defunct business being auctioned, unless you own large forklift, and semi truck/trailer. So making money pulling motors from old equipment is full of challenges. Have seen many 20-50HP motors on used elevators, cranes, and long belt conveyors.

Your profile doesn’t list a location. If we knew where is local for you, might be able to suggest actual sources.

Best Luck.

-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

View MrUnix's profile


7361 posts in 2561 days

#4 posted 04-21-2019 09:15 PM

They pop up on my local CL now and then… I just did a quick scan and this 50hp motor popped up with an asking price of $275… 50HP 3 Phase 230/460 Electric Motor 3520rpm

They can be found… you just gotta keep looking.


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

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