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I bought a plasma cutter at an auction, at the time I had no idea it was 3 phase, I checked on a rotary phase converter, and it is around 1200 to 1400 dollars, I could but a new plasma cutter for the cost of the converter, but I'm told the cutter I have cuts up to one inch material, the smaller cutters cut 1/4 inch material, Plus I have NO IDEA if this thing actually functions, so I need a way to test the waters before buying something that I may not be able to use.

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  • the welder is single phase not 3 phase
    – Steve
    Feb 25 '18 at 19:42
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    please explain how your purchase of a welder relates to the problem with the plasma cutter
    – jsotola
    Feb 25 '18 at 20:10
  • How big of a phase converter do you need? Amazon is showing a 10HP unit for $734. amazon.com/Rotary-Phase-Converter-AR10-Three/dp/B010UNLTXI/…
    – Michael Karas
    Feb 25 '18 at 22:12
  • Without knowing the model we really can not help. Some 3 phase welders can be run on single phase or 3 phase these welders are usually inverter driven. It is possible your plasma cutter may be able to be setup on single phase but we would need the model# to look it up. 1200-1400 sounds high how many amps are required to power this model.
    – Ed Beal
    Feb 26 '18 at 14:49
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The 3-phase plasma cutter is not going to work on a single phase type connection. You will need to provision for a 3-phase power source - whether that be via a special power entry drop to your shop from the power company or via a power converter that you install (such as a rotary type that you mentioned).

As far as testing the waters with the 3-phase plasma cutter before you go about buying things you should look into finding a shop that repairs and services equipment such as this. They will most likely already have a commercial 3-phase service and for a fee you can ask them to do a service inspection of the unit you bought. That fee could very well be worth while because you may additionally learn some things about this cutter and become aware if some other parts need replacement or you need some additional accessories.

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  • You could look into a variable frequency drive. They drive 3-phase motors with only single phase power available.
    – Paul Logan
    Feb 26 '18 at 9:19

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