See Additional Added Info: I have an electric motor that I want to plug in at my house (USA). The device is 220V, 50hz and 600watt. The power cord (no plug) is 3 wires, and rated as 10amp.

If I connect a dryer plug to this cord, will I be able to plug it in to my dryer receptacle? Should I worry that the cord is only rated at 10amp?

Additional Info: Power cord actually came with it unexpectedly (opened the box tonight) and it's plug is exactly the same as a typical 110V 3 prong grounded plug. Is this even possibly going to work? I thought 220V required 2 hot, 1 neutral, optional ground? In this configuration, I assume the normal ground plug is actually neutral and the two parallel plugs are both hot? Is it a big deal if I don't ground the device? Do they even make 220V capable receptacles approved for this purpose in this configuration? Seems like a nightmare to have a 220V unit hanging around with the same plug/receptacle as a 110V device!!! Accident waiting to happen?!

This is actually a oil-less piston air pump (not a motor), in case it matters.

  • Are the connectors on the plug sideways ? On a standard size plug 1 of the connectors sideways is 120v 20 amp, with both sideways it would be 240 volt
    – Ed Beal
    Jun 22, 2016 at 10:13
  • Looks like it was sent to me with a standard 5-15 plug that I need to change to a 6-15 plug, myself. Would there be an issue if I connected a 14-30 plug to this instead (not using the neutral terminal) so that I can plug this in to a dryer receptacle?
    – rob
    Jun 22, 2016 at 12:24
  • I would probably use the 14-30 since the 220v motor has no neutral load just the ground to the case. The breaker size is more than 150% of the device so that would be a code violation is the only issue I can see.
    – Ed Beal
    Jun 22, 2016 at 12:56

2 Answers 2


A 50hz motor will spin approximately 20% faster and draw approximately 20% more than the rated power. Increasing frequency can cause over heating and if the motor is pushing a substantial load the core is not large enough to prevent a cascade failure before you see the magic smoke being released. Many motors are dual rated and can handle the difference but if it is a true 50Hz 220V motor you will be connecting to 60Hz 240V so keep an eye on the tempature. I just thought you should also listen to see if it can change from the start/run to the run winding if it has a centrifugal starter.

  • Looks like maybe I just need to replace the wrong NEMA 5-15 plug with a NEMA 6-15 plug, and looking at the product wiring notation, it does show two "Hot"/black plugs and a ground. I thought there had to be a neutral wire, but with more research, that does not seem to be the case.
    – rob
    Jun 22, 2016 at 5:08
  • If I have a NEMA 14-30 outlet at the house, is it a problem to replace the 5-15 plug with a 14-30 plug so that I can use that 14-30 outlet, knowing that I would leave the neutral terminal on the plug unconnected, as this device only has 3 wires (hot, hot, ground)?
    – rob
    Jun 22, 2016 at 5:10

At 220V, 600 watts is drawing 2.7 amps of current. That's nowhere near the load limit of that cord or dryer plug. Should be Kool and the Gang, if it's wired correctly.

You might have a problem with the frequency, though. US electrical power is distributed at 60hz, not 50. I don't think anything awful would happen, but keep a fire extinguisher nearby.

  • Thanks - sounds like the wire will be plenty thick. Appreciate the confirmation. Any thoughts on the additional info provided above?
    – rob
    Jun 22, 2016 at 2:06

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