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Rotation, Rotation, Rotation

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You've heard the old adage in real estate that the most important factor when buying or selling a piece of property or a home is "location, location, location." 

Well, in the world of industrial air compressors the same could be said for rotation or the spin direction of the motor.

Very often when a rotary screw compressor is installed and the wiring is hooked up and the compressor is started the first time the motor may spin backward.  This is due to one of your wire leg's being in the wrong position.  

If the motor continues to spin backward major problems can occur, not least of which may be damage to the air end of the compressor resulting in a very costly repair, sometimes upward of $5000.00 or more depending on the age and type of compressor.

A good rule of thumb during start up is to do a rotation test.  Look at the motor, usually you will find an arrow or directional symbol that will tell you which way the motor should turn.  Hook up your wires and give the machine a "bump" and immediately stop, or technically speaking a stop/start procedure.  Check the rotation, make sure the motor is turning in the proper direction.  If so, then you are ready to start up and get to work.  If not then you need to swap a leg on your lug connector or contact.  This should cause the motor to spin in the proper direction.

Just remember, for rotary screw compressors, "Rotation, Rotation, Rotation!"


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