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FAQ about small nursery potting machines

What is a potting machine?

A potting machine is a piece of equipment that facilitates filling containers with growing media for plants.  The machines typically lift material up above the container and then let it waterfall down over a container.  Unused soil is recycled back into the machine.

What type of electricity does a potting machine need?

The bigger the machine the more electricity infrastructure is required.  Large multi yard nursery potting machines often require a great deal of power.  Commonly this is 3 phase 208V.

In the US there are a handful of typical voltages supplied to businesses.  These all operate at a frequency of 60Hz.  The smallest voltage being 110V single phase.  The next step up is to 208-240V single phase.  And then beyond that we get into 3 phase power which comes in two typical voltages – 208 3 Phase and 480 3 Phase.  An additional voltage offering is 277V which coincides with the 480V incoming power and is used for Lights in buildings.

All electricity and power requirements for potting machines are defined by the wire size needed to power the equipment.

Let me explain – 

To understand your wiring needs for potting machines there are a few things to consider with electricity.  Power required, Voltage and Current are all related.  A device will always be designed to a specific power need.  The power (often defined in Watts) is constant.  What changes is how that power is delivered to a machine.  Current defines wire size.  The higher the current, the bigger the wire required.  Wire is made up of copper and copper is expensive.  So the more current required, the more building infrastructure cost is required.  Current can be reduced by increasing the voltage.  That is why large equipment uses higher voltages.  As you increase voltage, the current, wire sizes, circuit breakers go down.

Typically, 110V circuits can handle up to 20Amps.

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