Key Points:

  • It is often required to convert a three-phase power supply to a single phase one, due to the requirement of a compliance.
  • There are several methods to follow when converting a three-phase voltage to a single-phase voltage.
  • It depends on the use case of the power supply that dictates which method the user should choose.

A two-wire alternating current circuit is used in single-phase electricity, which is typically found in residences throughout the United States. One of those wires is active, while the other is neutral. Between the two, energy goes back and forth.

But in three-phase electricity, which is more frequent in commercial buildings, employs an alternating current circuit as well, but with three to four wires instead. When you don’t require the greater power supply, converting three-phase electricity to single-phase power is advantageous. If you are wondering, “Can you change a 3-phase to single phase?”, it is a fairly easy task.

There are certain steps to follow in order to know how to convert 3 phase to single phase 220v. Such as turning off the power, choosing the appropriate conversion method, wire connection etc.

In this article, I’ll go through each of these steps in detail. So, let’s get this lesson underway.

How To Convert 3 Phase To Single Phase 220v?

What is Single-Phase Power?

Single-phase electricity is analogous to riding a bicycle in which the user uses only one leg to rotate a pedal around a crankshaft axis.

A two-wire alternating current circuit is used for single-phase electricity. Single phase wiring is divided into two categories: 120 volts and 240 volts.

The phase-to-neutral wiring of a 120-volt single phase system is known as phase-to-neutral wiring.

A hot wire and a neutral wire are used to transport current in these circuits. If you want to know “how to wire a transformer 480v to 120v”, you must know the color of the wires.

The current from the circuit breaker is carried by the hot wire, while the current is returned by the neutral wire.

The hot wire is normally any color except green or white, while the neutral wire is usually white. It is also necessary to know wire colors for learning how to convert 3 phase to single phase 220v.

Two hot wires are used in 240-volt single-phase wiring. Both of these cables deliver power to the device and return it to the service panel.

This type of wiring is also known as phase-to-phase wiring, and it is most typically used for heaters and air conditioners.

A neutral wire can be added to the circuit to allow some parts of the appliance to operate at 120 volts while others operate at 240 volts.

Single Phase Voltage
Fig-1: Single Phase Voltage

What is Three-Phase Power?

Three wires are used in 3-phase electric power, as opposed to one wire in single-phase electricity. Three-phase electricity is required by the majority of commercial organizations, industries, and certain farms. Three power lines and one neutral return channel make up a three-phase circuit.

Although three phase wiring is generally associated with industrial applications, it may also be used in commercial settings. High-rise structures in densely inhabited areas may require three phase power.

Three phase with neutral is a term used to describe this sort of wiring. Only two of the three phases — 208 volts – are delivered to individual consumers. Wiring is a necessary knowledge for also knowing how to connect fan regulator to the switchboard.

Low-power loads can use 120-volt lines in this design, much like in a single-phase power system. However, for safety, heavier loads may necessitate voltage in the 208 range.

Three-Phase Voltage
Fig-2: Three-Phase Voltage

How To Convert 3 Phase To Single Phase 220v

Here’s the complete procedure of converting 3 phase to single phase 220v:

1. Turning Off the Power

It is always the first and the most crucial step to turn off the power before proceeding with any operations that concern electricity.

Even if you’re trying to figure out how to wire 220v plug with 3 wires. Power can be disconnected from either the local circuit breaker, or the main circuit board.

Turning off the power supply

  1. If the compliance has a local circuit breaker you have to correctly identify the exact one that supplies power to the outlet or compliance.
  2. Turning off the power from the main panel is a more secure alternative.
  3. Flip the switch of the certain breaker.
  4. Check the LED indication to ensure there is no electricity to the outlet.
  5. If there are no indicators, you can examine the circuit with a volt meter or an ammeter.

2. Choosing the Appropriate Conversion Method

There exist several methods for converting three-phase power into single-phase. Before getting started, be sure to consider your current balance needs as well as a few safety precautions.Let’s take a look at a few methods.

  • Using a Neutral Wire: When a supply isn’t delicate or doesn’t require a high level of precision, this choice is optimal.
  • Using a Phase Converter: A phase converter can be wired directly to the compliance to convert the system.
  • Using the Open-Delta Transformer: If you have a more powerful machine, you can easily convert it via the open delta transfer.

It is up to the user to properly choose his necessary use case, because that is what dictates which method would be suitable for the compliance and system.

3. Using a Neutral Wire

The simplest way to convert three phase to single phase in cases where you do not require a high magnitude of accuracy, this method is highly advised. It does not require any special steps.

Steps for Using a Neutral Wire

  1. Choose only one wire out of the three phases.
  2. Choose the neutral wire that you wish to use.
  3. Simply connect the chosen phase wire along with the neutral wire to the terminal of your compliance.

4. Using a Phase Converter Unit

Instead of using the neutral wire, an expert will most likely suggest you to utilize a phase convertor. This strategy is more effective than the neutral wire method in creating a genuine discussion.

Steps for Using a Phase Converter

  1. Run two wires from the compliance to the converter.
  2. Again run two wires from the converter to your power supply.
  3. Strip the ends of two wires using appropriate tools.
  4. Attach the inputs to the outputs to convert the system.

However, this method is only applicable when dealing with power less than 5 KVA. For higher power, it would be better to use another technique.

5. Using the Open Delta Transformer

This method should only be used if the system being converted is over 5kVA. An open delta connection transformer uses two single-phase transformers to convert a three-phase supply to a single phase voltage.

An Open Delta Transformer
Fig-3: An Open Delta Transformer
Wire a 3 phase motor to single phase 240v


In a nutshell, some conditions may demand a three-phase to single-phase conversion. For example, if you want to utilize electricity for residential purposes, you’ll need a single-phase system. You can do so by following the steps outlined above.

In this article, I have gone through all the necessary steps on how to convert 3 phase to single phase 220v. With the step-by-step directions provided in this article, I think that converting three-phase to single phase will be simple and painless for everyone.