You are here:

Electric Motors/Reversing a GE motor


I am attempting to reverse direction on a single phase 110/220 motor with a capacitor.  It a GE model 5KC49WG1049U   

I understand the need to reverse the #5 and #8 wire but my motor just has terminals labeled 1,2,3 and 4  Currently it is wired for 110 and has the common on terminal 1 with the hot wire on terminal 4. (I am guessing here about these connections because I had to cut the plug before I realized the wires were the same color)

There is a red wire coming from the case also connection to terminal 4 and two wires coming from the case connecting on terminal 2 and nothing on terminal 3   

How do I tell which is the #5 and #8 wire to reverse this motor?

I would like to keep the motor on 110 if possible but I could easily switch to 220 if I need to in order to reverse direction.

Thanks for your help!

you are correct most of the time 5 and 8 are the ends of the start winding,    but in this case it

Sounds like you have a split phase motor, or permanent split capacitor motor , not a cap start with 6 leads dual voltage     being 1-2-3-4-  runs  and 5-8 start,    I would have to guess at this point without the nameplate   can you send a photo of it?

Or wiring diagram,  ?

It looks like if this a dual voltage motor it might be a fixed rotation motor,

does it say  CW or CCW on the nameplate?

'4 leads numbered 1234   are normally like this  

1 line   4 line     2 and 3 tied  as a series jumper and insulated,   for high voltage,  

12 line   34 line     for low voltage,          that would make 1-3 a winding and 2-4 the other half of the winding,   if you wired it        13 it would be open, nothing,  if you put the end of  2-4    [being 4] with 1 on a line   then it would have the wrong internal polarity for the windings,  

We need to figure out what this motor is,      with two wires from the internal windings to one post it almost sounds like that is a series connection for high voltage or it could be a tap on to the middle of the start  winding  hard to say with GE and I get nothing on that model       

or it could be  of 1-2-3-4     two are runs and two are starts like below:

If the motor is a the usual split-phase type, the 4 wires should be the connections to the run and start windings (2 wires each). I think the yellow/black wires go to the start winding, but it is better to verify this as follows. First, you need to find the centrifugal switch which turns the start winding on/off. This switch is in the "ON" position when the motor is NOT running, when the motor gets nearly up to speed, this switch automatically dissconnects the start winding. Usually, the switch is operated by a spring-loaded plastic collar on the motor shaft (on the end where the wires enter the motor). Look into the end of the motor and find it using a flashlight, you should be able to push down on this collar with a screwdriver and activate the switch. Pushing in the collar turns off the switch. Check the resistance to see which winding gets turned OFF when the plastic collar is pushed IN; that is the start winding. The winding which this switch does NOT affect is the RUN winding. Note: you will need to disconnect the two pairs of wires from each other to make this test, as the two windings are wired in paralell with each other. When you are done, one wire of the start winding will be connected to each of the run winding wires. For example, if the two red wires are found to be the run winding and the yellow/black are the start winding, it would be: one line wire+red+black hooked together and the other line wire+red +yellow hooked together. If you need to change the direction of rotation of your motor, just interchange the two start winding wires. Note: the normal resistance of these windings is only a few ohms.

We need to verify what you have          they make too many variations for OEMS and it could be anything   so we need a nameplate or wiring diagram that would help to figure this out,       let me know if you can get me a photo[s]

Electric Motors

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts




Three phase/ AC DC single phase motors, controls, any problems or failures, motor installation, performance issues, connections. All other electric motors/gearboxes/apparatus. Specialty repair concerns, obsolete motors and solutions. Other mechanical or specialty equipment. See my profile under Home/electrical at this site


30 plus years in the electrical motor and apparatus repair industry. VP level management of repair facilities, current owner of my own specialty repair and consulting firm.

EASA, IBEW [retired], other specialty organizations, Lubrication, Vibration EDI, Tribo-electric Councils

Currently fielding concerns at this site under "Home Electrical"

4 year technical, College level specific courses, EASA repair courses, vibration analysis electronic and electrical trade school.

©2016 All rights reserved.