FAQ #9: Pump System Rotation

Is there an easy way to check rotation of a 3-phase pump system?

Several methods can be used:

Typical: If the shaft is visible, bump the motor or briefly apply power. Normal rotation is CCW for a submersible motor when looking at the motor shaft. If the shaft is not visible, turn on the pump and check pressure and flow. Reversing 2 of the 3-phase power wires makes the motor run in the opposite direction. Best water pressure and flow is typically the correct rotation.
Other options: If the power company can tell you phase A, B and C (not always L1, L2 and L3) and you connect the motor wiring per page 34 of the AIM manual, the motor rotation will be CCW.


Motor rotation meters can be purchased and used. However, this can be confusing.  Rotation meters are generally designed to work with above ground motors, i.e. conveyor belts and blowers, so they typically provide rotation VS the lead end or opposite pulley end of the motor. Since a submersible motor has the lead coming out the same end of the motor as the shaft, if the rotation meter says CW rotation, the submersible motor is really turning CCW.