Full Voltage starters are the essential tool for protecting your electrical equipment from phase loss, over-amperage conditions and power surges. While a simple contactor can help operate a motor, compressor or pump, it does not provide the necessary protection in the event of an adverse electrical condition. Starters provide electrical protection of your equipment the addition of bi-metal, thermal or electronic (solid state) overload relays.
Typical full voltage starters are comprised of a 3 pole contactor with an overload relay attached to the load side of the contactor. When the control voltage is applied to the coil, it powers the contactor and the overload allows for a certain period of over-amperage based on the trip class of the unit. Once the motor/compressor/pump is up and running, the overload automatically monitors the AMP pull to determine if it falls within the limits specified. Should the motor lose a phase or have a high AMP pull, the overload cuts power to the coil in short order to protect the motor from any permanent damage.
There are numerous different types of full voltage starters based on the application needs. Most common are IEC rated starters. The IEC rating has become the standard for most electrical equipment and is offered by all manufacturers and accepted throughout the world. In addition to IEC starters, there are also NEMA rated starters, which gained popularity in the mid- to late 1900's as a rugged and reliable option for motor protection applications. In addition there are definite purpose starters, often found in HVAC equipment and pumps, and combination motor starters, for Type-E coordination that offers a contactor combined with a manual motor protector.
Need help wiring a full voltage starter? We have created a resource here that contains a wiring diagram or you can give us a call at 800.222.5129 and we can walk you through the steps to ensure that the starter that you have purchased is wired correctly.