How a Motor Starter Works

This article is meant to give a general understanding of a motor starter, not professional advice or technical training. 


How does a motor starter work?

Motor starters are comprised of two main parts: an overload relay and a contactor. The relay monitors the current of electricity and the contactor completes the current to the motor. Each motor has a predetermined maximum load that, if reached, will shut off the device. This is achieved through the motor starter. The overload relay will determine if the maximum load is reached. If so, it will allow the contactor to separate the current from the motor, turning off the motor. 


Types of motor starters: 

  • Wye-Delta open transmission: typical for electromagnetic starters. This system safely reduces the voltage in the major commercial equipment such as pumps and air compressors. 
  • Soft-start solid-state: Used frequently in commercial equipment this motor starter is RVS (Reduced Voltage Starter). It works through the use of magnetic forces, fluid, or steel shot to lower start-up current and control torque. 

Other: there are many other types of motor starters not listed here. Find all of our motor starters and other electronic accessories here.

Still have questions? Give us a call for more information: 972-272-9244

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