Single-phase & three-phase explained

When choosing an induction unit, it’s crucial to purchase equipment which is compatible with your power supply. If you’re unsure about what type of power supply you have, its worth seeking advice from a qualified electrician first.

For the majority of industrial and business properties running high loads, a three-phase power supply is used, whereas domestic properties are generally supplied by a single-phase system, simply because home appliances require less power. However, this can sometimes differ depending on the business needs, the location and property sizes.

Single-phase power has only one live wire as opposed to three-phase power, which, as the name suggests, uses three live wires. Both have one neutral wire and, in almost all cases, an earth wire. As a result, three-phase power supplies a more constant, reliable current and is common on most powerful commercial catering equipment.


There are three types of connections:

  • Single-phase (plug & play)
  • Single-phase (hardwired)
  • Three-phase (hardwired)

Single-phase (PLUG & PLAY)

A single-phase supply is something that we’re all used to, it is the standard electricity supply for almost all UK homes and a lot of commercial buildings too.

Plug & play units are rated up to and including 13A (3kW):

  • Our units will typically have a UK 3-pin plug fitted. (Please check the product specification.)
  • Due to their portability our countertop units are perfect, if you require a flexible solution in your kitchen.
  • Please consider where you intend to locate a unit in regards to the availability and proximity of power sockets before purchasing.

Single-phase (Hardwired)

These single-phase units are hardwired into the power supply.

  • Units are typically supplied with a power cord. (Please check the product specification).
  • Units are generally rated at more than 13A (3kW).

If a unit requires a ‘Single-phase hardwired’ connection, it will need to be installed by a qualified commercial electrician.


Not all commercial buildings have a three-phase supply fitted, so it is always wise to check.

  • A three-phase connection provides a more constant, reliable current and is common on most powerful commercial catering equipment.
  • Our premium induction units utilise this supply, as they require a substantial/reliable source of energy for fast and precise cooking.

We would recommend a site survey to determine whether a unit is suitable for your property pre-purchase. 

A fully qualified electrician should always install and commission any three-phase equipment.

It is not always obvious whether an appliance is single or three-phase simply by appearance. Make sure to check the product specification before purchasing.

If you have any questions, please contact one of our trained sales team, who will be happy to help.