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Q: Europen 220v appliance in American 220v outlet ( Answered,   2 Comments )
Subject: Europen 220v appliance in American 220v outlet
Category: Science > Physics
Asked by: ajinid-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 14 Jul 2006 19:58 PDT
Expires: 13 Aug 2006 19:58 PDT
Question ID: 746493
I have a Euorpean 220v (1500w) appliance (steam autoclave) with a
power cord for use in Germany and France (Schuko plug with 2 round
plugs).  I have an
American 220V outlet that I would like to plug the appliance into for use.  I
understand that American 220v is 110+110 and Overseas 220V is a single
220v line.
        I found a plug adapter that will allow me to plug a germany
plug into an American outlet:

I don't want to damage this $1200 appliance!
My question is will this work even though there is a difference in
American and overseas 220v?  Please give me a web reference if

Clarification of Question by ajinid-ga on 14 Jul 2006 20:10 PDT
Also, will the recommended 50 Hz frequency for Euorpean appliances
matter if  American electricity is usually 60Hz?

Request for Question Clarification by hedgie-ga on 15 Jul 2006 00:31 PDT

     What you have is resistive (also called non-inductive) load. 

That means 1) The frequency difference does not matter.
           2) You will not damage the apliance when plugging  EU 
  appliance to the outlet in  US

 That does not mean that the adaptor shown would work. 
 There are shape adaptors which allow  EU appliance to fit US outlet
 - but do not change the voltage (for electronics which can auto-adjust)
 and there are voltage converters which in addition to shape conversion
  also step the  voltage down or up.

 It is not clear from the picture which kind is shown and what load it can handle.

You need a step-up converter with power rating 1500 W or higher. Otherwise
apliance will not be damaged, but converter will run hot and may burn.

Look at these  images:

 Search Terms in Google Image Search:  Voltage Convertors

This one:
Voltage Converter USA-UK 100watt #16198	
use UK appliances in the USA
works in all other 110 volt countries 
compact size for travelling 
for appliances up to 100 watts
supplied with 3 pin earthed plug

 will not handle your autoclave ( 100W << 1500W )

This image
... Voltage Converter and Adaptor Set
500 x 344 pixels - 15k  - jpg

 show mostly shape adaptors.  They allow you to plug it in.
 In US apliance  will not burn, but will operate at 1/4 of expected power.
 In EU the US appliance would burn.

Radioshack sels voltage step-up from 110 to 220 converter with
capacity 2kW or more.

Travel shop usually have only small convertors (for shavers etc).

You can also use a transformer, but those are more expensive and bulky.
They may be a bit more efficient and do both step-up and step down.

Transformers also need to have sufficient power rating.

Subject: Re: Europen 220v appliance in American 220v outlet
Answered By: eiffel-ga on 15 Jul 2006 04:10 PDT
Hi ajinid-ga,

In the US, in addition to the usual 110V outlets one can find 220V
outlets that comprise two 110V lines at opposite phase. Your appliance
is just as happy to consume this 220V as it is the European 220V (a
220V live plus a neutral).

Your autoclave is probably a resistive load, in which case the
difference between 50Hz and 60Hz won't matter. However, if the
autoclave has any electronics within it (such as a timer module) then
the frequence difference may affect its operation.

You also need to ensure that any earthing requirements are met. If the
appliance needs an earth connection in Europe, then it needs one in
America too. American 220V sockets normally include an earth, but your
adapter may not preserve that earth connection.

For an applicance of that value, I would call out a local electrician
just to double-check the functionality and safety before I switched it
on, but it will almost certainly work.

By the way, I have referred to "220 volts" but this is nominal and the
actual voltage could be 230 or 240 volts. It isn't enough difference
to matter.

You have asked for a web reference. You may find this one useful:

  "Note that currently all new American buildings get in
   fact 240 volts split in two 120 between neutral and hot
   wire. Major appliances, such as virtually all drying
   machines and ovens, are now connected to 240 volts.
   Americans who have European equipment, can connect it
   to these outlets."

   Electricity around the world
   (you may want your popup-blocker active for this site!)

Finally, I can't guarantee that using the appliance this way will
comply with local electrical regulations that may apply to you.

I trust this provides the information you require. If not, please
request clarification.


Google Search Strategy:

"american 220V"

"american 220V OR 230V OR 240V outlet"
Subject: Re: Europen 220v appliance in American 220v outlet
From: myoarin-ga on 16 Jul 2006 03:56 PDT
I agree with Eiffel. 
You should check that the ground on the schuko plug contacts the round
pin on the socket side of the adaptor on the europlugs site.  The
ground is the metal strips on the side of the plug that contact the
ground connection in a schuko socket (metal clips that hold the plug).
On some plugs, this metal strip continues on the surface between the
prongs; on others, the metal only continues around to the surface with
the prongs.  It does not look like the contact in the adaptor would
touch there on the Schuko plug I have.

IF this is a problem with the plug on your autoclave, before you look
for another adaptor, you might look for a schuko (with the first type
of ground) or US 220v plug that you can attach to the cord.  Americans
are sometimes leery of doing anything with 220v wiring, but in Europe
we deal with it all the time.
I haven't shocked myself yet from the many plugs I have attached.
Subject: Re: Europen 220v appliance in American 220v outlet
From: hedgie-ga on 16 Jul 2006 16:05 PDT

Please, disregard my
Request for Question Clarification by hedgie-ga on 15 Jul 2006 00:31 PDT

When you already have 220V outlet, you only need a shape adaptor, as described
in eifell's answer. I was thinking of a differnt case.

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