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Electrical conversion question: Can I use fan/hair dryer on low w/out converter?

Electrical conversion question: Can I use fan/hair dryer on low w/out converter?

Apr 13th, 2006, 01:00 PM
  #21  
 
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Devices that generate heat don't usually pose a problen if the frequency isn't correct. An AC motor HAS to be operated at the right frequency (=Hertz). An american 60Hz electric motor will not work in Europe no matter if you use a transformer or not. An american device that generates heat designed for 110V and has no transformer attached to it will "need" a currect to operate properly that is twice as much on 120V than on 230V. (u=r*i). In Europe this device will blow the fuse because the current is to high. The same device designed for 230V will only need 1/2 the current. Is this easy to understand?
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Apr 13th, 2006, 01:06 PM
  #22  
 
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logos999: Americans DO have 220 in their homes. Usually just in the Garage/ laundry room and Kitchen. It is mainly for washing machines and stoves/ovens. I have an extra 220 circuit because a former owner had a kiln.

But it is highly unlikely we would go to 220 for everything else . . . .

Also, many, many, MANY US communities do have underground utilities.
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Apr 13th, 2006, 01:11 PM
  #23  
 
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>washing machines and stoves/ovens.
Those appliances use 380V in Europe.








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Apr 13th, 2006, 01:12 PM
  #24  
Neopolitan
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Here's a secret I've never told.

On the 23rd of May, 1989 there was a power failure at the Negresco Hotel in Nice. I plugged in a hair dryer and our lights went out. I looked in the hall and the ights were out. Later when we went down stairs we found the entire hotel had been in the dark. A maintenance man fixed the problem. I've never understood how my hair dryer (which did fry by the way) could have caused the entire hotel to lose power, but either it was that or it was the most amazing coincidence timed to a split second!

There, now I've told.
 
Apr 13th, 2006, 01:39 PM
  #25  
 
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O.K., so I'm trying one step further . If you had a plug and would connect both pins together, you would have no resistance, the current would be maximum, sparks would fly, the fuse would blow. Now you let this current generate heat. You put some resistance measured in Ohms in between the two pins,i.e. some spiral. It gets warm and hot. (say the spiral has a resistance of 100 Ohms.) In America erveything works perfectly. Now you bring this device to Europe, still 100 Ohms, the spiral hasn't changed, but the voltage has doubled. Now the same spiral should have 50 Ohms to generate the same heat, but it doesn't! It still puts a resistance of 100 Ohms against the current and. It will generate a doubled current. The fuse "realizes" it's too much and will blow.

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Apr 13th, 2006, 04:38 PM
  #26  
 
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<An american 60Hz electric motor will not work in Europe no matter if you use a transformer or not.>

That's not true. It will work, but it will work slower since Europe is on 50Hz.

If Wekiva wants to buy a converter for the fan, have at it. It will work, but will work slower.
Budman is offline  
Apr 13th, 2006, 06:20 PM
  #27  
 
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Wekiva,

That is a most interesting accidental discovery. When I used a traveling 110/220 hair dryer it also would only run on low when the voltage was set at 220.

Most likely the switch had three wires to it. The wire for the 220 voltage probably ran the current through a resistor to reduce the voltage to a safe 110 volts for the fan. The heating coil, which could be designed for 110 and 220 volts, would be the logical resistor for doing this.

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Apr 13th, 2006, 06:56 PM
  #28  
 
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It's really funny to watch people who don't know anything about electricity running around theorizing about how it works. Reminds me of Clarke's Third Law.
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Apr 13th, 2006, 08:12 PM
  #29  
Neopolitan
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What's there to know? You pay your bill, you plug it in, it works.
 
Apr 13th, 2006, 08:12 PM
  #30  
 
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Blowing a fuse has nothing to do with whether it's 110 or 220V appliance. It's due to the wattage of the appliance. If the appliance is using more watts than the outlet is designed for, it will blow the fuse.
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Apr 13th, 2006, 08:33 PM
  #31  
 
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Current, actually. Power (in Watts) is the product of current and voltage. If the voltage is doubled, the power doubles, but the current stays the same.

See what I mean?
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Apr 14th, 2006, 02:36 AM
  #32  
 
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E=IR. If the resistance doubles and the voltage doubles the current stays the same.
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Apr 14th, 2006, 02:38 AM
  #33  
 
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aye caramba People do mix up a few things here It's not that simple
>It will work, but it will work slower since Europe is on 50Hz.
There is the difference between an AC and a DC motor. Using a DC motor the current is rectified an fed to the motor. Hertz are not a "problem" or question here. Using an AC motor, which is easier to build and more effective, Hertz are what matters.
>Blowing a fuse has nothing to do with whether it's 110 or 220V appliance.
No bettyk, that not true, it's different. The fuse is rated in Amperes, Amperes are what matter!
Let's say you Appliance need 1000Watts to operate propperly. It will need those 1000W in Europe and in the US, BUT
1000W = 230V x 4,34A (Europe)
1000W = 110V x 9,09A (US)
The current in the US is doubled. The fuse must be designed for this doubled current. Or the other way around: Your appliance has a certain "inner resistance" (is this the correct English word?) in Ohms. This resistance is used to generate heat. The same resistance now faces a doubled current. You can approach it in whatever way you like U=R*I.
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Apr 14th, 2006, 02:59 AM
  #34  
 
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>E=IR. If the resistance doubles and the voltage doubles the current stays the same.
>See what I mean?
That's exactly the point. You have to design your heater so, that it's possible to switch the resistance of the heating coil to 1/2 if you want to use it in Europe. If it can be switched between high and low, the low setting would be "high" in Europe, the "high" setting would rather melt the device or blow the fuse. So, yes your American heating appliances are desinged to blow fuses in Europe
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Apr 14th, 2006, 03:05 AM
  #35  
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"Have you been listening here, or are you just convinced none of us know what we're talking about?"

Neopolitan...I certainly have no idea what you are talking about. I was confused about what the 110/220 switch did on my hair dryer and after a few posts now realize that even though it only locked out the high fan there was something else w/in the hair dryer that was ALSO converting the power. I stand corrected on that.

I had moved on concerning the hair dryer and stated that I would probably get a converter...intending to use it for some other electronic gadgets which the owners manuals don't state can handle 220.

I certainly didn't mean to get you all agitated. Thanks again for helping me on the subject.
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Apr 16th, 2012, 03:39 AM
  #36  
 
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Wekiva, don't sweat it---doesn't take much to get some folks agitated on this forum. If you come back with other questions, bring your "Don't take it personally" mind-set. I've only been coming here for about two-and-a-half months, and if I didn't feel dumb enough for having to ask the question, I certainly felt that way after having my ignorance addressed. There are a lot of really helpful and kind people here. Still, it's a microcosm of human dynamics---chances are that when you interact with a group of people you're going to meet at least one (bleep).
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Apr 16th, 2012, 05:00 AM
  #37  
 
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Why resurrect a 6 year old thread?
willit is offline  

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