Foreign home electrical circuits

Old 10-02-04, 01:10 PM
Bryan Evans
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Unhappy Foreign home electrical circuits

I sent a microwave oven to the Philippines and because of the high cost of transformers (about $100US for 1500w) I was asked if they could change 1 outlet and make a dedicated 110v circuit for the microwave. When I was over there I looked at their electrical box and it was only a 2 wire 220v box. How can they convert from the 220v to 110v if they do not have the neutral white wire?
Old 10-02-04, 02:55 PM
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The electrical system is different. The only way to get 110 is a transformer. And because the microwave uses the line frequency for various timing operations, even with a transformer, it will operate strangely on 50Hz. At a minimum, it will run longer than the time you set it for, and the clock won't keep good time.

I'm curious. Is the cost of the microwave in the U.S., plus the cost of a transformer, plus the cost of shipping, significantly less than the cost of a microwave in the Philippines? How much do microwaves cost there? How much money does all this effort save you?
Old 10-03-04, 12:43 AM
Bryan Evans
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Thanks for the reply John. We had an older microwave just sitting around gathering dust and taking up space so we decided to send it to the Philippines in a big box of many other goodies we were sending. The cost of the box is the same not matter what it weighs so it didn't cost us any more to send it. We thought that they would be able to use it by just changing one of the breakers in their electrical box to 110v which on a 3 wire connection is quite simple but I didn't know it was only a 2 wire box so they couldn't use it without a transformer. They priced the transformer at $80US so I told them to forget about it and now it's just gathering dust over there. Not many people have microwave because of the poverty so we were hoping that they would enjoy using it but you're right it wasn't worth it. The price of a microwave is about double what it is here. Thanks again for your help.

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