Can I plug a 208v unit into my home receptacle?

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  #1  
Old 03-04-11, 04:53 PM
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Can I plug a 208v unit into my home receptacle?

I've recently acquired a centrifuge and it's tagged with "208 Volts, 25 Amp". I live in a home with "standard" wiring. I'm no electrician at all but was curious if I'm able to plug this centrifuge into my outlet(s) or not?

Before I actually call an electrician I thought I might reach out and see if anyone can give me some simple answers or advice. I appreciate your time and thank you.

-Shane
 
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  #2  
Old 03-04-11, 05:11 PM
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Welcome to the forums! Simple answer.....no, you can't just plug it into a standard 120 volt receptacle.
 
  #3  
Old 03-04-11, 05:22 PM
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Does it say 208-240V or just 208V? If it's just 208V that requires 3 phase service which would cost more to have put in your house than a new 120V centrifuge. If it says 208-240V you could have it wired to the service panel if the panel rating is big enough to handle it. Do not plug it into a standard 120V house circuit.
 
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Old 03-04-11, 05:27 PM
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208 usually denotes a voltage available in commercial buildings with three phase service. Is the centrifuge designed for three phase or single phase service? If single phase (doubtful), you might have a slim chance. Check with the manufacturer and ask if it can be used on 240V. If so, then you can probably use it.
Andy

Oops- BD posted while I was writing this.
 
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Old 03-04-11, 05:31 PM
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Is it a single phase or 3 phase piece of equipment. Rated at 208 volts, it could be either. If it's 208 volt single phase, it will work on a 240 volt single phase circuit. If it's 208 volt 3 phase, it will cost more to make it work than it is worth (unless you can change the motor to single phase).
 
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Old 03-04-11, 06:48 PM
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phase converter is also an option.
 
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Old 03-05-11, 05:40 AM
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Thanks everyone for your answers! It is marked as 208v only, not 208v-240v, and I do know from looking up info on it that it is a 3-phase. I understand I cannot just plug this in to my home without having an electrician assist me with some changes.

I was thinking I might be able to plug it into my 220v but now I see that isn't possible due to 3-phase. Now on a very vague question, does anyone know what sort of money we're talking about to get 3-phase wiring into a residential home? I mean are we talking hundreds or thousands? I realize this question varies considerably depending on where, who, etc.

I'm also going to look into a phase converter, thanks again for your help!
 
  #8  
Old 03-05-11, 06:30 AM
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Most power companies will not run a 3 phase service into a residence. The infrastructure for 3 phase typically is not run in a residential area as there is no need. They will not spend the money to install something that is not used.
 
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Old 03-05-11, 06:57 AM
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Ahh so a phase converter might be my only option!
 
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Old 03-05-11, 07:00 AM
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Could you tell us exactly what type of centrifuge you are talking about?
A centrifuge to me is a laboratory device for separating liquid biological samples.
Is this what you have?

I work on lab centrifuges and the types I am familiar with are all 120 volt.
If you have one that is configured for North America it would have to be a much larger capacity than what I am used to to require a 208 volt service.
Could your unit possibly be from offshore where a higher voltage is standard?
If so it may have to operate at 50 cycles which is a common standard elsewhere.

No sense speculating further until it is clear what you have.
The unit nameplate should say exactly what you have.
If you post the full make and model number along with the other details on the tag we should be able to steer you in the right direction.
 
  #11  
Old 03-05-11, 07:38 AM
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Most power companies will not run a 3 phase service into a residence. The infrastructure for 3 phase typically is not run in a residential area as there is no need. They will not spend the money to install something that is not used.
I lived in a housing development that had three phase. The lines were run in the 70s.

Now on a very vague question, does anyone know what sort of money we're talking about to get 3-phase wiring into a residential home? I mean are we talking hundreds or thousands
The local poco wanted $1.6 MILLON to run about two to three miles of wire for three phase to a local scout camp.
 
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Old 03-05-11, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by gangi777 View Post
Ahh so a phase converter might be my only option!
No, it isn't your only option, but as I said before, it probably isn't worth it and would be cheaper to either change the motor to single phase or buy a different piece of equipment.
 
  #13  
Old 03-05-11, 07:58 AM
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I lived in a housing development that had three phase. The lines were run in the 70s.
Even if 3 phase is available, most power companies won't allow 3 phase to a residence unless load requires in excess of 600 to 800 amps single phase. pcboss is also correct, 3 phase is typically not available in many neighborhoods. If it isn't and you can justify by load that you really need a 3 phase service, the POCO just MIGHT give it to you, but you will have to pay all costs associated with getting it to you. Buy a different centrifuge, it'll be a lot cheaper.
 
  #14  
Old 03-05-11, 08:03 AM
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Perhaps I should start over a bit and ask a better question: I have a Sorvall RC-2B Refrigerated High-Speed Centrifuge (yes, like the one's ran in a lab, but the size of a washing machine), it's plate states Serial #66267, 208v, 25amp. I believe Sorvall is now changed to ThermoScientific, as far as brands go. Below is a link to one like the one I am getting if that helps you understand it better:

For Sale: ID# 59416 Sorvall RC-2B - Used Lab Equipment For Sale / Parts / Service

I have a 10-yr olde home and am trying to find out if it's possible to have this working in my home (though NOT for "lab work" at all), if it is possible is there anything I can do myself to get it working?

Thanks again for all your helpful advice...sorry I wasn't more clear before.
 
  #15  
Old 03-05-11, 08:27 AM
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I think you're right CasualJoe...might need to look at a different piece of equipment.
 
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Old 03-05-11, 08:30 AM
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Is this for recycling cooking oil to fuel oil. If so do you really need the refrigeration? Cnoverting both a refrigeration system with a hermetically sealed compressor and a 3 phase motor to single phase probably wouldn't be practical. A replacement compressor would really raise the cost.
 
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Old 03-05-11, 08:31 AM
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The plug looks like a L6-30P which would be a 250 volt 2 pole 3 wire grounding plug which is a single phase configuration. I'd suggest calling the phone number listed and asking if this is 3 phase or 1 phase equipment just to be sure, but I think you'd have no problem.
 
  #18  
Old 03-05-11, 08:48 AM
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CasualJoe -While the item shown on the link isn't my actual item, it's just another one of the same, I'll try and give them a call and see if they'd know. -Most likely they won't but I will try and ask.

ray2047 - this isn't for recycling oil either. You wouldn't believe me, probably, if I told you...but it's for preparing food. THATS another topic however.
 
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Old 03-05-11, 09:18 AM
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ray2047 - this isn't for recycling oil either. You wouldn't believe me, probably, if I told you...but it's for preparing food. THATS another topic however.
And here I thought I was going to have to notify the DEA or Homelang Security.
 
  #20  
Old 03-05-11, 09:28 AM
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No no...just looking to play with clarification techniques and oil seperations....think edibles not destructables! So I came across this one centrifuge and thought it'd be fun to plug n' play...but it seems I've got some work to do before that happens. LOL
 
  #21  
Old 03-05-11, 09:40 AM
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Exclamation Yikes!......I hope you know what you are working with.

If this is for food I hope you are only going to play and not consume what goes into this thing.
The type of centrifuge you are looking at is a medical device that separates body fluids.
You should know that vial breakage is extremely common and when this happens liquids fly everywhere inside the thing!
You also can't be sure of how well it is cleaned before it was taken out of service.
These devices need double vinyl gloving when being taking apart.

As far as replacing the motor that would not be practical.
These motors are specialized and made to match the control circuitry that controls and monitors the rotational speed.
 
  #22  
Old 03-05-11, 10:02 AM
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It could very well be a machine designed to run on 208 volts single phase in a location served with 208Y/120 volts electrical service. If so, then a fairly simple buck/boost transformer would allow it to operate on 240 nominal single phase.
 
  #23  
Old 03-05-11, 11:08 AM
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The type of centrifuge you are looking at is a medical device that separates body fluids
You want to put food in the thing? YUCK!
 
  #24  
Old 03-05-11, 11:10 AM
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GregH - I'm well aware of what I'm working with (not electrically of course!) and am familiar with what they (centrifuges) are used for. Things can be cleaned/disinfected and it isn't like it came with used vials and such that I'd be using. I have my own sealed containers that can be put into the rotor holes, after thorough cleaning, so food would never touch any part(s) anyway.

Thanks again gang, I'm going to have to make calls on this and figure out what to do, the actual unit arrives next week. So if not now at least when I get the machine I can look at it more closely and discuss it with an electrician.
 
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Old 03-05-11, 05:05 PM
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Isn't used medical stuff like that incinerated to prevent the spread of disease?
 
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Old 03-05-11, 06:05 PM
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No, medical equipment can be cleaned with hospital grade disinfectants or in a sterilizer depending on what it is..
It is biomedical waste that is incinerated.
 
  #27  
Old 03-07-11, 12:11 PM
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Even if it is a three-phase unit, you still usually have the option of using a static or rotary phase converter to operate the machine on a single-phase service. It is not as efficient as native three-phase and there can be some incompatibilities getting it hooked up, but it is not impossible to do.
 
  #28  
Old 03-09-11, 08:55 AM
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Just got the centrifuge delivered just now; metal tag reads: 208v, 25amp, 60 cycle. Was told it is a single-phase piece of equipment, that it's like an appliance. So does this help clarify? I JUST received email from manuf, with manual(s) and it's showing this as a 208v only, but doesn't say much else about the electrical needs.
 
  #29  
Old 03-09-11, 09:04 AM
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Seems like this should be straightforward with a buck-boost transformer wired in buck mode. Your electrician can install a (probably 40A circuit) 240V circuit to the machine and wire the buck transformer to slightly reduce the voltage. There are lots of transformer configurations, so if you or your electrician takes the equipment specs to your local electrical supplier they should be able to order the right model number transformer.
 
  #30  
Old 03-09-11, 09:07 AM
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Thank you ibpooks! I will now look into that.

I appreciate everyone that gave advice, thank you!
 
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