European Mains

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  #1  
Old 08-07-11, 01:17 PM
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European Mains

Thinking to move to Europe (220V wiring) in the near future from Canada (110V / 220V wiring). Since I will have a container to move all household items I wonder if it’s a good idea to take along the fridge, stove and washing machine with me which are almost new.

I’m familiar with the North American wiring, a household has 220V coming in and then it is split for the 110V / 220V service inside the house. But I don’t know how the European mains are coming into a house.

Would it be possible to get an electrician to run an 110V circuit to run the fridge?

And how about the stove? I know that European stoves are much smaller than the one I have which needs 40A breakers. Would it be possible to get the electrician to change the wiring and install a 40A breaker?

Thanks
 
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  #2  
Old 08-07-11, 01:29 PM
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European voltage is running at 50 hertz so I would probably leave the heavy stuff here. It ain't the same as we have here. Maybe Marc will saunter in here this evening with a better answer. I think he is in France right now.
 
  #3  
Old 08-07-11, 01:33 PM
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btw....terminology is normally 240/120....at least in the US. Though your actual reading may vary by 5-8%....mine does.
 
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Old 08-07-11, 01:44 PM
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You might be able to get a transformer to convert 230V to 120/240V.
 
  #5  
Old 08-07-11, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Justin Smith View Post
You might be able to get a transformer to convert 230V to 120/240V.
But the real problem is 50hz. A European system will have 220v and occasionally 440 but even with a step down transformer still 50hz which would be hard on motors and might cause the refrigerator to not cool correctly because of the slower compressor speed. A stove would require an isolation transformer with a center tapped secondary or maybe an auto transformer. It my work but if you have a timer that syncs to supply frequency it won't keep correct time.

Note: Most US home stoves will work on 208v or 240v and the elements are not frequency sensitive within 50-60 hertz parameters so the elements would work but probably the controls and lights need 120v.
 
  #6  
Old 08-07-11, 02:01 PM
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Transformers are common (or they were in Italy) but that doesn't help with the frequency problem.

Many other consumer electronics are adjustable or will self adjust...but I personally wouldn't take any major appliances with me. To many electrical issues and sizes are very different. Very few have large fridges in my experience...you shop more often.
 
  #7  
Old 08-07-11, 02:58 PM
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Thank you all for the info

First the moving cost just for the appliances will not be that much because I plan to get a 30’ container to fit all household items and there is space in there for the appliances. Second, appliances in Europe are much more expensive than in USA and so the exercise here is to make sure that I can or can’t use them over there.

I think the easier to use will be the fridge because since it works now from a 15A breaker, it will not be that expensive to get a transformer just for the fridge. However I will have to further investigate what the 50Hz will do to the compressor and from top of my head I don’t think that it will be a big deal.

To get a 40-60A transformer for the stove it will be impossible because the transformer alone will cost more than purchasing a new stove there plus it size / weight will be huge! However I was thinking that since the stove elements work with 220V and that voltage is available over there, I think the elements should work fine.

Now the stove also needs 110V for the controls. Since the wiring diagram is stuck at the back of the stove (which I don’t have the knowledge to read it properly) I believe that it may be possible for an electrician to separate all control wiring and feed them thru a small transformer. I don’t believe that this work will be too difficult for an electrician.

Just my thoughts which could all be wrong, LOL
 
  #8  
Old 08-07-11, 03:53 PM
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Isn't European 220v different from North American 220v? They have 220 between their hot and neutral. We have 220 between two hots with no neutral.

I personally don't think it is worth the effort. I don't know where in Europe you are moving to, but they tend to have smaller appliances. You might be able to get some of your electronics to work. PC's and the like usually have a switch on the power supply. Laptop transformers will tell you if they work on 220/50hz. You will just need a plug adapter. I doubt your TV will work. Even if it would work on 220/50hz, they operate on a different video standard.
 
  #9  
Old 08-07-11, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by drooplug View Post
Isn't European 220v different from North American 220v? They have 220 between their hot and neutral. We have 220 between two hots with no neutral.

I personally don't think it is worth the effort. I don't know where in Europe you are moving to, but they tend to have smaller appliances. You might be able to get some of your electronics to work. PC's and the like usually have a switch on the power supply. Laptop transformers will tell you if they work on 220/50hz. You will just need a plug adapter. I doubt your TV will work. Even if it would work on 220/50hz, they operate on a different video standard.
Thanks drooplug, Perhaps its different their 220V but I just started to investigate this subject and I guess there are a lot of things which I dont know. I plan to move to Greece.

I dont worry about small electronics and TV but kitchen appliances are very expensive in Europe and I have to exhaust all the options before I give up. Also if I was going to sell them here I wouldn't get very much anyway so its better to take them along.

I also contacted some friends over there who they will check with a local electrician and see what they say
 
  #10  
Old 08-07-11, 04:15 PM
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You really need someone who is familiar with both electrical systems to get a good answer. I've seen a frenchman post here who is. Hopefully he will be around to read your post. I forget his name.
 
  #11  
Old 08-07-11, 04:22 PM
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If you haven't already checked it out Mains electricity by country - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
  #12  
Old 08-07-11, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by drooplug View Post
Isn't European 220v different from North American 220v? They have 220 between their hot and neutral. We have 220 between two hots with no neutral.
Voltage is voltage no matter how it is derived. The biggest thing is and Ray pointed out is the 50 Hz cycle. Check on the nameplate of your appliances. If they say 50/60 Hz then your in business. If not they will not work properly or will fail.
 
  #13  
Old 08-07-11, 04:27 PM
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I've PM'd Marc to see if he can shed some light on this. I believe his answers will be definitive.
 
  #14  
Old 08-07-11, 05:49 PM
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The weekipedia article was useful.

Thanks chandlerfor the help

I will put another thread in the appliances section of the forum. I think I should have done that from the beginning
 
  #15  
Old 08-07-11, 06:26 PM
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Why, you'll get the same answers from the same people
 
  #16  
Old 08-07-11, 06:46 PM
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Or maybe the same answers from different people.

Bottom line, ANYTHING with an electric motor is best left behind. Any appliance with a combination of 240 and 120 volts is probably best left behind. Anything that is powered by 240 volts only and does NOT contain a motor is probably okay to move.
 
  #17  
Old 08-07-11, 06:56 PM
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Sorry guys, I thought that I will get some "real" service people in the appliances section
 
  #18  
Old 08-07-11, 07:05 PM
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Now you're just being insulting.

Go ahead and do whatever your little heart desires but don't complain that you didn't know the facts.
 
  #19  
Old 08-07-11, 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Furd View Post
Now you're just being insulting.

Go ahead and do whatever your little heart desires but don't complain that you didn't know the facts.
Furd never meant to offend anyone, sorry about that. That is why I have the "real" in parenthesis, it was like a joke
 
  #20  
Old 08-07-11, 09:16 PM
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First thing First.,

Chandler .,

Merci pour le PM et pas de problém { Thanks for the PM and not a problem at all }

Now let to the main topic here .,

The majorty of mainland European system is pretty much the same across the area the voltage is 240 volts line to netural and for Line to Line voltage it will be typically 400 or 415 volts on triphase supply

For the North Américiane applainces I am seriously tell ya just sell it in either stateside or Canada providice area and get a new appalices for European useage due the voltage and HZ connection are diffrent than North Américiane side I know it can run but they will peformace somehow poor on 50 HZ and majorty of European applanices are genrally smaller than North Américiane side we do not have very many large one like you have there.

Price of new applaices are not that superexpensive after you do the exchange to Euros rates and it will be pretty much right on the par with North Américane side on pricewise. { but just don't expect to find some of the parts you will need due some compaines may not honur the warranty if out of the NA side }

As far for Greece they have 50 HZ supply the voltage will be simauir what I have in France but they do have limited 127 volt supply { again very limited unless you have a transfomer to downstep it but I really not recomened anyway }

And with clocks on the appalices or timers they will not work very well on 50 HZ supply also { either they will read very slow or fail to function }

And the recpetales are diffrent as well they are not the same as you have them in North Américiane side we have Shucko IEC 7 format { a very common receptale we use on mainland European area the UK will have diffrent one }

As for the TV few will work on European standard but most case not.,, ditto with veido but only thing it will work perfect is the computer due it have international standard format just like you have on NA side.

Few computers can able switch over to 240 volts without much issue otherwise have to change power supply centre to work on 240 volts.

Ditto with your cellphone charger if you have them and they can work in European side but not really the best so use them for short term until you get European spec cell phone then it will work very good.

And just little off topic but a good head up try to not go very crazy with moving stuff they are not cheap to move all the items what you want to bring it over that including cars { there are some restriction you will have to check with Greece for the details and prepare for " price shocker " }

Oh the lightbulbs just don't think about it leave them back in NA side due most are set up for 240 volts and the socket thread are little diffrent we are on metric sized socket so it may get pretty tight fitting in there.

Hope that help you with the question ya ask in here and Of course I do go back and forth between USA and France but right now I am staying in France for over 2 years will go back to state for breif time than go back France.

Merci,
Marc
 
  #21  
Old 08-08-11, 06:16 AM
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Thank you Marc for taking the time to provide all the good info.

I guess the consensus is to sell the appliances and that's what I will do

And thanks to all
 
  #22  
Old 08-08-11, 07:57 PM
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Good info. Thanks Marc. Always helpful.
 
  #23  
Old 08-08-11, 09:24 PM
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The thought of moving appliances across town doesn't even thrill me, let alone across the ocean!

Plus what would you do when the appliance eventually breaks down? Fly in a service person?
 
  #24  
Old 08-08-11, 10:17 PM
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Nothing wrong with your opinion caddymac however a lot of people enjoy moving and I’m one of them. The thrill of mixing with new people and learn their culture is overwhelming and educational and I have done it many times in my past. Actually the American community in Greece is quite large.

If an appliance breaks down you fix it locally. Any electrician should be able to follow a schematic and troubleshoot the problem and if a new part is required you either fix it or just search on the web and you get it. In Europe they first try to fix a part before they replace it – used to be like that in the 70”s, don’t know how it is now.

Just my thoughts
 
  #25  
Old 08-08-11, 10:54 PM
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I only mentioned moving appliances, nothing about people/culture/etc. My opinion is that major appliances should be moved only a few times - from the factory to the store and from the store to a house. After that, fix it until it doesn't work anymore, and then get rid of it. Life is too short to be constantly moving giant chunks of household steel around.

As for fixing things locally, it's hard enough to get domestic service on domestic appliances; I'd hate to imagine what servicing a foreign appliance with unfamiliar language manuals would be like. Plus, I don't think I could tolerate waiting weeks to get parts while food in the fridge rots.

Just my $0.02.
 
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