Transformer for electric blanket


Old 12-01-15, 06:16 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2015
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Transformer for electric blanket

Hello there. I have a really great 110v electric blanket that I want to bring to a 220V country. I was going to buy a transformer for that purpose, but then I noticed that the manufacturer says the blanket should not be used with a generator/converter/inverter. I'm wondering why that would be. What might happen? I am prepared to give it a try if it would not be dangerous or obviously fry the blanket. (Manufacturers always try to cover all of the warranty bases, of course).

Thanks for any advice!
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Old 12-01-15, 07:04 PM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
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An ordinary transformer that takes the supply voltage you have and delivers the proper voltage for the blanket will work fine.

In fact, the power from the generating station overland and to the city substation and through the streets to your home goes through several transformers along the way.

Devices known as converters or inverters and also small inexpensive generators might not deliver a pure sine wave output and the irregularites constitute power of different higher frequencies that may cause improper operations of some kinds of blanket temperature controls and also possibley lead to overheating.
Old 12-01-15, 07:16 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

If the manufacturer says that the blanket should not be used with a converter then that's that.
We couldn't advise you to try something in direct conflict with the manufacturer.

Some converters are based on a constant current draw to maintain a certain voltage. The blanket may not do that. The company feels the blanket could be dangerous if the converted voltage went too high.
Old 12-01-15, 08:12 PM
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Bottom line without knowing the manufacturers reason you shouldn't do it. It is the things you don't know you don't know that can kill you. It would be irresponsible for any to try to second guess the manufacturer.
Old 12-01-15, 10:15 PM
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The circuitry inside your electric blanket needs a pure, near perfect sine wave to operate. It physically will not work if it doesn't like the power you're feeding it. A transformer will do the job fine, however a voltage converter will not. It will also work on a pure sine wave inverter, inverter generator (such as those made by Honda or Yamaha), or higher end generator.
Old 12-04-15, 09:20 AM
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Hello and thank you all so very much for your replies. The notification went into my spam folder, so apologies for not seeing this before.

I'm somewhat confused at this point. What exactly is the difference between transformer and a converter? Googling doesn't help, and several online vendors seem to use the term interchangeably.

The one I have already is like this:

Thanks again!
Old 12-04-15, 09:29 AM
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With being very specific with the technical components it's hard to say. A purely analog transformer should work fine. Any type of digital or switching power supply may make the blanket temperature controller malfunction.

Some electronics are designed to rely on the exact waveform of the incoming AC power. Some types of converters use tricks to modify the waveform, which usually is not a problem, but can be incompatible with some devices.
Old 12-04-15, 10:54 AM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Wet side of Washington state.
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Electric blanket controls must have come a long, long way since I last had one. It was shortly after my separation when my electric blanket died, some thirty-plus years ago. That controller was nothing more than a bi-metal thermostat and the blanket itself had a few internal bi-metal thermostats as well. About the only thing critical was the voltage and even that probably allowed for a 10% over voltage and under voltage would merely reduce the overall heat output.
Old 12-12-15, 09:27 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2015
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Hello there, many thanks to you for the further replies.

I decided to try the blanket with a transformer that I had here (with a fire extinguisher close at hand!). All worked fine (110 to 110). I then tried a transformer in my transformer (110 to 220 to 110) and all was fine also. I'm going to give it a go, while keeping a close eye for any flames coming from the blanket!

Thanks again for taking the time to advise me on this.

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