Labeling on Euro 220v plug?

Old 06-10-02, 03:59 PM
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Question Labeling on Euro 220v plug?

I am replacing the funky plug on an older 220v Bernina sewing machine (that my mother brought over with her from New Zealand before I was born!) so it can plug into a new outlet I split from the dryer circuit, and I ran into a problem. I took apart the original plug and the three wires are all black; the screw/clamp things they are connected to on the back of the plug prongs are labelled "P", "E", and "N". I assume that "P" means polarized and should go to the ground screw on the new plug, and logic tells me that "N" would be neutral, which would leave the mystery "E" as the hot wire- but as this is 220 volts I want to make sure I am guessing correctly so I don't plug the bugger in and give myself an interesting new hairstyle! Can anyone out there confirm or correct my wire labelling interpretation?
Old 06-10-02, 05:06 PM
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I would guess E is Earth - ground. P and N? maybe Positive and Negative? Not that AC has that, but they might label it that way. Someone knows, but I would not hook up based on what either of us has come up with. Wouldn't want to smoke a Bernina! Maybe Power and Neutral?
Old 06-10-02, 05:19 PM
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If the wires are colored, then they are:
Brown (if real old Red) - Hot
Blue (Black) - Neutral
Green and Yellow (Green) - Earth

Course that neutral is the other side of our 220. Earth is ground, don't know how the fact that our ground is at the 110 point (relative to their neutral) is going to play into this.

Good Luck!

OOPS, now I read they were all black, so that was useless!
Old 06-10-02, 07:28 PM
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This thread just oozes code violations. Be careful!
Old 06-10-02, 10:28 PM
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The scary part is that not many years ago all appliances in the UK were sold without plugs, since there were so many different outlets in use. So, you went to the store and bought the one you needed and hooked it on. It is still advertised on many things 'fitted plug'!

For this problem, I'd be tempted to get a transformer. Thats what we did, the other way round, while living in Europe!
Old 06-10-02, 11:23 PM
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I tried getting a "reverse" transformer, and managed to find one at Radio Shack that supposedly transforms 110 current to 220- but there's no plug adapter to fit the weird plug on the sewing machine! Anyway, after reading all the replies I've received, I've decided that maybe this isn't the best thing for me to try and do myself. I hadn't even thought of the "P" positive, "N" negative interpretation possibility! And I told my Mom she was goofy when she said maybe the "E" stood for earth! I've done several projects involving regular household current (adding new outlets, etc.) but I guess I'm not ready to start messing with 220 yet. I'll try contacting Bernina tomorrow and see if they have any suggestions or information. Thanks to everyone for the ideas, input, and concern- I'll let you know if I find a solution!
Old 06-11-02, 04:18 AM
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Good luck, vkt714. Hopefully Bernina can help you out.

Do you know if this machine requires 220v and 110v (for the light, for instance)? 220V uses 2 hot wires, no neutral. If the maschine uses 110v also, the 3rd would be a neutral and the other two wires would be hot. If it's 220v only, the 3rd wire would probably be a ground. Check this with Bernina.

The machine may also be running at 50Hz. North America uses 60Hz. The motor may run hotter than usual, but this device doesn't run continually or for long periods, so it shouldn't be a problem.

Now, on to John Nelson's point about code violations.
You said you intend to use
a new outlet I split from the dryer circuit
This is a no-no. A dryer should have its own dedicated circuit. Can you run a new outlet to the panel for the sewing machine instead?
Old 06-11-02, 11:04 AM
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I don't know the type of plug you have, but the european styles have 3 prongs. The middle one is ground (it should have a green/yellow striped wire. The remaining two are hot lines. There is no 110V line.
Old 06-11-02, 11:49 AM
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Oh boy, I have no idea if it needs 110 for the light or whatever. Someone from Bernina is supposed to be calling me back later today so I'll add that to my list of things to ask them about. As for the outlet, I'm too chicken to even contemplate touching the panel, can't I split off the dryer circuit at the outlet box if I promise never-never-never-cross-my-heart to use the dryer and the sewing machine at the same time? When I was buying the cable, outlet, and plug at Lowes, the guy in electrical who was helping me said it would be the same as splitting off any other outlet- which I've done before several times (don't worry, I only split off of circuits that were way underloaded!). Oh well, the whole question becomes irrelevant if I can't find a way to get the *#!*!@* plug to fit into the receptacle! Speaking of the plug, all of the wires connected to it are black and look exactly the same. It is round, and all 3 of the prongs are flat and set in an equidistant circular pattern- there is no "middle" one! Thanks again everyone!
Old 06-11-02, 12:54 PM
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Being from '220' land it certainly won't need 110. But I think the best way to get 220 for it still might be from a transformer, then find a plug to fit that. You don't want a little travel voltage converter, though, you want a real transformer. IT will have some heft to it. What does the machine say it needs? Look on the back or bottem, probably near where the cord goes in.
So your plug is round, three blades. There must be keying to the plug or the blades to make one different, to ensure that it was plugged in right. How big is the plug, and the blades? I am trying to figure out what you might need to get it hooked up.

Does it look like this?
Old 06-11-02, 07:22 PM
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There should be a name plate on the sewing machine that will tell you what the voltage and hertz rating is on that machine. That name plate will tell you if it is 200 volt rated or 110 volt rated and what the herz [frequency] rating is for that machine.

I would not be that concerned about the 50 or 60 hertz frequency rating. I would confirm from the sewing machine's name plate what the voltage rating is.

If it says 200 volts then 220 volts may work but it would be better to buy a step down transformer that is rated in amps equal to the amp load rating of that sewing machine.

To discover what wire is the equipment grounding conductor you should be able to use a continuity tester. Test from the metal of the sewing machine case to each prong of that sewing machine. The pong on the plug that shows continuity or an electrical path from the metal case of the machine to that prong on that plug will be the wire that you must connect to the green or bare wire of your receptacle and plug. IF the sewing machine is 200 volt rated then it should not matter which of the two remaining wires connect to which of the remaining two prongs of the plug.

Just make sure what voltage your sewing machine is rated at by looking on the name plate of that sewing machine.

LEt us know what you find.

Old 06-12-02, 03:23 PM
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Aha! That's exactly what it looks like, jlbos83! I guess it's one of those mutant "down-under" plugs! Now how do I get it to work here in the good ol' U S of A? The information on the bottom of the machine says: 240v, 80w, 0.35amp, and a symbol of ~ over a straight line over 3 dashes. Does this help anyone in helping me? Still waiting for a call back from Bernina- maybe they're just as confused as I am. Thanks for all the interest and suggestions!
Old 06-12-02, 03:49 PM
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I think the best way would be to get a step up transformer (100W is probably sufficient, but I think I'd get 200W, should last longer), and a plug adaptor to plug the NZ plug into the recepticle (either US or Euro) on the transformer. Best part is then you can take it anywhere and use it, rather than only at your house. No wiring to do, should be safer than messing with the dryer circuit. Radio Shack mightg be able to fix you up, make sure you get a real transformer, not a travel adaptor thing. Or try this place. . Or search for someone else. I have never used them, they came up in a search for 'foreign voltage transformers'.

Good luck!

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