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Thread: Step-down transformers - where to buy in NZ?

  1. #1
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    Default Step-down transformers - where to buy in NZ?

    We are weighing up the option of buying a 3,000W step-down converter in Wellington or the US. The only places we have found in Welly have quoted $1,200 for one. Any suggestions of where to look?

    The downside of buying in the US is that we have to pay for a 3rd suitcase as our crate has already shipped.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Step down? What is it you're trying to do?

  3. #3
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    I priced all sorts of options including getting one sent from the US or Australia but ultimately found a new one on trademe.

    There are a variety for sale for reasonable prices--and they are new-not used.

    Have been using the one we bought for a year now and it works very well!

    trader was loventools

  4. #4
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    Yes your best bet is TradeMe, i've seen some listed (2nd hand ones are OK) as I was looking for one for our central vacuum. Ended up buying one in Canada for $30.

    IMO, no step down transformer is worth $1000. Also the cost of an extra luggage should be around $100.

    3KVA is serious power and heavy to lug around. What kind of appliance do you hope to use?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by egnz View Post
    We are weighing up the option of buying a 3,000W step-down converter in Wellington or the US. The only places we have found in Welly have quoted $1,200 for one. Any suggestions of where to look?

    The downside of buying in the US is that we have to pay for a 3rd suitcase as our crate has already shipped.

    Thanks!
    Buy from the US! I brought a couple of these (5000W versions). I wish I had more. Probably around $100 US with shipping to your (US) house; I was recently charged $50 by AirNZ for an extra overweight suitcase.

    Here's a 3000W (without a regulator) on trademe: http://www.trademe.co.nz/Electronics...-349713167.htm

    PS: As has been discussed elsewhere, you can really only power 1000 to 1500W worth of stuff with a 3000 W transformer.

  6. #6
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    Just a small point - for certain house and contents insurances, the use of step down transformers and indeed adaptor sockets could invalidate any claim becuase they are not type aproved as being safe in NZ.

    Otherwise have you tried Jaycar in Wellington?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by 72andsunny View Post
    PS: As has been discussed elsewhere, you can really only power 1000 to 1500W worth of stuff with a 3000 W transformer.
    I know nothing about transformers and all that jazz so bear with me. I was under the impression I needed a transformer for each item I wanted to plug in, but you're saying that if I get a transformer with a high enough wattage I can plug in multiple items? (Example: Plasma TV, PS3, Xbox 360, Speakers, etc.) Also how would this be set up? Would I plug the transformer into the NZ wall socket and then plug a North American power bar in the transformer?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Canadian Cat View Post
    I know nothing about transformers and all that jazz so bear with me. I was under the impression I needed a transformer for each item I wanted to plug in, but you're saying that if I get a transformer with a high enough wattage I can plug in multiple items? (Example: Plasma TV, PS3, Xbox 360, Speakers, etc.) Also how would this be set up? Would I plug the transformer into the NZ wall socket and then plug a North American power bar in the transformer?
    Please remember that the current rating of a standard Kiwi house is lower than Europe (and I suspect the US) hence if you draw a lot of load from one socket the wiring/fuse is at serious risk of overheating. Like I said not only a fire risk but also it would wipe out any insurance cover.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wooly_Cow View Post
    Just a small point - for certain house and contents insurances, the use of step down transformers and indeed adaptor sockets could invalidate any claim becuase they are not type aproved as being safe in NZ.
    ...
    Have you actually checked this with your insurance company or going on hearsay?

    I have actually checked this with my current insurance company and they said that this is NOT true and you would be covered. As pretty much all electronic devices today already contain transformers IMHO it wouldn't make sense to not allow them.

    I would of course urge anyone to check with their own insurance company.

    Ian

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by IanW99 View Post
    Have you actually checked this with your insurance company or going on hearsay?

    I have actually checked this with my current insurance company and they said that this is NOT true and you would be covered. As pretty much all electronic devices today already contain transformers IMHO it wouldn't make sense to not allow them.

    I would of course urge anyone to check with their own insurance company.

    Ian
    Checked it with my last and current insurer. Basically if you use anything that is not type approved in the NZ market, or overload the maximum current load on any connection / plug you are deemed 'at fault'.

    If you buy an approved step down transformer here and you don't load it beyond it's rating....then fine otherwise.......

    The quoted post suggested buying a transformer from the US and then loading a lot of devices onto it....under my understanding of what I was told by my insurance companies, this is a fire risk and would invalidate your cover.

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