Page 2 of 5 FirstFirst 1234 ... LastLast
Results 11 to 20 of 42

Thread: US electrical adapters??? its still a fog

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Wa. US
    Posts
    197

    Default

    We would be most disappointed if we do not bring our vacumn cleaner. we are rather fond of it.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    4,455

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by WANZLittles View Post
    We would be most disappointed if we do not bring our vacumn cleaner. we are rather fond of it.
    What type/make of vacuum cleaner do you have?

    If you are coming from the US then I would say it is best to leave it behind.

    Ian

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    NB Canada to Dargaville, NZ
    Posts
    241

    Default

    We brought just about everything except for the kitchen appliances (fridge..stove, microwave), we didn't have a Vacuum cleaner to bring (was a central vac in the house we sold).

    Just a list of things we brought below that work fine with a Simran Automatic Voltage Regulator - Model AR-2000 (2000W) 220 to 110Volt. These Voltage Regulators cost about $149 Canadian ...but in the US they are like $79 US (If I remember correctly).

    50" Plasma TV (might require a Pal to NTSC converter, I got ours working with SkyTV going through the computer/program software to the TV)
    Yamaha Sound Bar
    Sub Woofer
    Kitchen Mixer (900w)
    Slow Cooker
    Blender
    Other Kitchen items I can't remember (wife is happy to have her stuff here)
    Treadmill (only the incline doesn't work 100%, still usable)
    Electric Drill
    Skill Saw
    Mitre Saw
    Sander
    Drill Press
    Grinder
    2.4Ghz Cordless Phones/Charging Unit
    Roomba

    We didn't even need a transformer for light fixtures/lamps. Just use a plug adapter and a 220V light bulb. I bought 5 of the Simran transformers (4 in use 24/7, one spare) and about 20-30 plug adapters.

    Please don't forget US and Canada are identical when it comes to electrical items (to the best of my knowledge of living 42 yrs in Canada).

    Hope this helps someone...
    Last edited by Addicted to NZ; 8th October 2011 at 08:56 AM.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Christchurch
    Posts
    384

    Default

    Do check your insurance policy. It has been mentioned on this pages in the past that some policies will be invalidated if you use 110V appliances with transformers.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    4,455

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bozeman View Post
    Do check your insurance policy. It has been mentioned on this pages in the past that some policies will be invalidated if you use 110V appliances with transformers.
    It has been mentioned on the forum in the past but there is absolutely no reason why it should actually be the case, almost every device uses one or more transformers already even if designed for NZ.

    It would of course be prudent to check.

    I can confirm that it is NOT the case for AMI Insurance.

    Ian

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    NZ to US to NZ. Opua
    Posts
    1,470

    Default

    We didn't even need a transformer for light fixtures/lamps. Just use a plug adapter and a 220V light bulb. I bought 5 of the Simran transformers (4 in use 24/7, one spare) and about 20-30 plug adapters.


    Thanks for this info - and the rest of your post!

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Wa. US
    Posts
    197

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Addicted to NZ View Post
    We brought just about everything except for the kitchen appliances (fridge..stove, microwave), we didn't have a Vacuum cleaner to bring (was a central vac in the house we sold).

    Just a list of things we brought below that work fine with a Simran Automatic Voltage Regulator - Model AR-2000 (2000W) 220 to 110Volt. These Voltage Regulators cost about $149 Canadian ...but in the US they are like $79 US (If I remember correctly).

    50" Plasma TV (might require a Pal to NTSC converter, I got ours working with SkyTV going through the computer/program software to the TV)
    Yamaha Sound Bar
    Sub Woofer
    Kitchen Mixer (900w)
    Slow Cooker
    Blender
    Other Kitchen items I can't remember (wife is happy to have her stuff here)
    Treadmill (only the incline doesn't work 100%, still usable)
    Electric Drill
    Skill Saw
    Mitre Saw
    Sander
    Drill Press
    Grinder
    2.4Ghz Cordless Phones/Charging Unit
    Roomba

    We didn't even need a transformer for light fixtures/lamps. Just use a plug adapter and a 220V light bulb. I bought 5 of the Simran transformers (4 in use 24/7, one spare) and about 20-30 plug adapters.

    Please don't forget US and Canada are identical when it comes to electrical items (to the best of my knowledge of living 42 yrs in Canada).

    Hope this helps someone...
    this is a great post thankyou so much very straight forward, exactly what I was looking for. The information on the tools is most appreciated, as I am curently a construction General contractor and have quite an extensively tool collection.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Chch, NZ
    Posts
    2,216

    Default

    We didn't even need a transformer for light fixtures/lamps. Just use a plug adapter and a 220V light bulb.
    You might want to check the voltage rating of the actual light fixture. While in N. America the flex cable is thicker than the 240v variants overseas, it does not mean the insulation used is safe at much higher voltages. Pay close attention to the switch contacts on the light fixtures.

    I've mentioned in the past postings that i'm not a huge fan of using lots of step down power transformers. Of the few electronics I have that require 120VAC, I find a small transformer to lug around is an inconvenience. Not to mention the loss of power efficiency (all transformers generate heat loss).

    I myself last year imported a central vacuum unit for our new house. Despite being a 240vac twin motor unit, the motor in the floor head that rotates the brush bar is 120vac. So this required a decent size step down transformer (ALL attempts to source an oem 240v motor for the floor head does not exist - which explains why the system can not be bought in NZ)

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    NH/Chch
    Posts
    32

    Default

    Having just gone thru this process myself, let me see if I can summarize it all, including the thread that was linked to earlier:

    As people have mentioned, electronics is not a big deal and, as you mentioned, the product will automatically accept and use 240V or for something like a stereo system, there's a switch on the back to then accept 240V instead of 110v.

    For items that don't accept 240v, the fix is easy. While still in the US, buy step down transformers (This steps the power down from 240v coming into the transformer to 110 coming out and onto the appliance). They are way expensive over here. The best place to pick them up is on eBay. And, most of the sellers offer free shipping. I bought a bunch of them from Ghandi Electronics.

    Items with motors are a different story. Electronics handle the conversion from 110 to 240v easily. Not so for items with motors. Many appliances, tools, etc. purchased in the US (and Canada) are built to run at 60 Hertz (Hz). Most of the rest of the world, including NZ, runs at 50Hz. What this means is that the tool, appliance runs as 5/6 the normal speed and heats up really quickly. Transformers only step down voltage, not hertz. Units are made to convert from 60 to 50Hz but they are super big and expensive. Nothing no ordinary homeowner would or could afford to purchase.

    Fortunately, there are many items that are wired for 50/60Hz. That's great. Then, you may only need a transformer to go from 240v down to 110v.

    So, pull out everything that you'd like to bring down and look at the nameplate to see if it can handle 240v AND 50Hz. Don't be concerned if the nameplate says 220v, 230v or 240v. If it has any of the three, it'll work here (Similarly, don't be concerned if the nameplate says 110v, 115v or 120v-Other than you'll need a transformer).

    What worked for me, was to just come up with a list (This should tell you right away that I'm OCD....) of everything that I wanted to bring down. Then see what items can share transformers. You won't need an individual transformer for every item since some items you'll onlyu be using occasionally.

    The step down transformers you'll buy are classic made in China stuff. Pretty low end. But, the good news is that a transformer is really just a big hunk of iron. Nothing can go wrong with it, nor is there a concern of catching the house on fire. But, if you have a friend who is is somewhat electrically inclined, ask them to check them for you while you are still in the US so that you can return any that are defective. They either work or they don't. Also they are pretty big, heavy and ugly. Nothing you'd want out on the countertop.

    If you are bringing a stereo system down, it's best to buy a torrodial (sp?) step down transformer. This type is slightly more expensive but is less noisy electrically and won't add a hum to the sound that a non-torrocial transformer can. I couldn't find a good one in the US and contacted a person down here who made one for me pretty cheaply. PM me and I can pass that info along.

    Getting back to items that use motors and are only wired for 50Hz. Here's some thoughts: If you read the threads and posts elsewhere on the 'net, there's many woeful stories of vacuum cleaners dying shortly after arriving. From my readings, if you have something like tools that wouldn't run for a long time, it may be alright. Vacuum cleaners, for the most part, are not well made products and are on for 30-45 minutes. So, it's understandable that a low quality, 60Hz motor is going to get hot and burn out in short order.

    Like you, I have tons of power tools. Sadly, most are listed as 50Hz only (Ones with batteries aren't a problem since the charger is typically rated for 50/60Hz so, a step down transformer is all that is needed). I sold many and opted for less powerful battery operated ones. But then, I'm a homeowner and not a contractor. Tools like sanders, hand planers, routers, etc., that tend to be on for long periods of time, I just sold them and bought all new ones down here. A quality circular saw should do just fine since it's not on for a long period of time. The stuff that is iffy is a table saw, mitre saw and drill press. The table saw because it may not be on for long periods of time, but it typically works under a load and this may eat the motor up. What I'm doing is bringing all three of these bigger and expensive tools down and keeping my fingers crossed that they hold up (I'm down in NZ full time now, but haven't shipped my stuff down yet).

    Let me save you some legwork when it comes to power tools: The manufacturer's typical response is that you can't buy a 240v, 50Hz tool in the US nor convert one, nor run it on a transformer in a country outside of N. America. You can buy 240v parts in the US for most tools (ereplacementparts.com) but it's way expensive. As you've read in other threads, everything costs more in NZ than US but power tools are over the top. The first time you go into Placemaker's (the equivalent of Lowe's). bring a box of tissues with you because it's painful to see the prices.

    Knowing this, I'm bringing some 50Hz stuff down and just hoping it does last for awhile. You'll be able to swap the drill press motor out for a 240v, 50Hz one but not so for a mitre saw or table saw that has a manufacturer-specific motor design. Again, you can buy these motors down here but they are almost as expensive as a new saw.

    When spec'ing out step down transformers for things with motors, first, convert amps to watts (Watts*Volts=Amps -- check to make sure I have that right(!) Use 110 for volts), then double the required wattage. This is because the motor draws more power when it first starts up. So, you need a transformer to handle this surge.


    If you are going to use your power tools on a jobsite, forget everything I just said. 110v tools require inspections (something like every three months) so, it gets to be a pain having to deal with this. Even chargers for batteries. The NZ equivalent of OSHA doesn't like them because, understandably, a transformer adds complexity and something else to be on the watch out for.

    Just so you can have a laugh at my expense, as I mentioned, I have OCD. That and being a Yankee, I just couldn't bring myself to spend $500-600 down here on a Walmart-quality vacuum. So, with my typical over-the-top amount of research, I bought one in Germany. Even with the cost of shipping to the US, it was way cheaper than the same model down here!

    Bozeman brings up a point I haven't considered. But, it's less of a problem for us because WE CAN'T GET INSURANCE!!! (We're in Chch.-- I know: I need to talk to some insurance brokers...)

    Cheers,
    -bob

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    28

    Default

    If I have North America items that will work on NZ power but just need the wall plug converter, is it possible to just get one North American power bar and one plug converter for it instead of one for each item?

    Example:

    [PC]-------------->[Power Bar Plug]
    [PS3]------------->[Power Bar Plug]
    [Monitor]--------->[Power Bar Plug]------>[Plug Converter]>[NZ Wall Socket]
    [Hard Drive]------>[Power Bar Plug]
    [Speakers]------->[Power Bar Plug]

Page 2 of 5 FirstFirst 1234 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •