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US power voltage and wattage - adapter or transformer?

Hobart, Australia
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29 posts
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US power voltage and wattage - adapter or transformer?

Hi,

I've purchased a kitchen electrical appliance from the US, I doubt it has a switch to choose between 100 or 240 volts (as many hair dryers, for example, do). I think the wattage may be 2800 watts.

Can anyone tell me if I need a simple US to Aust power adapter, or some sort of transformer?

I'm finding it hard to get precise information from the I Internet or the manufacturer,

Apologies, this isn't exactly a travel issue, the forums here sounded very knowledgable! Hopefully someone who's moved here from the US might know?

Thanks.

Will post in the US forum as well.

Calgary, Canada
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21. Re: US power voltage and wattage - adapter or transformer?

Jennifer, I may not be much help to you, but something doesn't quite ring true. I think the household power systems are the same in both the USA and Canada, so I am basing the following on what we have here in Canada:

The standard houshold voltage is 120 volt, and the standard circuit breaker for most household circuits is 15 amp. That means that the highest wattage any circuit here would handle is 1800 watts. Now, there are usually two special circuits that 240 volts, but one of them is for a kitchen stove, with the plug located behind the stove, where it is not accessible to use for other kitchen appliances anyway. The other one is for a clothes dryer, located in the basement or laundry room, similarly not available to use for normal kitchen appliances.

I couldn't find a lot of information on the wattage of George Foreman grills, but most of the ones I could find any details for are abour 1000 watts or less. Those would draw about 8 amps when plugged in to a 120 volt supply. If they were plugged in to a 240 volt supply, they would draw a current of about 16 amps. (Note that watts = volts x amps.)

So, with all that preamble, here is your problem:

If you plug in your grill to your household circuit, without a transformer (AKA voltage converter), you will either trip your circuit breaker, or damage your grill, or both, also with the risk of an electrical fire. What you will need is a step-down transformer to convert your 240 volt power source to a 120 volt supply, and it will need to be rated for whatever wattage your grill actually is. I don't believe it can really be 2800 watts, as nobody in Canada or the USA would be able to use one of those without some special hook-up.

So, I have two suggestions:

1. If you can, cancel your order, and buy one in OZ that you can use.

2. If you can't cancel, or really want this one, wait until you get it and check what the wattage really is and get a transformer that is rated high enough to run it. You may want to consult with an electrician, especially if the wattage is really more than about 1000 watts.

Hobart, Australia
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29 posts
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22. Re: US power voltage and wattage - adapter or transformer?

Thank you for your very detailed reply, I now understand exactly what I need. The product has, unfortunately, already shipped. Now I just have to wait around 2 weeks for it to arrive, so I can find out exactly what the wattage is. I'm virtually convinced by everyone here that it can't really be 2800 watts.

Voltage converters are readily available on eBay here (considering I'd never heard of them 48 hours ago, I'm learning an awful lot about them now!) - whether using one is a realistic option depends on the physical size & the price - which, of course, are dependent on the wattage! So just a waiting game now.

Moree, Australia
2 posts
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23. Re: US power voltage and wattage - adapter or transformer?

Hi i have just been given a power tool with usa plug do i just need an adapter to make it work here in australia i think its single voltage 120v-60hz 1a with variable speed 8000-30000rpm please help

Moree, Australia
2 posts
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24. Re: US power voltage and wattage - adapter or transformer?

Hi i have just been given a power tool with usa plug do i just need an adapter to make it work here in australia i think its single voltage 120v-60hz 1a with variable speed 8000-30000rpm please help

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Train Travel
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25. Re: US power voltage and wattage - adapter or transformer?

Do not try to use a US power tool in Australia. It will catch fire.

Sydney, Australia
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26. Re: US power voltage and wattage - adapter or transformer?

Keep in mind that power tools not wired for Australia are not allowed to be used in industrial situations. Unless the transformer arrangement has been certified by an electrician (and I don't know why an electrician would allow such a thing when the tool is likely available from an Australian distributor), you would be in violation of OH&S, would not be covered by workers' comp, may have trouble with home insurance if you burn your house down, etc. Not a good look.

Sydney, Australia
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27. Re: US power voltage and wattage - adapter or transformer?

A specialist transformer to supply 110 volts at 1 amp would probably cost more than a new drill from Bunnings.

Greater Sydney...
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28. Re: US power voltage and wattage - adapter or transformer?

"would not be covered by workers' comp"

Ah, the errornet strikes again. In NSW, and I believe every other State/Territory, Workers Compensation legislation is no fault legislation, with exclusions for serious and willful misconduct.

29. Re: US power voltage and wattage - adapter or transformer?

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