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USA to uk convert

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by Trinityfox, Aug 28, 2016.

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  1. Trinityfox

    Trinityfox

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    Aug 28, 2016
    Hi, not sure if anyone can help.

    My partner purchased a kettle for our new house and we didn't realise until we moved in that it's a USA kettle, 1500 watts, 60hz and 120v. Is there any way to get this to work in the uk?

    Thanks in advance for any advice
     
  2. Externet

    Externet

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    Aug 24, 2009
    A transformer 240--->120 would be too expensive at >1500W, costlier than the kettle.

    A 1500W / 120V light bulb or heater/toaster/resistor in series with the kettle would be akward.

    Check at appliance parts places if the kettle heater element is replaceable with a proper 230V equal. There is no reason for that part to be prohibitively expensive, and no reason to be unavailable.
     
  3. Minder

    Minder

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    Apr 24, 2015
    You could either build or otherwise obtain a power triac (dimmer style) switch and run it ~50%.
    Another option that may work for you is obtain a single power diode (half wave) and place this in series with the kettle, you would have to construct it in a suitable enclosure or box, although a rough solution, a kettle element is a fairly tolerant device.
    M.
     
  4. Alec_t

    Alec_t

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    Jul 7, 2015
    If you go with the diode, it would need to be one rated for at least 15A @ at least 400PIV. It will dissipate ~9W so will get hot and need a fair-size heatsink. The enclosure would need to allow for this.
    Since current peaks (~13.4A) will exceed the 13A rating of a standard UK appliance plug, you may have problems with the 13A plug fuse popping.
    A replacement element, as suggested above, would be a safer option.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2016
  5. Minder

    Minder

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    I don't see the average 13a plug fuse being fast-blo type? Not from my experience.
    It would cheap and easy to rig up and try before going ahead with a enclosed version.
    M.
     
  6. Alec_t

    Alec_t

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    Jul 7, 2015
    Agreed. Average current would be around 6A, so a standard fuse should be ok.
     
  7. BobK

    BobK

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    Jan 5, 2010
    Tell my why my logic is wrong. Using a diode:

    You get the full voltage and current half the time. But both of these are double when you put 240V into a resistor as opposed to 120V. So you get 4 times the power half the time, or 2 times the average power at 240V with a diode compared to 120V without a diode.

    Bob
     
  8. Sunnysky

    Sunnysky

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    Jul 15, 2016
    You could boil water faster until the fuse or breaker blows.
     
  9. BobK

    BobK

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    Jan 5, 2010
    So you agree with me, that a diode would cause it to operate at twice the power it was designed for? Or are you talking about running it directly from 240V? The comment would apply to either.

    Bob
     
  10. Sunnysky

    Sunnysky

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    Jul 15, 2016
    I agree.

    The diode would conduct 2x expected peak current and 1x the RMS current but power only half the time and thus only 2x power average into the load causing temperature rise to almost double at the heater surface and stress the element from 3kW.

    If you have a 15A breaker, try it . It will possibly trip if you have 10 A breakers. Then toss it
     
  11. AnalogKid

    AnalogKid

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    Jun 10, 2015
    I'm with Bob. For a 120 V device running on 120, a diode cuts the power in half. but for a 120 V device running on 240, the device is running at 4 x the normal power (E*squared* over R) without a diode, and 2x with.

    The lowest cost solution I can think of is a TRIAC lamp dimmer in series with an outlet.

    ak
     
  12. Sunnysky

    Sunnysky

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    Jul 15, 2016
    3kW dimmers are not consumer grade and probable cost more than the kettle...
     
  13. HellasTechn

    HellasTechn

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    Apr 14, 2013
    I doubt the cost difference between the Triac and a new kettle would be significant.

    And what about if they accidentally turn the knob 100% ?
     
  14. Alec_t

    Alec_t

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    Bob's quite right. Scrub my calculations :oops:.
     
  15. bigone5500

    bigone5500

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    Apr 9, 2014
    I like to solve problems once in a while but there are those that come up once in a while that can be cumbersome to resolve. Wouldn't it be an easier solution to sell the 110v unit on ebay and use those funds to purchase a 220v one?

    A box with 220v and lots of heat dissipating sounds like an insurance claim waiting to happen...
     
  16. Chemelec

    Chemelec

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    Jul 12, 2016
    They do make a Converter device for travelers going to the UK and other countries, to do this conversion.
    I Have one that I use sometimes when travelling.
    Go to a Major Department Store and look in the Travel Section or Ask a Store Clerk..
     
  17. Tha fios agaibh

    Tha fios agaibh

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    Aug 11, 2014
    It doesn't sound feasible to me. For the expense and trouble of modifying it, you could buy a new kettle. Altering the plug or power cord alone is a bit scary considering you'll likely have water dripping off the thing.

    I enjoy the circuit discussion but imo;
    the peace of mind knowing my family's safe, far outweighs my penchant to fiddle around getting things to work.
     
  18. davenn

    davenn Moderator

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    Sep 5, 2009
    99% of those from those type s of stores will be very low wattage capable .. 100W or less
    Nott the 1500 W needed for this OP's item
     
  19. Gryd3

    Gryd3

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    Jun 25, 2014
    100% correct on that... I used to sell those converters, and I always made sure to ask what they planned to power... most often then not, a blow-dryer or hair curler was on the list of things to use and it was way too much for the tiny little transformer included in these converters.
    They are meant for low power devices. Hand-held games, some laptops.

    As mentioned previously, the cheapest and best solutions are most likely replacing the element with a 240V variant, or selling it and buying a 240V kettle. Other solutions are going to involve using bulky add-ons or intentionally wasting power with devices connected in series.
     
    davenn likes this.
  20. Chemelec

    Chemelec

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    Jul 12, 2016
    NO, These Converters are a Triac controlled Device and Rated for 1500 Watts.
    Similar to a Light Dimmer, but set to control from 240 to 110 Volts.
     
    Minder likes this.
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