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Converting a dryer outlet for us appliance use

Converting a dryer outlet for us appliance use

Old Dec 14th 2018, 5:13 pm
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Default Converting a dryer outlet for us appliance use

Hi everyone,

First post - limited electrical knowledge so excuse me for any ignorance.

I am actually living In Ecuador, but as my question is electrically-related, and Ecuador has the same power specs as USA, I thought I may get more responses posting in the USA forum.

Given the prices of many many electrical appliances here, my wife and I brought over our coffee machine from the UK. Whilst we still haven’t moved into our own house (staying in her mums house), we discovered a 3 prong 250V 50A dryer outlet in the kitchen.

My question is, is it possible to change the plug on the coffee machine to work with the 3 prong dryer outlet? It would be great if so! Being from the UK I have no prior knowledge of dryer outlets, but having done some reading I understand they have two hot and one neutral(also ground) wires. The coffee machine manual says it MUST be grounded (running at 1250W I guess this makes sense).

Any help/advice much appreciated. If an electrician is recommended that’s fine - I have no intention of doing something way out of my depth! But a simple rewiring of a plug is within my capabilities!
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Old Dec 14th 2018, 6:13 pm
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Default Re: Converting a dryer outlet for us appliance use

I have a 220v Rancillio espresso machine and seperate grinder. I run it off a 3k transformer. Have been doing this for 14 years. The transformer plugs into a 110v plugs socket and will up the voltage.

re changing plugs. That's not going to work. Here in the usa they run two 110v lines to make 220v. This is not how they do itin the UK. You WILL blow up your coffee machine if you do that.

a 3k or 2.5k stepup/down transformer will run you about $150.

I bought mine here

Last edited by shorrock; Dec 14th 2018 at 6:16 pm.
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Old Dec 14th 2018, 6:20 pm
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Default Re: Converting a dryer outlet for us appliance use

Depends on the appliance but it will, most likely, work. However, just putting a drier plug on your coffee machine will be dangerous. The UK plug contains a fuse (probably 13A) designed to blow if something goes wrong. Without that fuse, it will be protected by the 50A breaker. If a fault occurs in the coffee maker, it will probably burst into flames before tripping the 50A breaker.

I bought a few UK items to the US. I used a UK fused extension lead similar to
this this
and replaced the plug with a drier plug. That way, my appliances were properly protected.

It should be noted that this is not (in US terms) 'to code' and if it does cause a fire, your insurance will probably deny any claim.

Another point to note is US power is 60Hz where UK is 50Hz. In a coffee maker, probably not important but if it contains as clock which references this, the clock will run fast.
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Old Dec 14th 2018, 6:30 pm
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Default Re: Converting a dryer outlet for us appliance use

Originally Posted by shorrock View Post
I have a 220v Rancillio espresso machine and seperate grinder. I run it off a 3k transformer. Have been doing this for 14 years. The transformer plugs into a 110v plugs socket and will up the voltage.

re changing plugs. That's not going to work. Here in the usa they run two 110v lines to make 220v. This is not how they do itin the UK. You WILL blow up your coffee machine if you do that.

a 3k or 2.5k stepup/down transformer will run you about $150.

I bought mine here
Not necessarily. All the appliance cares about is that there is 220V between live and neutral. The only thing that would cause a problem is if the neutral is internally tied to ground (which it absolutely should not).

I have run a power drill, kettle, fan heater, a switched-mode power supply and a Dyson vacuum cleaner using my method. Anything with an electric motor may have problems due to the frequency difference but I've not had that happen.

ETA: I also brought a laser printer, CD player and amplifier over. For those, I used a transformer as you suggested. VOD-1000(2-Way) Step Up Down 110<>220 Voltage Converter Transformer,1000 Watt

Last edited by chawkins99; Dec 14th 2018 at 6:35 pm. Reason: Remembered more
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Old Dec 14th 2018, 6:45 pm
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Default Re: Converting a dryer outlet for us appliance use

A 3 prong usa dryer outlet has 2 (two) 110v hot (positive) wires and 1 (one neutral). Unlike the UK which has 1 (one) 220v positive, 1 (one) neutral and 1 (one) ground.

Explain to me and the OP how you can wire up the 110v lines to make 220v? Twisting them together willnot work.

Sure plugging a 220v appliance in a 110v standard usa socket may work. Even if it doesnt support 110v.

I've also plugged a 220v hair dryer, drill and kettle into a 110v standard plug socket. They work but dont heat as much or turn as much. You may find appliances may also support dual voltage.

But the OP is asking about plugging into a 3 prong dryer outlet. Not a standard 3 prong plug running 110v.

OP, given you are getting conflicting advice here. Suggest you call an electrician and hear it from them. You dont want to injure anybody.
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Old Dec 14th 2018, 7:01 pm
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Default Re: Converting a dryer outlet for us appliance use

Originally Posted by shorrock View Post
A 3 prong usa dryer outlet has 2 (two) 110v hot (positive) wires and 1 (one neutral). Unlike the UK which has 1 (one) 220v positive, 1 (one) neutral and 1 (one) ground.

Explain to me and the OP how you can wire up the 110v lines to make 220v? Twisting them together willnot work.

Sure plugging a 220v appliance in a 110v standard usa socket may work. Even if it doesnt support 110v.

I've also plugged a 220v hair dryer, drill and kettle into a 110v standard plug socket. They work but dont heat as much or turn as much. You may find appliances may also support dual voltage.

But the OP is asking about plugging into a 3 prong dryer outlet. Not a standard 3 prong plug running 110v.

OP, given you are getting conflicting advice here. Suggest you call an electrician and hear it from them. You dont want to injure anybody.
Nope. You are wrong.

A 3-prong US drier plug has 2 hot wires and a ground. The 2 hot wires are 110V each on opposite phases. You therefore get 220V across the 2 110V wires. The third wire is ground. in a 3-wire outlet, there is no neutral.

In a 4-wire plug (which most new installation are), there are 2 hot wires plus the ground as in a 3-prong but there is also a separate neutral wire.

Measuring between the neutral and either hot wire will read 110V.

The advice to call an electrician is sound. They will probably advise against it.
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Old Dec 14th 2018, 7:45 pm
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Default Re: Converting a dryer outlet for us appliance use

To add to the confusion, US wiring is red (hot), black (hot) and green (ground). In UK house wiring, Red is 240V, black is neutral and green (or bare copper) is earth (ground). In UK appliances, live is brown, neutral is blue and earth is green/yellow.

To clarify, to wire up the US 3-prong outlet to a UK appliance, wire the hot1 (red) wire to Live (brown), the hot2 (black) wire to neutral (blue) and the ground to earth. If the drier outlet is 4-wire, do not use the 4th (neutral) connection.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Split-...electric_power
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Old Dec 14th 2018, 8:05 pm
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Default Re: Converting a dryer outlet for us appliance use

Originally Posted by stevewrightfilmmusic View Post
My question is, is it possible to change the plug on the coffee machine to work with the 3 prong dryer outlet?
STOP!
If you want to create an unsafe and dangerous situation it is completely possible. However, UK 240 is not the same as US 220. You'll have an unprotected 110v leg on the appliance.

On a UK appliance one leg is neutral, on a 220v US outlet both legs are at 110V.
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Old Dec 15th 2018, 3:12 pm
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Default Re: Converting a dryer outlet for us appliance use

Originally Posted by chawkins99 View Post
To add to the confusion, US wiring is red (hot), black (hot) and green (ground). In UK house wiring, Red is 240V, black is neutral and green (or bare copper) is earth (ground).
Not any more, as of 2004 we went to this system back home
https://www.electriciancourses4u.co....athing-bs7671/

I run my 240V stuff with a UK 13A socket, on a 30 A breaker on a US range outlet, since the UK socket is designed to work on 30A circuits. As others have warned, this way, one leg is STILL live even when no current flows in the appliance - but my UK stuff is switched with a double pole anyway.
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Old Dec 15th 2018, 3:36 pm
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Default Re: Converting a dryer outlet for us appliance use

Originally Posted by shorrock View Post
Explain to me and the OP how you can wire up the 110v lines to make 220v? Twisting them together willnot work.
Indeed not. If you really want the answer, its because of the way the US supply for the home is tapped (connected) to the transformers outside, and the history of the US (the innovators in distributed power in the late 19th and early 20th century)
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Old Dec 22nd 2018, 6:00 pm
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Default Re: Converting a dryer outlet for us appliance use

Originally Posted by thinbrit View Post
STOP!
If you want to create an unsafe and dangerous situation it is completely possible. However, UK 240 is not the same as US 220. You'll have an unprotected 110v leg on the appliance.

On a UK appliance one leg is neutral, on a 220v US outlet both legs are at 110V.
What he said.

Do not attempt to do something like this (using a UK 240v appliance on a US 220v outlet) unless you really know what you are doing and understand all of the potential risks involved. (If you do, in fact, really know what you are doing then you almost certainly will not do it and you definitely won't be asking the question on an internet forum.)

As with many things of this nature, if you need to ask whether or not you should do it then the answer is always going to be "no".
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