Electric voltage - yes, the 220V issue again

Ok, so we have a few 220v appliances from Europe (coffee machine, iron, vacuum cleaner) that we shipped over with the idea that we will have a few 220v outlets installed by an electrician in our place. We have not fully committed to having this work done yet, as we may just scrap this idea and buy all new appliances here.

In the meantime before we decide on getting the outlets installed or investing in 110V items we may have the possibility to use our 20A 250V AV outlet, which the dishwasher plugs into. It has the “T-shaped” female plug (which I believe is called NEMA 6-20P). It would be used on occasion from time to time to make coffee a couple of times a day or to iron a few times a week.

The question/problem we are looking to solve is twofold:

  1. Can you get an adapter, which has a female EUROPEAN “SCHUKO” CEE7/4 to male NEMA 6-20P such at this product NEMA 6-20P / EUROPEAN “SCHUKO” (EU1-16R) 15 AMPERE-250 VOLT PLUG ADAPTER, in Taiwan (Taipei) and if so where? The adapter would connect our male EUROPEAN “SCHUKO” CEE7/4 plug to the female outlet as pictured here:

-and-
2. Will this work for example on our Nespresso coffee machine (220V-240V). I would hate to ruin this stupid thing!

Thanks and happy Saturday!

I brought some powerstrips from Germany and Just changed the plugs in them. You can get the plugs at your local hardwarestore. Im running my Coffeemachine, Laptop etc in 250v. Until now now there never was a Problem.

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Get a new plug and try your appliances out before investing in 220V wiring. Some devices, such as motors and lighting don’t appreciate the frequency difference.

I guess I would need something like this or this…

The first being a simple adapter, the second being a plug to somehow connect to a Europe type power extension cord.

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The travelling types are easily found but I wouldn’t run anything with a large draw…

Go to the bigger plumber/electrician shops, they likely can at least order outlets. Or do what many an electrician do and swap male ends for a sketchy make do solution.

Why not instal a few outlets and just run an extension wire of sturdy size until you want to rewire?

Voltage difference could be handled flawlessly using typical transformer (230 V to 110 V) or simply conversion plug.
Frequency difference (EU 50 Hz, TW 60 Hz) could be damaging to some appliances.
Conversion plug could found in any hardware DIY store scattered around the island.
Check the back of your coffee machine, does it say 100-230 V 50/60 Hz or only 230 V 60 Hz?
If it’s the latter you must use a transformer, and pray the frequency difference doesn’t matter.
Otherwise, conversion plug should suffice.

Lots of good tips and advice here - thanks everyone! :zap::zap::zap:
Will update in case we try one of these methods.

A little update, we were able to get an adapter as shown above and lo and behold it works!
I checked first with a small mixer, and it was fine. The 220V appliances bought in Europe are labeled as 50-60Hz and they all work - just like @Fei-Fan reported.

@arcticsquid - Funny enough the coffee machine was the only appliance that was not labeled with the frequency, but after trying the other appliances I just went for it, and happy to report that it works, too. :coffee:

So no blown appliances and the house has not caught on fire. :fire:
Thanks again everyone for the tips! :hugs:

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Hi @mooncakes,

Would you mind sharing which adapter you got back then and if it is still working? I’m thinking of buying a few of these ones: https://www.amazon.de/Evershop-Reiseadapter-Reisestecker-Ladestecker-Internationale-Black/dp/B07JVD6MP7?psc=1

Since I’m not very trusting when it comes to Amazon reviews, I would rather rely on your feedback if your adapter still works. Had too many experiences that a highly rated Amazon product simply broke after a few days. Would like to avoid that during quarantine…

Thank you!

Hi @favorith, it is just a no-name thing that our landlord picked up at some random hardware store. We asked which hardware store, and he insisted on getting another one for us. So we just said, thanks, but one is all we need. :laughing: It still works great.

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Vorsicht, Achtung, Attention! This thingy you linked does NOT convert 110V to 220V! It simply does 2 things:

  1. It converts different plug types to each other without changing the voltage/frequency

  2. It provides some USB ports for charging

Your appliance still needs to be able to work with the given voltage/frequency!

Even though you didn’t explicitly mention it, from the context I guess you want to use “220V only” appliances in Taiwan. This will NOT work with that linked cheapo travel adapter.

Maybe let us know more about what appliances you want to use, and we can give some better recommendations?

For reference, I’m using a German-bought Senseo Pad coffee maker with a simple, bulky ~1500W 110V from/to 220V transformer, and it works to the fullest satisfaction of the only coffee drinking family member (not me). I guess it’s fine because although it needs a lot of power for heating, it only needs it for a minute max. Thus, the transformer can’t get hot enough to cause troubles.

This is how such a thingy looks like, example from a web shop. It’s rated for 1500W short time and 1200W continuous use. It’s massive, weighting 6.6kg, and costing around 1000-2000 NTD depending on where you buy it. If something claiming similar power capabilities but being much smaller or cheaper, you can be sure it’s not going to stand high power - physically impossible for this kind of simple devices:

TC

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To those wondering what might happen without an transformer or suitable appliances:

110V appliance in 240V Net = Fried appliance
240V appliance in 110V Net = Possibility of starting a smoldering fire in your walls.

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Plus, in both cases the device won’t work (long) :stuck_out_tongue:

And what happens if you use a very small transformer with a high powered device can be found here, starting around 1:45

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That guy’s channel is awesome.

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Thank you all for the valuable input and the funny video (I hope that guy is 100% sure what he is doing, though :smiley: )

@olm, thanks for the Achtung - in fact, I guess most of my appliances should be able to handle the “whole range”, I was just wondering what kind of adapter/plug/transformer @mooncakes was eventually using.

For the time being, I think I will be fine with my smartphone and laptop as the only appliances used (and both power supplies state that they will work with 110V), but since I’m not eager to set the cables in my walls on fire, I will seriously consider a converter like the one you shared.

As you said, these are quite heavy, so for my first suitcase of stuff I would like to avoid carrying such one. But I’m glad to see that it seems to be no problem to get good and affordable converters on 楽天 - I might even get the one which you shared there (hope you get some commission :smiley:)

Interestingly, both @olm and @mooncakes seem to use German coffee makers - I wonder if there are no good ones in Taiwan… after all, the 220V transformer costs more or less the same like a Senseo machine :thinking:

In every case, thank you all for the great input!

No worries about your cables in the wall if your device can use 110V

There seem to be no pad coffee makers in Taiwan at all - and as far as I can tell, also not in any other 110V country. Pity, as they are super easy to use and clean, and seem to produce good enough tasting coffee. Just need to get enough pads from Europe, and maybe (as I did) get some “fill yourself” plastic re-usable pads for in case the pads run out due to a pandemic preventing travel home.

Thanks, but no commission for me ^^ I would probably prefer shopping in person for those transformers, there are places that seem to offer quite a bit lower prices than others. I got mine in the basement of Guanghua Electronic Plaza (not the much more famous digital plaza nearby), and even there 3 or 4 shops have quite different price levels for the same brand and type of transformers.

As a rule of thumb, many low power thingies like chargers etc. support both voltages, while most power hungry things like heating, cooling, washing and power tools either don’t or best case have a voltage selection switch.

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Awesome, thank you! Already saved Guanghua Electronic Plaza on my “places I want to go” :slight_smile:

Edit: Oh and interesting with the coffee makers… I usually resort to moka pots, hopefully they are available :smiley:

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Oh these are available - but can be hard to use, at least if your apartment has a standard gas stove. Many times these thingies simply can’t stand by themselves on gas stoves. Ir, even worse, this thingy stands well… Until the coffee boils up, making it top heavy, and causing it to fall over.

I resorted to cooking water in an electric water cooker, filling this thingy up, then holding it on the gas stove with oven mitts while waiting a minute or so for it to boil.

Hence my love for the simplicity of pad machines, even I don’t drink coffee.

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220 is 220. There is a tolerance, anywhere from 210-250v is fine as far as 220v is concerned. Electronic devices are designed to deal with that, in fact there are voltage drops which is why there is a voltage variation.

If you have a 3 phase supply then your measured voltage is a little lower than 250 anyways (more like 230v).

Besides AC voltage is a root means square average, the instant voltage can be a bit higher than this.

If you got a bunch of European shoko plug appliance bring a power strip from home and convert the plug to one of those travel thingies. Now you can plug in a bunch of 220v appliance.

No need to mess around with transformers. They’re heavy anyways.

Just look for an outlet for window AC units and use that.

Yes I ran a bunch of 220v appliance on TW 220 lines. They work just fine. Almost all electronics from China is 220v. That’s what they use.

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Concerning a 220 device plugged into a 110 outlet. I always thought it not dangerous, just inadequate. Won’t the 220/240 device simply underperform by not drawing enough voltage?