UK 220 Volt Electrical System
UK Wiring System and Canadian Circuit Wiring Standards: I will be moving from the UK to Canada and want to bring with me some garage tools 220 volt.
220 Volt UK Electrical System Compatibility
- Can I use the 220 volt system in the US and Canada to power my tools?
- We use only a 3pin plug with earth/neutral and live leads here in the UK.
- I know of course that the equipment would have to be replugged.
This electrical wiring question came from: Stewart, a Homeowner from Kent, UK.
See more about Home Wiring in the UK
Additional Comments: Just found the website and find it very informative
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Stewart.
UK Wiring System and Canadian Circuit Wiring Standards
- 120 and 220 Volt Equipment from Other Countries
- There are several factors that will determine if an electrical device may be used in another country. The following will describe some of these factors.
- Electrical devices are designed by the original manufacturer to specifications which determine the compatible voltage. Electrical formulas and calculations are applied to determine wiring and circuit component specifications.
- No all electrical devices are alike, therefore each device must be carefully considered for foreign voltage compatibility.
- CIRCUIT VOLTAGE and AMPERAGE: Examples Based Upon Ohm’s Law
- The Lower the Voltage, the Higher the Amperage: 200 Watts / 120 Volts = 1.66 Amps
- The Higher the Voltage, the Lower the Amperage. 200 Watts / 220 Volts = 0.90 Amps
- As you can see in the above examples, the lower voltage will require a larger wire size when the same amount of watts is to be consumed.
- ELECTRIC HEATING APPLIANCES
- Appliances that are 220 volt that only have heating elements, such as a coffee pot should work OK as long as the circuit amperage and wiring configurations are compatible with the specifications of your electrical equipment, however the cord or wire size will most likely need to be increased when connecting to a lower voltage.
- INCANDESCENT LIGHT FIXTURES
- Incandescent light fixtures that are 220 volt will work OK, but the illumination or light output will be less. The watt limitation of the light fixture will be limited to the size of the fixture wiring which is based on the lamp watts and the volts, therefore the watt size of the light bulb is based upon the voltage as well.
EXAMPLE of an Incandescent Light Fixture with Wiring rated at .16 amps:
- The incandescent light bulb size should be 40 watts when connected to 220 volts.
- The incandescent light bulb size should be 20 watts when connected to 120 volts.
- ELECTRIC MOTORS
- Other 220 volt equipment from the UK may not be compatible with the Canadian or USA 220 volt system. This applies to equipment with motors or electronic circuit boards, especially those designed for 50 hz only.
- 220 Volt Motors
Electric motors that are designed to run only on 220 volts will overheat if the are connected to a 120 volt circuit. Exceptions only apply if the motor is designed for dual voltage, and are compatible with 50 and 60 hz.
- CHECK WITH THE MANUFACTURER
- To be totally sure, check the specification label or contact the equipment manufacturer and ask about voltage compatibility.
- As stated in this electrical question, for the equipment that will be compatible, the cord plugs will need to be replaced with the equivalent standard found in Canada.
- The electrical equipment or device wiring will need to be identified for proper wiring to the new plug.
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