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  1. Hendie

    220V AC Appliances In Canada

    This was such a good and useful warning message that appeared on two other forums that I felt it good to post it here as well: Posted by Jim on January 14, 2003, 13:03:44, in reply to "Re: Voltage adaptors" I was a qualified electrician with a wireman's license in SA and am a ticketed electrician in Canada now. Canada's high voltage domestic supply is meant to be 240V/60Hz, and it is NOT the same as SA's 240V/50Hz. It is obtained from the low voltage side of a transformer with a centre-tapped winding, that means that it is 2 phases of 120V above ground potential that are phased at 180 degrees apart, that is why the measured voltage between them is 240V. Most houses (If not all) in North America will have a 240V/60Hz supply that is to be used for appliances such as washers/dryers etc that draw high currents at 120V, and are therefore supplied with 240V to reduce current and heat in the wiring. If you were to wire something like a stove from SA to it, the elements will work...BUT, instead of safely having one 240V leg and a neutral, the body of the appliance now has the potential to be 120V above ground in the right circumstances. If you have a double-insulated appliance it might be a little safer. Any monkey business with wiring here is NOT recommended, the domestic wiring systems are not as robust as those in SA, most houses are built of wood, and there is very little in the way of earth leakage protection. It is illegal (strictly speaking) to connect ANY appliance that does not bear the CE approval label to the Canadian grid. The SABS mark is not valid here. I am not sure how this would effect insurance or liability claims. The bottom line is simple: If an appliance has a little (normally black slider type) dual-voltage selector switch on the back then bring it to Canada. If you can't find one then leave it in SA. It is more risk/trouble/danger and expense than it is worth. I have received emails and seen BB postings of people GIVING away SA appliances for free after they have had them transported all the way here. This posting was lifted from our friends over at Calgary Immigrant Network.