Hendie

220V AC Appliances In Canada

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shaun

A little while back I had a call from a very upset Oom there in Stoney Creek. He had brought his wood working Lathe with him from SA, but because of the size of the motor a step up transformer (converter)would cost him the same as two 110v lathes. To change the 220v motor to a 110v motor was the same price as a new lathe.

Jislike man this Oom was upset , he had brought this #^@..[%& thing all the way from SA and for what?

NOTE........IN HIS CASE:

$70, a trip to Home Depot, (and the LCBO with the change [saterday afternoons I work for beer]) and he was up and running.

Although every thing in Canada is 110v, almost all the houses actually have a 220v supply at their distribution boxes (fuse box).

With out getting too technical, the EMF (electro motive force) of 110v is simply not enough to power a whole house, so your house will be wired with two phases which in turn are shared (balanced) amongst all the various circuits.

To have an outlet changed from 110v to 220v, or a new 220v outlet fitted will cost you anything in the region of $250 - $500 per outlet depending on all sorts of factors (die manne is'ie bang om te charge).

REMEMBER: The Voltage in SA is supplied at 50Hz, where as in Canada it is supplied at 60Hz. This is the same as you working a normal 8 hour day, but your boss is expecting 11 hour from you in that time.

Something is going to eventually give.

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Cobus

TRANSFORMERS FOR SA ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT

As you know you have to get a step up transformer..........

check out http://www.houseof220.com They are in Toronto

Also Sewing Machines Etcetera in Brulington can help 905-639-5525 (Bert Hopman) can help with step-up transformers.

Cobus

Co-Modeartor Immigration Section

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Larry

Guys, the danger relating to tapping 2 live conductors is, that standard electrical appliances normally ONLY switch the live conductor. The neutral conductor being anchored to earth at either the suppliers transformer or at the "point of supply" that being located at your meter or DB board ensures that should anything go wrong with the appliance, you simply switch the wall socket off and the unit is safe, to touch. You have effectively removed electrical voltage from the appliance. Should the appliance fail with a big bang, which means it has faulted down to earth, the switchgear in the DB should trip, and that is its function.

When you make the previously neutral conductor live, you have 220v across the circuit. When you switch the wall socket off, the neutral point is in fact still live, it is not switched. The unit still has a potential of 110v to earth. Is that dangerous? A definite NO, until the unit becomes faulty and you get leakage to the earth or steel frame of the appliance. If you however have these 220v circuits connected through an earth leakage unit, and you have connected the appliance and sockets earths, you are SAFE. I do not recommend you leave these appliances plugged in when not in use as a fault at a level below the circuit breaker in the DB could cause a fire. That not to say the same will not happen on the 110v system. If you have earth leakage protection, you make the system that much safer. If you have small kids, their finger fit into those small holes, make sure you have Earth Leakage protection and that it works. I would not recommend any system where flexible cords are used, to be without ELU. Not even wooden houses, as wet wood is conductive. Your stove switch on the wall switches both poles. Here in SA I might add.

Can someone also verify that the system of 2 x 110v phases being 180° out of phase is what you get in Canada, or if it is 2 phases from a 3 phase system with 120° sequencing. If you have 198v across the two phases it is probably 120° phasing. Most 220 volt appliances are designed to work on voltages as low as 187v i.e. 15% below the rated voltage. I am told that this is the configuration in North America. It is not standard practice to do this 180° out of phase thing in engineering. It is far simpler to give you 2 tappings from a 3 phase transformer. If they do have 2 phases 180° out of phase, it creates another problem. It means the whole reticulation system is 2 phase and long runs of bigger cables. More important it is not possible to use standard 3 phase equipment in that area. You would have to install new cables. The closest installed transformers will also not be capable of supplying the circuit. All said and done, the practice even in residential areas is limiting. But then again I would think it is unlawful to have some form of business in residential areas.

Maybe that is why we Engineers from SA have to go through some mind shift. The practice is very different. Before we adapt, can the engineers on that side confirm the configuration?

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Guest Guest_malinda

Hi there Larry

I could not open your private message. Do you want to try and send it again please. Thank you

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shaun

Larry

I'm not an engineer, but am an electrician. The Phase angle is 120', and is taken off a 3 phase system.

Any two leg (phase) circuit will be protected by a double pole circuit breaker. Or with two single circuit breakers with there toggles joined by a bar.

The unit still has a potential of 110v to earth. Is that dangerous? A definite NO, until the unit becomes faulty and you get leakage to the earth or steel frame of the appliance. If you however have these 220v circuits connected through an earth leakage unit, and you have connected the appliance and sockets earths, you are SAFE

I have to disagree with you and say that there is a definite danger.

It will carry the 110v potential all the way back to the DB, and not just to the switch at the plug (because there is no switch). If the appliance has caused a breaker to trip due to a fault, I would like all power to be interupted and not just the one leg.

A couple of things to note :

1) The plugs here are called outlets, and are not switched, its a case of plug and play. Two flat little pins, with the smallest little round ground pin ever for 110v and a round push in and twist (simillar to the nema base used on the street lighting photo cells) for the 220v, again with no switch.

2) The Elu (Earth leakage unit) as you know it is called a GFCI (Ground fault circuit interupter) and is virtually non existant in the houses over here. Building contractors use Gfci's on there extention reels to avoid nuisance tripping on the job sit. Many houses still use the old fuse method for protection.

The houses are wired by the room and not like in SA by the circuit. ie stove circuit, plugs (all on elu in SA) lights, geyser,......etc. Here if you got an outlet at the wall, and want an extra light, then you just tap off the outlet, as long as it is in the same room.

A wall outlet has two recepticle (plug-in) points. Usually fed from two different legs (phase). The most common thing to do is to cut the neutral away from both recepticles and then to connect the two legs to one recepticle, bridging it down to the second recepticle to give you 2 x 220v outlets. The circuit breakers that protect this outlet will have to be changed to a double pole breaker. (or dual fuse carriage)

Once this is done you can remove the SA plug and fit a two pin Canadian plug to the appliance.

The problem comes when your appiance eventaully packs up, and you replace it. Inevitably you are going to plug your new 110v appliance into the reworked 220v outlet.......BOOM.

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Harry

Larry ,

I'm with Shaun here. I think the average Joe should steer clear of this stuff. With no switches at the "sockets" (outlets), the stuff is "hot" all the time. On the breaker board you run two adjacent wires to where you want 220 and bingo. However, the first idiot that does that and does not gang those two circuit breakers, is in for a huge surprise. In fact I have had a case where only one of a pair tripped and the ganging-bar did not throw the second one...great fun. :lol::huh::lol:

I'd rather advise folks to get this done by a registered local electrician.,...even though that mishap occurred on their handiwork.

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Larry

I beg to differ on the danger issue. Should the 1 phase trip, for what ever reason, and a similtanious fault in which the second phase not livens up the first phase occurs. How does this make it dangerous? A phase to phase fault should trip both phase breakers. It is only when the earth body becomes live that the danger creeps in. When this happens, the second phase should also trip. All said and done, if you chose to live in a wooden house without a reasonable electrical system, expect the worst to happen. I would upgrade the system for my own safety and not wait untill legislation calls for me to do so. More so if I have small children.

How does having 2 phase make it more dangerous, when none of the phase is switched at the outlet. Most peolple in any case get the neutral and live crossed, and that simulates the exactly the same condition as a fault on one phase in a two phase connection. ELU or GFCI is a legal requirement in SA. Canada is more first world than SA and it is not mandatory. Another fact is that the insulation of the conductor in the conduit is what protects the system. Over loading is more likely to cause failure than any other condition, and during this overloding you protection should operate. No conductor is every injected with higher voltage than the design which happens to match the insulation rating. Is there no such a thing as a compliance certification of the wiring of a house on transfer? Make sure it has been carried out to the book and you are safe. Fuses in the 21st century?

120° phase angle will give you a maximum line voltage of 199volts @ 115 nominal phase voltage.

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Harry

Larry,

Shaun might feel differently about it, but I think you need to come and take a look through the wiring of a older Canadian house. I think your hair might stand on end. I should have said "220"..or "enough voltage to run SA gear"...I can't burden the general population of SACAnada with phase angle calcs.

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Larry

I am only trying to make the following points clear to those who do not know about the subject,

1. folk in SA and about to load up, you will get very little for you goods here so you can take most of it with you and safely rewire you house to use the goods in Canada. Why, it will be expensive enough to buy other things when you arrive in Canada, seeSeanhay's posting If you are aware of the all technicalities of the electrical modifications it is as safe as the system presently is. No wiring is subjected to an earth to live condition of more than the current standard of 110 to 120 volts. In fact the wiring is less stressed as the current demanded by the appliance is halved for the same power.

2. Don’t be concerned about the insurance company. They must prove that you created the fire by you actions and not because it does not comply with the Canadian standards. Did you do something which was not compliant. The answer is a definite NO. The current situation is that the high power consuming appliance outlets are wired in exactly this manner. That is if the previous posting are correct. None of the outlets have switches and so the same applies to those high output socket already considered legal. Shaun has indicated that the wall socket or outlets have 2 phases and 1 neutral already there. ( 1 phase to each “Receptacle point” ) You do not even have to modify that. You can take your SA flexible cord extension and cut off the plug. Now feed the neutral of the extension cord from the phase or live of one “Receptacle point ” on the outlet an the live of the extension cord from the live of the other “Receptacle point ”, Be sure to connect the earth point to at least one. Leave you SA plugs on the appliances and now plug them into this extension cord that has essentially got 2 Canadian plugs as a feed. HOWEVER BE CAREFUL—NEVER HAVE ANYTHING PLUGGED INTO THE EXTENTION LEAD AT THE TIME OF COUPLING OR UNCOUPLING. WHEN YOU PLUG THE ONE IN THE OTHER BECOME ALIVE AS THE CURRECT FLOW THROUGH THE APPLIANCE AND ONTO THE LIVE OF THE UNPLUGGED PLUG. You now cannot mistakenly plug a 110v appliance into 200 volts. Folks I am hoping this enables others who are not in the know to use your sewing machines etc without a transformer etc. Get a friend who understand what I am saying to show you what to do and more especially the safety side of the matter. Do not make the adaptation in a Heath Robinson manner, especially with children around.

3. Lastly, be sure circuits connected in this fashion are linked in the DB board by Circuit Breakers that have the connector bar which ensure that when one circuit trips they both drop out.

4. If you are not sure what to do, speak to your SA friend that understands or contact me on Yahoo or MSN messenger and I will talk you through it. Please have a web cam so that I can see what you are doing.

5. The GFCI or earth Leakage as we know it will probably cost about $60 and some labour. I know it is the biggest contribution you can make to a safety. If you own the house have it fitted or do it yourself if you know what to do.

I will repeat what has been said many times. Your TV & Video needs to have a NTSC RF receiver. Be careful you do not confuse "NTSC capable" via the RCA or AV connectors and the RF receiver. There are many which do only the AV option. You should consider taking the video with even if it only has the AV option as you will be able to view all you PAL videos. That you can test in SA to see if it works.

Edited by Larry

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Guest Guest_beans123

For the life of me I cannot work out WHY you would want to bring the stuff with, everything can be replaced here, N. American electrical goods are very affordable, if you sell your stuff in SA and (with the current favourable rate of exchange) use those funds to get you going with replacement items - why not jump at the chance to start off fresh. And just for your info Larry, insurance in Canada will do ANYTHING to not have to pay out where they don't have to. If they find out that a fire ignited in a home fille with rewired non-compliant appliances you will battle to get a cent !

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Guest Guest

Yes, leave electrical stuff in SA .

Also, remember bed sizes are not the same n Canada as in South Africa. Not an issue until you need to replace the matresses.

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Larry

If you have heaps of money, sell your electrical aplliances and get nothing for them. Buy new one in Canada and away you are. But if this made any sense then why don't people sell their appliance in Canada or for that matter anywhere in the world and replace them when they get the urge. Just go and open your well equipped kitchen cupboards and look at the amount of goods you have to replace. I have every item of convenience and also can afford to replace the goods if I was crazy enough not to evaluate my options. It will cost me nothing to load these goods into my container. When they fail I will buy Canadian unit. Instead of wasting my money on such item which if you add them all up will cost me probably about $3000 to replace, I will use the money on other necessary expenditures.

Read the posting of some folk who state the facts about cost on arrival.

I need to make it clear you do not need to rewire any of the installation to get you appliances working. Read my previous posting and refer to Shaun's post as well. You need to understand how to achieve the necessary. Don't scare the folk with insurance company talk. Do yourself a favour and study how your high current appliances are connected and that is how you get the other appliances to work. If you are not sure of how to do it I recommend you ask someone with the know-how

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Linda

"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." (from article that started this thread).

However, for those folks who are determined to load up those appliances in the container, bear in mind the following from someone who has been here for 4 years:

1. In Ontario (not sure of the other provinces), most houses for rent or sale come standard with 4 or 5 appliances, typically a fridge, washer and dryer, stove, and central vac. So most often one won't have to purchase these items immediately.

2. Self cleaning ovens are not allowed in condominiums (for safety reasons), we tried to sell our self-cleaning oven (which came with the house) to a second hand dealer and which was in excellent working condition and we got $25.00 for the elements !

Just some food for thought ......

<_<

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Harry

Larry,

I seriously think you need an LSD trip, after what I read above. I think you comprehensively fail to grasp how deeply the notion of insurance has been built into society over here. I'm not saying it is right...I resent it myself. However, it IS used to manipulate/control/adjust behaviour on all fronts of human existence over here...

If you have not participated in a young driver programme, you pay more auto insurance

If you dont have a fire alarm, you pay more home insurance

If you don't have the fire insurance, you can't get the mortgage...it goes on and on and on.

If your house has been used as a marijuana grow-op, your insurance goes up (partly because of the number of fires in such places due to excessive power use or rewiring to heat the plants!).

Frankly, they have wired this entire society to this insurance concept as a tool in extensive social engineering. South Africa had Apartheid, Canada has Insurance, so to speak.

At the same time, they are VERY calculating on the pay-out side. They have to be. If you have not done this or that, the pay-out is affected etc etc etc etc.

This is a VASTLY more regulated society than in SA. That is one thing that you need to still enjoy while you can. Here there is a rule for absolutely everything. Maybe the young folks do not experienece that, but ( BOY!) just own a house and you'll see.

Just to calibrate you...this morning's Home Hardware flyer:

8-1/4 inch compound mitre saw : $79.97

2400rpm reciprocating Saw: $72.97

Or how about The Canadian Superstore from about two weeks ago: Citizen 19" TV : $119.

OR, look at the white goods...One Maytag dishwasher of the type everyone uses: $750.

AS OPPOSED TO:

One house in Deep Cove, Vancouver : $640,000

I believe what folks are trying to tell you, is that their advice has NOTHING to do with the technical aspect. If I had an illegally installed ( that means "done by someone without a CANADIAN LICENCE") 220V arrangement, and my house burnt down...our lives would be ruined because all our money is in that house . Do you really want to run that risk for a a collection of stuff that would cost $80 to $800 per appliance to buy new. It is just plain crazy. On top of that, the practice here is that the house or apartment is always sold WITH appliances. ( be they good or bad).

On top of it, the electrical code here is far more lenient to my mind than in SA. If you saw what they did with this stuff, you would not be surprised that houses burn down so frequently here. I am astonished that they do not burn more often. I'll leave Shaun to comment on that. I can tell you that I get seriously uneasy when I see see heavy current stove cabling running through holes drilled through wooden joists with zero chafing protection and nailed down to the wood with a staple!

I regretted initially that I had not brought all my 220V tools. I DID bring a 220V VCR and a 220V multisystem TV and a 220V Bernina. Some idiot Japanese guy designed those without a 110V option on the power side. I have been UTTERLY unable to find a multisystem TV here. I even sanded the bush on the capstan of my record palyer down to adjust for the higher line frequency here.

However, while electronic stuff might be OK, I would never contemplate bringing the high current 220V white goods out here. I promise you, you are going to be putting that stuff on your lawn and praying someone will come and take it away. Houses are smaller over here and you are not going to have space to put stuff at the beginning when you discover you already have a stove and a fridge and a tumble drier and a washing machine.

So think very carefully, Larry....by all means stuff whatever you can into the container because it makes money sense on transport. I would have put in our garden decorations, had I known. However, think a few times on the purely electrical ( non-electronic) stuff.

Edited by Harry

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Linda

Thank you Harry .... some excellent points ...... ;)

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Seanhay

We've had no problems with our SA hi-fi here, but I did check before-hand and it was compatible. I finally got a step-up transformer on Friday Arvi (thanks for the link to the right thread Harry!), but I'm having the same problem a few people have mentioned before...The image colours are not right in certain spots on the TV. (Parts are OK but others have greeny/blue tones?) The TV is a Telefunken and we'll only be using it for watching SA video's. Any electronic boffins with advice? ;)

PS My kiddies are watching every one of their SA video's.. whether Shrek is green or purple is totally irrelevant for them....

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Larry

Folk, let me just inform you that the GFPI will not work if you go through a transformer. The circuit is isolated and therefore poses another safety issue. It is my recommendation that you stick to the same system as your high current appliances work on and it is legal in Canada. The issue raised earlier suggests you will lose your right to claim from your insurance company if all your appliances do not have the CE mark. Let’s hear from some folk after you have checked how compliant you are. You may have to sell up again.

Harry, I am not trying to make this issue of who is wrong. I checked many of my appliances here in SA and most have the CE mark. I did some valuation of the items and it exceeded R170K. Now that seems ridiculous but I have a large home, equipped with an up market home theatre system and that was not cheap.

Let’s resolve the matter objectively. Can a few people give us some indication of middle of the road appliances? The works. Has any body done the auction thing when leaving? That may well be the best way. When we have all the info, we can determine the real net effect and then one will know if for instance buying new in Canada comes up trumps.

Can you recommend any web site where I do a search for appliances and Hi-fi etc

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Hendie

Larry, you can try Future Shop. They have a wide range of electronics and hifi equipment for sale, and have shops all over Canada afaik.

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Harry

Larry,

if what you are talking about is actually a heap of ELECTRONICS ( rather than electrical) goods, then chances are that 95% of it is OK. You may need to struggle with things like NTSC vs PAL and the fact that you might have trouble with DVDs, which are Zone 1 over here.

My concerns are largely electrical, not electronic.

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shaun

Larry

I think you will have to get over here first to appreciate how a first world country can get it all wrong electrically. I'm not going to persue this debate (before I say something out of line) any further.

My personal opinion has been posted elsewhere (I can't find it now) Re the bringing of electrical goods. In short I can't for the life of me see why you would want to pay for something three times. Once when you bought it in SA, Twice to get it over here with insurance (plenty of bucks), Third time, to replace it in C$ when it finally packs up (and believe me it will) 50hz does not equal 60hz. You are not going to find anyone to fix it once it does break, and if you do it will be cheaper to go buy a new appliance.

There are no GFCI on the internal circuits in the houses!!! I have one and it is at the outlet on my deck. It is a combination GFCI and outlet for wet weather applications.

The CE mark on the appliance means nothing. I have it on the side of my Oakley sun glasses, which means they are the original product and not a copy (fakley's). The marking that you are looking for is the CSA (canadian safety authority). It is a round emblem with the C forming the border, with the S and the A inside of it.

House clearance advertized in the local paper's classifieds (swop column) should rid you of most of your unwanted goods.

Replacements can be found at: www.sears.ca

www.leons.ca

www.bestbuys.com (prices in US $)

www.futureshop.ca

www.ikea.ca

www.canadiantyre.ca

www.homedepot.ca

I have gone and scratched out todays paper and here are a couple of prices (dirrect from the fliers):

Washer dryer combo $699

Fridge $599

Stove (electric) $399

These are all from Sears which is not your cheapest store. All Kenmore brand ( house brand for Sears) which is either Whirlpool or Frigidare manufactured.

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Harry

Sean,

have you perhaps measured the actual voltage you are getting out of that step-up transformer? If not...then a quick visit to Canadian Tire should get you a cheap meter. Also, keep the transformer a distance away from the TV tube. Other than that, I bow to to the true electronics technologists here.

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djb

My humble 2 cents:

I reckon the easiest is to take the goods that use DC, because even if they don't have a switch (110V-220V), the power supply can be replaced. I assume, Harry, that your turntable uses AC for the motor?

Electrical goods that use AC are perhaps not the best idea, because they are typically designed for either 110V 60Hz or 220/240V 50 Hz, and as so many have saidbefore , the frequency can cause damage. I would far rather use an appliance that has been designed for the available power supply. It's just less hassle.

Apart from that, I guess it is a case-by-case basis (for the sewing machines, etc.). I am not sure how practical or applicable this is, but perhaps it is possible to get a transformer/inverter (my terminology may be a bit rusty...) which converts from AC to DC and back to AC. At the correct frequency. Any comments about this?

Cheers

David

Edited by djb

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djb

Just did some searching... (google.ca)

Check out the following sites for converters/transformers, etc:

www.absopulse.com - They have AC/AC FREQUENCY CONVERTERS, SINGLE PHASE

www.dcacpowerinverters.com - Not sure about frequency conversion

www.voltageconverters.com - Not sure about frequency conversion

First prize here is a box that converts 110V 60 Hz to 220V 50 Hz at a sufficient power rating to power your appliance, maybe with some other fun stuff such as surge suppression/filtering. UPS as an added bonus would be really great! If anybody can find such a thing, let us all know! :rolleyes:

David

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Larry

I think I have given you some good tips on why a transformer is not the solution. Invertors will cost you a lot more than the appliance you are feeding. Transformers are the easy solution but when you step the voltage up the primary side current doubles. For small appliances this works well. If it is true that Canada has not enforced Earth leakage unit or GFPI then the system is nothing short of arcade. The protection these units give you is to limit the amount of current that generally in the case of electrocution travels through your body, too as low as 20mA, way below the fatal limits. When you use a transformer you isolate the EL unit from the circuit that can shock you.

The speed issue arise from the 20% higher frequency. When you are running things like a sewing machine and mixer which has a speed regulator, the problem is gone. When you run units like a 50Hz washing machine, you only have to go to your local dealer of the same product and buy a motor pulley for the 60 Hz design. As an example AEG do not make machines unique to 60Hz, they simply alter the timer synchronise motor gears and the drive pulley on the motor. If you cannot get the pulley from your dealer, have the local engineering shop machine you one that is 83% in Diameter of the original one. You will not notice it but the cycles will be also happen in 83% of the normal time.

By emulating the system which is legal in your kitchen, you do not remove the GFPI operating under fault conditions and you do not escalate the current load on the "Installation" Please give me site that has the Canadian Electrical Installation Regulations. I just want to be sure the reg's do not ban the 220v system in other parts of the residence. My input is to make you aware of the technicalities of getting your 200 to 240 volts. I work with these things everyday. Have the modification done by a registered Installation electrician, and get a compliance certificate for his work.

Your video machines etc should have DC motors which will not be affected. Harry, Now your turn table must have a synchronise motor and it is for that reason it has speeded up on a 60Hz system. The pulley on the motor is simple enough to have made. Is this an old valve unit you have? My kids all have memory sticks which play MP3 files and are they not amazing. You need to go DVD with your old music. The problem I have had is that I thought my subwoofer was blown, but the older music does not have a track for subwoofer.

Edited by Larry

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Seanhay

Thanks Harry,

Tried that with no success. Maybe I'll try another transformer..... <_<

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