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Old 08-08-2010, 10:18 PM   #1
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European Appliances... A Question of Amps and Watts???


Hey everyone.... So they say curiosity killed the cat, but I just want to make sure I stay alive too...

OK, couple of european appliances being used over this side of the water... nothing special or fancy:

Got a simple 240V citcuit (all proper stuff -- using the 6-15R recepticles and all sorts) which is run on 14 wire. There's only one outlet and that's run on a two-pole 15A breaker...

My question is...

What is the total combined wattage I can use my appliances up until...? Tell you why: I was being nosy as to a Watt to Amp calculator and, putting in the combined wattages, equals about 20 amps -- but yet the circuit runs fine...

I'll give you my suspicion/theory: Take the two appliances running at the same time -- 1=3KW and the other 1.7KW. Combined = 4.7KW @ 240V. Calculator says = 19.583amps are needed

Now, is that 20(ish) amps being spread between the two breakers which have a total load capacity of 15 amps a piece and that's why it's not being overloaded?

All input welcome. Thanks all...

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Old 08-09-2010, 05:34 AM   #2
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European Appliances... A Question of Amps and Watts???


That would be 20 amp through both breakers. The breakers would trip eventually. At that minimal amount over 15 it could take anywhere from 1- 10 minutes.
The other consideration is the fact that the appliances don't actually use the amount of power listed on the name plate. Also if the line voltage drops slightly the wattage also drops.

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Old 08-09-2010, 06:50 AM   #3
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European Appliances... A Question of Amps and Watts???


There is another issue you are not addressing. You do not say what type of appliances but if they contain a motor, you need to consider the frequency. Over there they use 50 hertz power as opposed to our 60 hertz. A motor designed for 50 hertz will run faster on 60 hertz. This will shorten it lifetime, maybe significantly.

Also how are you running them both on the same circuit with a single 6-15 Receptacle?
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Old 08-09-2010, 09:06 AM   #4
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European Appliances... A Question of Amps and Watts???


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dazzlin View Post
I'll give you my suspicion/theory: Take the two appliances running at the same time -- 1=3KW and the other 1.7KW. Combined = 4.7KW @ 240V. Calculator says = 19.583amps are needed

Now, is that 20(ish) amps being spread between the two breakers which have a total load capacity of 15 amps a piece and that's why it's not being overloaded?

All input welcome. Thanks all...
In 240 volt operation, the current flows through both breakers and because both legs are hot they both have to be protected. Technically, the two breakers are in series.
In 120 volt operation the current flowing in the circuit flows through the breaker and back to the neutral bar but since the neutral isn't hot, it doesn't have to be protected.
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