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Old 02-26-2013, 08:18 PM   #1
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Power a 240V Vacuum cleaner


Hi all,

My vacuum cleaner is 240V - 250W, I use it mainly in the basement and I am fed up to carry around my heavy step-up converter, therefore I have decided to convert one of the many 120V outlets to 240V.

Here is the list of things I'd like to do for this project:

1) Choose the right 120V outlet, possibly one which is end of the run or stand alone with direct wiring to the service panel (also in the basement).

2) Given that I need 1A I'll go for the min. load available in terms of breaker: 15A double pole.

3) If possible, I'd like to use the existing wiring 14#, use the black as one hot and mark the white with red tape and use it as hot too.

4) Connect the bare copper wire to the ground screw (and pigtail to the metal box)

Material to purchase:

- One double pole breaker 15A
- One tandem blade NEMA 6-15R receptacle (single)
- One NEMA 6-15P plug


Am I missing something?
I mean, connectors or so?

Is the procedure correct?

Thank you
Alex

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Old 02-26-2013, 08:25 PM   #2
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Power a 240V Vacuum cleaner


You just can't change a 120 volt receptacle to a 240 receptacle unless it is a dedicated receptacle.
You need to run a new wire from the panel to a new receptacle.

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Old 02-26-2013, 08:35 PM   #3
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Power a 240V Vacuum cleaner


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Originally Posted by jbfan View Post
You just can't change a 120 volt receptacle to a 240 receptacle unless it is a dedicated receptacle.
You need to run a new wire from the panel to a new receptacle.
This is basically what I meant in my point 1), if I find a dedicated wire that runs from one of my 120V outlets to the service panel, that is the one I will convert.

Alternatively, I could choose one end-of-run receptacle, disconnect the existing wiring and run a new wire to the service panel, still a 14#.

Thanks
Alex
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:37 PM   #4
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Power a 240V Vacuum cleaner


Why not just buy a new 110 volt vacuum and then you can use it any where?
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:45 PM   #5
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Power a 240V Vacuum cleaner


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Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
Why not just buy a new 110 volt vacuum and then you can use it any where?
Because the one I have is 30 years old and they are built to last forever.
They are efficient and do not consume much energy

Cheers
Alex
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Old 02-26-2013, 10:25 PM   #6
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Power a 240V Vacuum cleaner


As noted, the 240 volt receptacle will need to be on its own circuit, or on a circuit that has only other 240 volt receptacles. There is nothing in the code that prohibits the installation of 240 volt receptacles in a residence. Even though the actual voltage is close to 240, the rating of the receptacle will be 250 volts. This has more to do with the blade configuration that actual voltage.

They come in 15, 20, 30, and 50 amp.

You'll need a 2 pole breaker in the panel for it. If it's 15 amp, 14/2 will be ok. 20 amp needs 12/2. At every splice or termination, mark the white wire red. Red tape is ok, as is a red marking pen. It doesn't need to be marked the whole length, just enough so it is obviously not white.

Rob
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Old 02-26-2013, 11:10 PM   #7
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Power a 240V Vacuum cleaner


If you want to use the vacuum, you will have to keep using the converter. North American 240V is not the same as European 240V.
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Old 02-27-2013, 10:57 AM   #8
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Power a 240V Vacuum cleaner


Lets see the plug end on the vacuum. How about a picture of the vacuum nameplate? I would like to be sure about what you have before giving any advice.
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Old 02-27-2013, 11:31 AM   #9
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Power a 240V Vacuum cleaner


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Originally Posted by Oso954 View Post
If you want to use the vacuum, you will have to keep using the converter. North American 240V is not the same as European 240V.
The way we get 240V in NA is different from EU, true, but that should not affect the appliances.
Most of Europeans run their stuff in NA without any problem.

Thanks
Alex
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Old 02-27-2013, 11:39 AM   #10
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Power a 240V Vacuum cleaner


Quote:
Originally Posted by J. V. View Post
Lets see the plug end on the vacuum. How about a picture of the vacuum nameplate? I would like to be sure about what you have before giving any advice.
I will take a picture of the plug but apart from seeing it is different, you'll probably read the same info as all the others, all the European appliances run on 240V, we have different plugs according to which country is from.

I'll post the picture this evening.

Thanks
Alessandro
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Old 02-27-2013, 12:16 PM   #11
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Power a 240V Vacuum cleaner


Quote:
Originally Posted by Metallo View Post
The way we get 240V in NA is different from EU, true, but that should not affect the appliances.
Most of Europeans run their stuff in NA without any problem.

Thanks
Alex
In NA we use two wires to get 240 whereas in EU 240 is on a single wire. That poses a problem for wiring a household outlet without a converter (transformer). There is also the matter of frequency (60hz NA; 50hz EU.)

Last edited by diystephen; 02-27-2013 at 12:22 PM.
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Old 02-27-2013, 04:55 PM   #12
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Power a 240V Vacuum cleaner


OK, here's the picture of the plug.

@diystephen

50/60 Hz is not relevant, there is the tolerance and it has no effect, otherwise all the stuff I have at home would be gone by now.
Regarding the way EU/NA get 240V is known, I am not sure whether this has an effect or not on EU appliances, but I am sure nobody has ever had an issue, at the end, you get 240V out of the two terminals of your outlet on both sides, don't you?

Alex
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Old 02-27-2013, 05:02 PM   #13
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Power a 240V Vacuum cleaner


If the vacuum was made for the european market = 50Hz,
And it is now used in north america = 60Hz,
If its a induction motor, it will run a little faster.
In most cases it's not a problem,
Also they are usually only used for short peiods.
But the owner should bear this in mind !
A good quality motor will handle it fine.
Some of the older motors where excellent construction.
Probably why the vacuum works so well.
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Old 02-27-2013, 06:25 PM   #14
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Power a 240V Vacuum cleaner


Quote:
Originally Posted by Metallo View Post
OK, here's the picture of the plug.

@diystephen

50/60 Hz is not relevant, there is the tolerance and it has no effect, otherwise all the stuff I have at home would be gone by now.
Regarding the way EU/NA get 240V is known, I am not sure whether this has an effect or not on EU appliances, but I am sure nobody has ever had an issue, at the end, you get 240V out of the two terminals of your outlet on both sides, don't you?

Alex
The frequency may not have an affect, but you would need to find the nameplate to be sure. The fact that NA uses two wires to get 240 can absolutely have an affect. Your appliance is wired to receive 240 on one blade (wire) and EU outlets are wired to only have one blade hot. What you are stating is to place 120 on the hot and neutral wires (to achieve a difference of 240.) This can have disasterous effects...
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Old 02-27-2013, 06:57 PM   #15
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Power a 240V Vacuum cleaner


I would have absolutely no problem using this vacuum on 240 60HZ as found in the USA. It almost certainly has a universal motor, and those do not care about frequency. Operating a 50HZ induction motor on 60HZ would very likely be a problem though, but not a universal one.

I have about a dozen or so portable power tools that had European/Australian/etc. 240 plugs on them, and they even state 240 volts 50HZ on the nameplate. I've used them on both 208 and 240 for years without issue. Some are common manufacturers (Milwaukee), others I've never heard of.

Rob

P.S. The voltage converter is just that, a voltage converter. It does not change the frequency at all, only the voltage.

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