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Old 06-20-2012, 08:39 AM   #1
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What does "120/208" volts mean?


Some commercial equipment has power ratings that say "120/208", like this coffee brewer for example:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...ht_1060wt_1163

It has to be plugged into 220 power. Why do they put 120/208, and does anyone know why this is diferent than a 220V appliance that just says '220'?

Thanks in advance if anyone can help with this.

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Old 06-20-2012, 09:41 AM   #2
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What does "120/208" volts mean?


Split voltage appliance.

Some appliances require the 120v for control or the lighting circuitry (here in North America), and the 220v for the heating elements.

Your receptacle will need to be wired properly per the instructions so that the two voltages are provided.

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Old 06-20-2012, 10:21 AM   #3
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What does "120/208" volts mean?


208 is not 220 (240)...

http://www.ccontrolsys.com/w/Electri...s_and_Voltages
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Old 06-20-2012, 10:33 AM   #4
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What does "120/208" volts mean?


That is a commercial coffee maker designed to run on 120/208V as would be available from a three phase service. This will NOT run on a 120/240 residential service.
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Old 06-20-2012, 11:16 AM   #5
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What does "120/208" volts mean?


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Originally Posted by HouseHelper View Post
That is a commercial coffee maker designed to run on 120/208V as would be available from a three phase service. This will NOT run on a 120/240 residential service.
Hate to tell you this, but many residences such as condos and apartments have 120/208V single phase services off a three phase supply. That is why most appliances run off 208V or 240V.
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Old 06-20-2012, 11:41 AM   #6
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What does "120/208" volts mean?


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Hate to tell you this, but many residences such as condos and apartments have 120/208V single phase services off a three phase supply. That is why most appliances run off 208V or 240V.
Re-read my second sentence carefully.
Quote:
This will NOT run on a 120/240 residential service.
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Old 06-20-2012, 11:46 AM   #7
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What does "120/208" volts mean?


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Originally Posted by HouseHelper View Post
Re-read my second sentence carefully.
I did, my point is that many-if not most- split voltage appliances- will run off 120/208V 1P or 120/240V 1P.

Go look at the nameplate on your dryer, stove, or HVAC unit.

The OP may have a 120/208V appliance only, but that is rare in the USA.
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Old 06-20-2012, 11:47 AM   #8
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What does "120/208" volts mean?


The spec sheet (follow the link in that ebay listing, or here: http://www.primebusinesssurplus.info.../CBS-2032s.pdf) does give a range of electrical configurations, including 120/208, 120/220, and 120/240.
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Old 06-20-2012, 11:51 AM   #9
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What does "120/208" volts mean?


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The spec sheet (follow the link in that ebay listing, or here: http://www.primebusinesssurplus.info.../CBS-2032s.pdf) does give a range of electrical configurations, including 120/208, 120/220, and 120/240.
That would be quite common.
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Old 06-20-2012, 12:25 PM   #10
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What does "120/208" volts mean?


Appliances and equipment rated for 120/240 volts may be used on a system that measures 110/220 volts.

Appliances and equipment rated for 120/208 volts but not 120/240 volts may generally not be used on a 120/240 volt system or on a system that measures 110/220 volts. (Some analysis would need to be done to see if a particular item would work.)
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Old 06-20-2012, 12:33 PM   #11
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What does "120/208" volts mean?


Looking at the catalog entry for the particular appliance in question, the entry for electrical says:

Electrical: Available in 120/208 single phase, 120/220 single phase, or 120/240 single phase. Require 3 wires + ground

I take that to mean you have to select the voltage, NOT that it can be used on any of them.
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Old 06-20-2012, 12:39 PM   #12
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What does "120/208" volts mean?


This is a single phase unit yes. It also doesn't require any special wiring, as i have tested it just by plugging into a 208volt wall plug.

What is confusing is why they would note the 120v. If you just plug it into a 208 socket like a typical 208 volt piece of equipment, why note it?

Maybe i should have explained more: I actually sell equipment like this and am trying to understand electricity better. If this forum is not the place for questions like this, I apologize.

When I sell it, I note exactly what it says on the infomation plate on the unit. The 120/208 confuses people, they think this unit could be run on just 110volts. 220 volts is so confusing. 208, 220, 240, 3 wire, 4 wire, single vs three phase. Sheesh.
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Old 06-20-2012, 01:44 PM   #13
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What does "120/208" volts mean?


When the appliance lists two voltages (x/y), it usually means it requires BOTH voltages to operate, NOT EITHER one (x) or the other (higher) (y).


It's like saying, you require cold AND hot water at your sink faucet, however you need only cold water to your toilet, and only hot water to your dishwasher...


A 208v socket may have just 208v and not 120v. What voltage(s) needed at the receptacle will determine the number of wires, and how they are hooked up in your premise.


Many appliances with electronic controls and lighting, in addition to the heating elements, require split voltage hookup. For example, your wall oven will typically have a light bulb inside the oven. If the oven were rated to run at 240v only, instead of 120/240v, you'd have to find a light bulb that is 240v rated when it came time to replace it. (How common in America is that?)

So if you plug your split voltage coffee maker into an improperly rated high voltage-only receptacle, not only will its controls and lower (120) voltage circuits not work, they may be completely damaged!
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Old 06-20-2012, 01:54 PM   #14
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What does "120/208" volts mean?


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Originally Posted by zorn View Post
This is a single phase unit yes. It also doesn't require any special wiring, as i have tested it just by plugging into a 208volt wall plug.

What is confusing is why they would note the 120v. If you just plug it into a 208 socket like a typical 208 volt piece of equipment, why note it?
If it says 120/208, then it uses both 120 and 208V internally. This means it requires a 4-wire connection. If you are running it on a 3-wire connection, then the neutral and ground are improperly connected together and sharing one wire. This is not allowed by code and can result in the machine becoming electrified if the neutral/ground connection fails.
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Old 06-20-2012, 08:52 PM   #15
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What does "120/208" volts mean?


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Originally Posted by zorn View Post
Some commercial equipment has power ratings that say "120/208", like this coffee brewer for example:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...ht_1060wt_1163

It has to be plugged into 220 power. Why do they put 120/208, and does anyone know why this is diferent than a 220V appliance that just says '220'?

Thanks in advance if anyone can help with this.
Perhaps this appliance requires both 120v and 208v.
The control circuits probably run of the 120v,
And the big power guzzling heating element uses 208v.

Does this answer your question ?
Or have I mis interpretted ?

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