At the end of the year, I'm going to be moving from the US to Argentina.
Argentina uses 50Hz vs. the US' 60Hz and I'm wondering if I can use a couple
of appliances that I really don't want to put in storage. I know I can get
a transformer to drop the voltage down from 240 to 120, but the power will
still be at 50Hz and I'm wondering what effect that will have on these
I have a rather expensive automatic espresso machine. Its a Saeco Royal
Digital Plus. Saeco says it will work, but that 50Hz will, over time, cause
some damage to the machine. They couldn't be any more specific than that
(timeframe, nature of "damage", etc. are unclear). The machine has a motor
that runs the grinder & tamper. It also has a boiler for the water and an
electronic touchpad for controling the brewing of coffee. There's no clock
on it, but I gather there are some timing functions in terms of automatic
shut-off and how long to run the brew cycle for.
My other appliance is a small (34 bottle) wine fridge. The manufacturer is
Both of these appliances call for 120v/60Hz. What effect do you think
120V/50Hz would have on these? Again, I really don't want to stick them in
storage, but I also don't want them to die in the first couple of months of
use in Argentina.
Thanks in advance for any assistance/info.
I would suggest that you not bother moving them. By the time you
consider the bother of moving them, the cost of the transformer (for that
espresso machine you are going to need a mighty large transformer) and the
risk of problems, I don't think it would be worth it. Buy what you need
when you get there.
Thanks for the quick reply. I guess I should have mentioned that both
moving costs and transformers will be covered by my employer. Still may not
be worth moving them, but I sure would like to keep using them ;-)
60Hz devices have lighter power transformers or motors compared to 50Hz
ones. Run on 50Hz it may over heat or rven at that may work OK for
occasional use. If it is rotatiing device the rpm will be less.
Tony is exactly right. Transformers designed for 60 Hz operation must
be de-rated when used on a 50 Hz system. This de-rating WILL NOT
change anything for your appliances. Their components, especially if
there are any motors or transformers, will be subjected to what amounts
to an overload. However, in the opposite situation, I believe you can
safely run equipment designed for 50 Hz on a 60 Hz system. This is
true for transformers.
Often the nameplates/info labels will indicate 50/60 Hz: If so,
no problem. Otherewise it goes on a case by case basis - maybe,
maybe not. If it's cheap, it's better to replaces. If not
cheap, it's probably labelled with the freq it's designed for.
As mentioned, anything synchronous, such as clocks, will be
impacted by the frequency being wrong, or may run fast/slow
depending on what it is.
50Hz motors run at 60Hz, may be run at full voltage. There are trade offs-
speed may will be higher and peak and starting torques lower. No load
current may or may not be higher. If you run a 60Hz motor at 50Hz, then it
should be run at 5/6 the rated voltage. again there are trade offs- mainly
speed at a given torque.
I did some research on this a few years ago when a generator I bought could
produce either 50 or 60hz. Many devices depend on the 60hz and 50hz will
damage them. Unless the manufacturer says it is okay, don't do it.
I brought a 120v 60hz frige to Europe, used a transformer for 3 years
then brought it back, it worked fine. Bring it and use it since its
free. Just oversize the transformer capacity for both units. Many
apliances can use 50Hz, read their label.
You can buy a a coffee machine and some coffee in the US for $10 total.
Or you can buy one cup of coffe at Starbucks for $10.
No need to bring stuff to the US. Here you can buy anything that china
is willing to produce.
depending on the type of motor it may change the speed.
The average motor in items like a blender or coffee grinder should be just fine
on 50Hz as they are
low duty cycle motors,
If they have variable speed, they are probably DC motors and you will not see a
However motors will run hotter and timers/clocks will probably run 17%
slower. The hotter motors will not too likely make a major difference
except, possibly, in appliances such as a dishwasher where the motor will
run for longer perioed at a time.
It would be best to checks the specs for your specific models. They may be
designed for 50 or 60 cycles. Ask the manufacturer is necessary.
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