Using American Microwave Oven in UK


I've bought an American microwave (GE PEM31) for its physical size (it's
very shallow). It takes 1.2KVA (110VAC @60Hz).
Q1) Does anyone know if I just need to drop the voltage or does the
frequency matter? I do not really mind if the platter rotates a tad slower,
the timing settings are a bit off. The microwave frequency is determined
by the mechanical structure of the magnetron.
Q2) Suggestions for suitable supplier of converter (or I shall just use RS,
Maplin, or Farnell) and what are they called (transformer, auto-transformer,
inverter, converter, etc)
Q3) Is there a better source of information if it is not available here?
Q4) If I open it up to find answers, what am I looking for?
TIA
Bill
PS I am new to this group so apologise in advance for everything.
Reply to
Bill Davy
It won't work on UK voltage! At best it will blow a fuse, at worst - well who knows! There are plenty of companies importing US fridges so you might be able to find out the answer from them.
Other's may be able to comment on the 50/60Hz issue. My suspicion is that it won't matter although the clock might be inaccurate if it takes its timings from the mains frequency - but don't take my word for any of this!
Paul DS.
Reply to
Paul D.Smith
The message from "Dave Plowman (News)" contains these words:
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Trouble is large ones are likely to cost as much as the microwave. Companies importing American fridges often use 90 volt transofrmers to make allowance for the difference in frequency. But these things are very often suck it and see.
Reply to
Appin
No idea, and I'm not going to hazard a guess.
60Hz is more efficient for running crude old iron-cored transformers, and you've got an appliance there that contains a honking great example of such a thing, designed from the country that still thinks "big crude old iron" is a good idea. Run such a transformer on 50Hz and it _will_ run hotter, the only question is how much so and whether it's enough to mattter.
Frequency very rarely makes an issue here, but if it were going to, your microwave would be a prime candidate for being the first kitchen appliance to self-immolate because of it.
I'd ask GE directly. I'd have done this before even buying it.
Reply to
Andy Dingley
Ohh, me! me! ask me! We've got tons of US 110/60 kit at work, and the place is wired for US-style 110/60. This is supplied from a bank of rotary convertors.
Perhaps the OP would like a rotary convertor in the kitchen? I can probably find an old one that would only need a bit of tarting up, a new belt and a lick of paint. Not *too* noisy, if you crank the stereo up. Would fit neatly under the worktop in a double unit carcass.
Sorted.
Reply to
Ron Lowe
OTOH: I've noticed a lot (OK, perhaps two examples .... ) of 'shallow' microwave cookers for sale in the UK (England) this year.. B&Q are offering an example advertised as fitting into a wall cupboard ... getting it off the worktop, it's less than 300mm deep. Those I've examined seem to fit into the '17 litre' class of device.
IS the OP attempting to solve a problem for which there's already a solution?
Reply to
Brian Sharrock
In article , "Bill Davy" writes:
That's quite funny. I used to get US visitors buying their microwaves in the UK because they couldn't get combination ones in the US (they draw more power than you can get from a standard US socket).
Reply to
Andrew Gabriel
In article ,
Are they any use? To me the beauty of a microwave is not having to wait for it to heat up - and that it doesn't get stuff burnt on to it. But then I only use mine for vegetables and reheating stuff which is in a suitable container anyway. For cooking things that need an oven or grille I use the oven or grille. ;-)
Reply to
Dave Plowman (News)
On 2008-01-21 23:47:25 +0000, snipped-for-privacy@cucumber.demon.co.uk (Andrew
Would have been amusing to see them heating their pizzas in the laundry room.:-)
Reply to
Andy Hall
The message from snipped-for-privacy@cucumber.demon.co.uk (Andrew Gabriel) contains these words:
Assuming you're referring to a NEMA 5-15 as a standard US socket.
A Nema 6-15 will cheerfully deliver 15 amps at around 235 volts, though both legs will be at approx 117 volts potential to ground/earth.
Reply to
Appin
The message from Andy Hall contains these words:
Why? Many houses are wired so that by simply changing any duplex 117 volt NEMA 5-15 receptacle for a single NEMA 6-15 receptacle one can have 235 volts 15 amps avialable. The socket looks not unlike our 13 amp socket. Often find NEMA 6-20s for using a room-sized air conditioner. No need to go to the basement.
Reply to
Appin
Until one looks at the manufacturing quality and realises that they are an accident waiting to happen.
Who said anything about the basement?
Reply to
Andy Hall
No! If you ever use the hot oven, it's about an hour before it's cool enough to use as a microwave. Damn silly things.
Reply to
Andy Dingley
The message from Andy Hall contains these words:
I agree that most American plugs and sockets are accidents either waiting to happen or in the process of happening. However decent-quality receptacles and plugs ARE available, at a price, though not from the box-shifters. NEMA 6 stuff is usually somewhat better quality than NEMA 5.
That's where the laundry room usually is in America. At least in the vast majority of houses across the country.
Reply to
Appin
I have just checked the B&Q site and the shallowest item they mention is:
Built-in Microwave Oven AMW4401X Stainless Steel 750w: 320mm (Online: out of stock, In Store: Not ranged, Price £229).
I did look at domestically available appliances, including looking at marine/caravan applications. I even bought one only to find the figure given for the depth of the unit was actually the cavity depth so had to send that back.
The PEM31 is 12 9/32" deep (quaint, I know, but 312 mm). That includes space for the cable's bend radius.
Another advantage of the PEM31 is that there is a kit to hang it under a unit. Also, for getting the chill off a red wine, you can stop the turntable rotating. Also, it is a mark two. Anyway, the thing is here now and so far, nobody seems to "know" the answer, which is fine.
Including shipping and the support bracket kit it was $390. Obviously the converter will add to the cost.
I'll open it up and see if there is a lump of iron so I can see if iron loss is likely to be an issue. And then I'll fire it up at 220VAC 50Hz and see what happens. I will do that on an outside socket, sitting on a cement slab but out of the rain.
Bill
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is not relevant
Reply to
Bill Davy
In article ,
I've never tried one, although I've had a microwave near enough from when they first came out, but my thoughts were when seeing them advertised was that they were a solution to a problem that didn't exist - or meant for those who didn't understand microwaves.
Reply to
Dave Plowman (News)
Seemingly not from Home Depot, though.
It does assume having a basement, and that seems regional.
Reply to
Andy Hall
...snip...
So you're prepared to explode $390.00? Next time you feel like that send me just $300.00 (saving $90.00 - what an offer) and I'll send you a picture of a balloon popping ;-).
FWIW I was once at a trade show where smoke and burning smells emanated from my nieghbours' stand. They'd plugged a 110V 4-way block into the French mains and it didn't like it. They been confused by the "30kV" note on the side (the level of lightning protection!). 110V and 220V/240V do not mix and US goods are almost never designed to survive the higher voltage.
Paul DS.
Reply to
Paul D.Smith

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