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Changing from Euro 220 wiring to US 110


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I am not great with electronics but was wondering what are the issues of changing a boat with euro wiring (220)  to US 110 

is there an adapter you can use at the dock with 30 amps ? 

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Your easiest route is to install an isolation step up transformer and continue to operate the boat at 220V. The problem with converting a 220V boat to 110V is often that the AC wiring is too small for the circuits (half the current at 220V). Depends on how they built it. 

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25 minutes ago, basketcase said:

an overlooked issue is that while a transformer will easily change the voltage, it does sfa for the hertz.

 

Yeah I was looking at a boat in Grenada that has euro wiring but was wondering what issue I would face bringing it back
Even a lot of tbe islands run on US 110 30 amp so I may have issues on tbe way back to Canada 

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Just now, jetfuel said:

Yeah I was looking at a boat in Grenada that has euro wiring but was wondering what issue I would face bringing it back
Even a lot of tbe islands run on US 110 30 amp so I may have issues on tbe way back to Canada 

Basically it would just to run the battery charger and any wall plugs for a phone charger or computer, tv, and tools as everything  else is 12 volt anyway 

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I believe there was an extensive discussion on this topic on BJ Porter's boat 'Evenstar'.   Search for that or contact Mr Porter.  When politely asked, he will likely share his extensive knowledge.   

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3 hours ago, jetfuel said:

Yeah I was looking at a boat in Grenada that has euro wiring but was wondering what issue I would face bringing it back
Even a lot of tbe islands run on US 110 30 amp so I may have issues on tbe way back to Canada 

Why not just bring along a 12/24V battery charger and an extension cord for the trip home?  That way you can just ignore the Euro wiring til you get home. 

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4 hours ago, basketcase said:

an overlooked issue is that while a transformer will easily change the voltage, it does sfa for the hertz.

 

But these days not a heck of a lot of stuff you plug in cares if it is 50 or 60. Induction motors mainly. And they will just run at a little different speed. Maybe an old style microwave.

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54 minutes ago, Monkey said:

Why not just bring along a 12/24V battery charger and an extension cord for the trip home?  That way you can just ignore the Euro wiring til you get 

The simplest solution but I was curious if anyone had done tbe changes 

Shouldn’t  be very complicated anyway 

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1 hour ago, Bugsy said:

I believe there was an extensive discussion on this topic on BJ Porter's boat 'Evenstar'.   Search for that or contact Mr Porter.  When politely asked, he will likely share his extensive knowledge.   

Thank you 

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1 hour ago, DDW said:

But these days not a heck of a lot of stuff you plug in cares if it is 50 or 60. Induction motors mainly. And they will just run at a little different speed. Maybe an old style microwave.

i just finished a project in Rhode Island that employed a heap of non americans. every one brought their own tools. some of the shop infrastructure was non american. guys would burn out the motors in sanders, grinders and vacuums and we had on going failures with ovens and heaters because of that small change.  

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2 hours ago, basketcase said:

i just finished a project in Rhode Island that employed a heap of non americans. every one brought their own tools. some of the shop infrastructure was non american. guys would burn out the motors in sanders, grinders and vacuums and we had on going failures with ovens and heaters because of that small change.  

I am incredulous. Almost all handheld power tools and portable vacuums are universal motors, larger stationary tools tend to be induction. A universal motor doesn't care what the frequency is, and will run happily on DC. Ovens and heaters are resistive, again the AC frequency does not affect them. RMS voltage will affect all of the above, maybe that was the problem? Low RMSV will burn out a universal motor - if you are running 220 tools on 110 they may run, but will be very hot, likewise a 110V motor at 80V.

Even induction motors will run at different frequencies, but it affects speed since the speed is set by the phase angle. That is how all modern machine tools set speed - with a variable frequency drive. 

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26 minutes ago, DDW said:

I am incredulous. Almost all handheld power tools and portable vacuums are universal motors, larger stationary tools tend to be induction. A universal motor doesn't care what the frequency is, and will run happily on DC. Ovens and heaters are resistive, again the AC frequency does not affect them. RMS voltage will affect all of the above, maybe that was the problem? Low RMSV will burn out a universal motor - if you are running 220 tools on 110 they may run, but will be very hot, likewise a 110V motor at 80V.

Even induction motors will run at different frequencies, but it affects speed since the speed is set by the phase angle. That is how all modern machine tools set speed - with a variable frequency drive. 

well.... we cooked a heap of festool hand tools, a table saw, a Swedish heater............

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Some battery chargers will actually run on both 220V and 110V - if the only thing running on 220V shore power is the charger and outlets then with some careful wiring you might not even need a transformer.  Just make sure you don't burn out the wiring, as the 220 wire is normally sized for 1/2 the amps of 110V for a given wattage.

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On 2/23/2021 at 5:25 PM, DDW said:

I am incredulous. Almost all handheld power tools and portable vacuums are universal motors, larger stationary tools tend to be induction. A universal motor doesn't care what the frequency is, and will run happily on DC. Ovens and heaters are resistive, again the AC frequency does not affect them. RMS voltage will affect all of the above, maybe that was the problem? Low RMSV will burn out a universal motor - if you are running 220 tools on 110 they may run, but will be very hot, likewise a 110V motor at 80V.

Even induction motors will run at different frequencies, but it affects speed since the speed is set by the phase angle. That is how all modern machine tools set speed - with a variable frequency drive. 

+1. I imported a boat from Europe. Almost everything worked at 60 Hz. The only exception was the microwave. 

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Microwaves have magnetrons, and can be frequency (and waveform) dependent. Most of them don't work well on a "modified square wave" inverter. There are such things as inverter microwaves which are much less sensitive, and internal inverter drives the magnetron. 

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19 hours ago, DDW said:

Microwaves have magnetrons, and can be frequency (and waveform) dependent. Most of them don't work well on a "modified square wave" inverter. There are such things as inverter microwaves which are much less sensitive, and internal inverter drives the magnetron. 

Good ideas.

Or, you can do what I did: go to WalMart and buy an $80 microwave. :)

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I don't think that this should be a big deal. All you're changing is:

1. Battery charger

2. Cabin AC outlet (if installed)

3. Fuses

4. Connector

5. Wiring that connects all of this stuff, if too small

 

It's not a huge job - just remove the old stuff and stick in new stuff - probably less than $300 (if your battery charger is not already universal mains and needs swapping), $150 for wire and connectors if you can use the old charger. 

 

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1 hour ago, Wet Spreaders said:

It's not a huge job - just remove the old stuff and stick in new stuff - probably less than $300 (if your battery charger is not already universal mains and needs swapping), $150 for wire and connectors if you can use the old charger. 

 

That is going to WAY depend on the boat. Small old boat without much of an AC system, true. Big complicated boat there can be 200 lbs of AC wire in it, all kinds of appliances, chargers, inverters, HVAC, washing machines, who knows what all. 

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I moved to Australia 10 years ago. I’m an American boatbuilder/carpenter/woodworker. We used a 20’ shipping container to move here permanently. I brought my 8” jointer, special 5hp planer/moulder, and favourite old drill press. All of my power tools.

I ran the power tools off of an EBay transformer. They cost about $75 for a decent sized one. I used my 6” Bosch sander hard for 5 years. My Dewalt 12” slider didn’t care. I simply put a new plug on my Makita battery charger. 

The 5hp 60hz US motor  ran for a few years under 50hz until I pushed it hard for 2 hours straight. It cooked. That is heavy use for a planer. The jointer one was fine. I replaced it after a year because the slower speed pissed me off. 

In the US they use 50hz motors for things like hvac units that need to run at slower speeds. 

I wired two houses and three wood shops in the US. I know house wiring. The wiring diameters they use here are effectively the same. The difference is the US use solid core, we use braided wire here. Residentially they run some long series of outlets(powerpoints). Generally because the houses are cheap not so much because of capacity. One obvious difference is you can run a 100ft 12 gauge extension cord. Your 240volt circular saw doesn’t care. Plenty of juice at 30meters. 
 

I would be surprised if the wiring in a boat couldn’t handle both voltages. The distances are fuckall unless you got a big big boat. 
 

Modern appliances and most motors are designed to be run from 208-250v 50/60 hz . The world average is 230v.

The coolest thing I brought was my Laser. It was the first thing in the container. I ratchet strapped that fucker to the roof of the container. 
 

Now it doesn’t even matter, because everything is battery powered. 


 

 

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7 hours ago, DDW said:

That is going to WAY depend on the boat. Small old boat without much of an AC system, true. Big complicated boat there can be 200 lbs of AC wire in it, all kinds of appliances, chargers, inverters, HVAC, washing machines, who knows what all. 

Hmmmm - I think I managed to mix this thread, a small Cabernet and a previous thread about a J105 and assumed that this was also a simple boat being worked on. Obviously if it's some kind of complex gin palace with a lot of AC powered stuff in it, the scope of work needed is very different. 

Nonetheless, I'd check whether the AC powered appliances are OK for universal input voltage. Most of the power supplies that we make are good from 85 VAC to 265 VAC. The only exception is likely to be devices with AC motors (probably air conditioning and maybe fridge). Most other systems (lighting, electronics) will be unaffected since they are DC systems. Battery charger could go either way, but I would guess it's going to be universal unless very old or very cheap. 

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There are several threads where this gets beat to death.  If the boat has solar and gen no need for shore power till back.  Get a good estimate from a reputable ABYC shop on the retro fit cost if you plan to convert to 110 60.  As DDW said it can be super simple cheap or pretty involved.

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