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230V/240V Question

Discussion in 'Electrics UK' started by M1AK, 27 Dec 2015.

  1. M1AK

    M1AK

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    Hi there,

    I'm looking to change my ceiling light and just wanted a bit of assurance/assistance.

    Basically I am looking to buy a ceiling light (this one in particular: http://bit.ly/1JCgTFH).

    Now as the description states, it is 230V. For nearly half the price, I can get the very same light from Germany. I read online that UK power is also indeed 230V (@50hz) identical to Germany.

    However, RCDs in my consumer unit clearly state 240v and the existing light unit says 200-240v.

    Would this light I am looking to buy be ok if it is 230v and from Germany?
     
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  3. OwainDIYer

    OwainDIYer

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    Anything made for the EU market should be 220 - 240 volt compatible. 230 volts is only the nominal voltage; it can vary quite widely.
     
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  4. winston1

    winston1

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    UK voltage has been 240 volts since soon after nationalisation in the late 40s. German voltage was 220 volts for many years. Sometime in the 90s it was decided to "harmonise" voltages across Europe and call it 230 volts everywhere with wider tolerances. One of those marketing cons dreamt up by Eurocrats. Some European countries have indeed increased their voltage from 220 to 230 volts, but the UK has not reduced its voltage and as far as I can tell does not intend to.

    Bottom line, anything bought recently in Europe should be OK anywhere in in Europe including the UK with its (actual) 240 voltS. Older European equipment rated ar 220 volts however can get a bit warm in the UK.
     
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  5. EFLImpudence

    EFLImpudence

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    Especially ovens.
     
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  6. OwainDIYer

    OwainDIYer

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    Surely ovens, of all things, have thermostats?
     
  7. AndyPRK

    AndyPRK

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    :ROFLMAO:I assumed it was a joke.
     
  8. stillp

    stillp

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    Yes.
     
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  9. EFLImpudence

    EFLImpudence

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    It was but, in my experience, ovens do get a bit warm. :)
     
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  11. PBC_1966

    PBC_1966

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    It was decided to adopt 240V nominal (with correspnding 415V 3-phase and 480V 3-wire) as the standard, but it was a good many years before that standardization was achieved right across Britain. Different nominal voltages were still in use in some areas for many years. Here's a summary I posted a while ago of the situation in 1966:

    http://www.diynot.com/diy/threads/non-standard-supply-voltages-1966.445664/
     
  12. 333rocky333

    333rocky333

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    can you get lamps to fit it
     
  13. M1AK

    M1AK

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    Thanks for the replies and clarifying it will be ok.

    I don't log on here too often but I must say, It is always great to learn more from other knowledgeable members on here, so thank you :)
     
  14. PBC_1966

    PBC_1966

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    Regarding the tolerances, the "old" standard was that the supplier had to maintain a nominal 240V (at the supply point to your house) with a permissible tolerance of +/-6%. That meant an allowable range of 225.6 to 254.4 volts.

    The change in the 1990's was an exercise in juggling the specified nominal voltage and permissible tolerances for the political expediency of being able to claim "harmonization" with Europe, the result being a declared nominal voltage 230V but with an odd asymmetrical tolerance of +10/-6%, a range of 216.2 to 253 volts. Notice how that encompasses all of the former 240V +/-6% range, except for 1.4V at the very upper end, which in practice was very rarely encountered anyway. Thus they changed the specification on paper without requiring any physical changes on the network.
     
  15. EFLImpudence

    EFLImpudence

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    That's true but it did allow standardisation of calculations and related value tables.
     
  16. PBC_1966

    PBC_1966

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    For which there was no need anyway.
     
  17. EFLImpudence

    EFLImpudence

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    There was if harmonization is/was the objective.
     
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