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Taking UK electricals to Canada?

Discussion in 'Electrics Outside of the UK' started by Graphite, 4 Jun 2020.

  1. Graphite

    Graphite

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    Looking at visiting Canada for a couple of years... 110V 60Hz mains.

    Is it worth taking any UK electrical stuff? - I have asked a couple of manufacturers about power tool chargers for the batteries - the response so far is that I will need compatible chargers to be able to run the tools - not looking good unfortunately :(
     
    Last edited: 4 Jun 2020
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  3. flameport

    flameport

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    Some items may already be compatible - power supplies that accept 100-240V 50/60Hz are fairly common for items such as laptops.
    For other devices that use an external power supply, or are battery powered, buying a new power supply or charger in Canada may be an option.

    Anything else that's designed specifically for UK use and doesn't have an external power supply will not be worth taking there.
     
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  4. Tigercubrider

    Tigercubrider

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    A girlfriend who's Canadian was here for a few years
    She had some stuff like a blender that was 110 and had a transformer

    To be honest, it's probably not worth the hassle as electricals are cheap
    Anything like battery drills - look at your charger because it might operate on dual voltage?
     
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  5. winston1

    winston1

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    Wrong, it is 120v 60Hz.

    If it is like the US supplies there are 2 phases 180˚ apart and 240V is available across the phases. Getting access to both phases is difficult though. 240v is used for large items HiVac and range cookers etc.

    May be worth taking one of these if you have a specific requirement.

    https://www.tlc-direct.co.uk/Main_Index/Transformer_Index/UK_to_USA_Converter/index.html

    Don't consider electronic voltage converters that are advertised much cheaper.
     
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  6. FrodoOne

    FrodoOne

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    If you are concerned only about chargers for tools, as others have said, your existing charger may be compatible and work at any voltage between 100 V AC to 250 V AC.

    If not, it may be possible to obtain 240 V AC (@60 Hz) in many/most North American premises.

    If you look at this diagram (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NEMA_connector#/media/File:NEMA_simplified_pins.svg) you will see that "Clothes Dryers" in North America usually operate on 240 V, using a NEMA 14-30 (or L14-30) socket outlet. (The "L" stands for "Locking")
    If the "premises" concerned have a reasonably well equipped garage/workshop, there may be NEMA 6-15 or 6-20 (or higher capacity) socket outlets.
    (You should avoid NEMA 10-30 or 10-50 socket outlets, since no Earth is available from them.)

    If, along with any "charger" concerned, you take with you a lead (or a power-strip) with a BS 1363 three-pin socket, you should have no problem in obtaining a suitable NEMA plug to suit any 240 V socket outlet available to you - and rewiring the BS 1363 lead/power-strip appropriately, after removing any BS 1363 Plug.

    Just remember that your 240 V appliances do not require the North American (centre tapped) "Neutral" - so (if available), do not connect it to anything.
    However, any North American socket is most unlikely to have an associated switch, so both of the "legs" of the supply will be at 120 V AC above "Earth"/"Ground" at all times and any BS 1363 power-strip may "switch" only one of those "legs".

    While North American "codes" seem to abhor the connection of most lower capacity (Amperage) devices to higher capacity circuits (except on circuits providing 15 A or 20 A), the fuses in your BS 1363 plugs (for which you may not be able to obtain replacements in North America) should obviate any objections in this regard.
     
    Last edited: 7 Jun 2020
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  7. Graphite

    Graphite

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    Thanks guys - some helpful info there I will investigate.
     
  8. JobAndKnock

    JobAndKnock

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    For power tools, like chop saws, etc, you are going to need at least 3kVa (3000Va)

    From experience I can say that all the 230 volt battery chargers from Hitachi, deWalt and Makita that I have used will not work on 110/120 volt. This has necessitated the purchase of 110 volt transformers for several pieces of my kit to allow on-site charging of some batteries. If they could be used dual voltage it would have saved me maybe £200
     
    Last edited: 6 Jul 2020
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  9. winston1

    winston1

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    I don't think he is considering power tools. Electrical outlets in N. America are generally 15A which equates to a max of 2400VA at 120v. He wants to be able to use chargers which use considerable less power.
     
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  11. JohnD

    JohnD

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    Take me through your calculation please.
     
  12. winston1

    winston1

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    Mistake, it should be 1800VA.
     
  13. Graphite

    Graphite

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    Thanks guys - yes just looking at charging 18v battery drill hedge trimmers etc. We will probably get some voltage convertors anyway and I can use them for the battery charger units so that seems the best option. Only for DIY use so fairly low demand.

    Cheers
     
  14. plugwash

    plugwash

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    Newark sell them (though the 3A rating seems to be "not normally stocked", 5A 10A and 13A are in stock. There also seem to be some listings on US amazon.

    But you probably won't be able to get them locally so taking a pack of spares with you is a good idea.

    I'd still have two concerns.

    1. The BS1363 fuses only provide protection in the "Line" conductor, not in the "Neutral" conductor (which won't actually be a neutral when connected to an American 240V supply). A RCD/GFCI would somewhat mitigate this but Remember 240V outlets in North America are less likely to be on a GFCI than regular general use outlets.
    2. Unless you go for one of the power strips with a fuse in, the fuses will only provide protection for invidual devices, not overload protection for the strip as a whole.
     
  15. winston1

    winston1

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    You are confusing UK regs ( which don’t apply in Canada ) with Canadian code. Plug fuses are not required in Canada as they don’t have 32A rings. The plug fuse is to protect the cable not the appliance. The MCB in their CU will do this adequately.
     
  16. plugwash

    plugwash

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    The problem is while there are such things are 15A and 20A 240V NEMA outlets, the 240V outlets you are likely to actually find in a north american home are more likely to be 30A or 50A with a breaker to match.

    I don't think a 30A or 50A breaker is adequate protection for small appliance flexes.
     
  17. FrodoOne

    FrodoOne

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    Any "Circuit Breaker" (whatever rating it is) is not there to protect any "appliance" - it is there only to protect the wiring of the premises concerned.
    If any "appliance" (suddenly) draws much more than its "rated" current, it is likely that the appliance has developed a fault (which may be beyond repair) but any such fault must not be referred on to the wiring of the premises - hence the "Circuit Breaker" - for protecting the wiring "installation" of the premises.
     
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