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Solving for using 120V 60hz washing machine and dryer in 240V 50hz environment

mjk39

New Member
Thanks in advance for the feedback. My family will be building our dream home and moving to Europe in a few years. I’ve lived in various regions of the world and one of the biggest conveniences that I missed while being away from the US was American style washing machines and dryers. American washing machine cycle times are half their international counterparts and American vented dryers just get the job done compared to international ventless dryers or hang drying.

I really want to find a way to use imported American (Samsung or LG) washing machines and dryers in our new home. I’m not an electrical engineer, but through all my research I understand that I would need to solve for both the voltage difference (120V vs 240V) and the frequency difference (60hz vs 50hz).

Ultimately the feedback I am hoping for is what type of solution would be the easiest and cost effective to implement.

Here are some options that I have thought of that may work:

Option 1: I read about someone replacing some of the internal parts of the 120V machines with comparable parts from 240V machines. I think this assumes that you can find a “matching” international model with a similar logic/motherboard (maybe not), which for a washing machine might be doable, but since vented dryers really aren’t made for the international market that might not be possible.

Option 2: Buy a heavy-duty voltage and frequency converter. This would cost a few thousand each and given that we may have more than one set of washers/dryers this would be very costly.

Option 3: We are building our home from the ground up, so find an electrician that can convert some of the power coming into the house to 120V 50hz. The issue is finding someone that is able to do this since this would likely be against regulations and maybe more costly than Option 2.

Option 4: We plan to install a solar panel and battery pack system for our home. I’m wondering whether some of the power from this system can be distributed as 120V 50hz and dedicated to our washer and dry.

Other Options?
 
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MaxHeadRoom78

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Generally N.A. dryers are combined 120/240, 120v for the control and 240 for the element.
Also N.A. is 60Hz and EU 50Hz so induction motors will run that much slower.
The later washing M/C's are not so much affected due to the use of ECM Fisher-Paykel style motors.
 

gophert

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Thanks in advance for the feedback. My family will be building our dream home and moving to Europe in a few years. I’ve lived in various regions of the world and one of the biggest conveniences that I missed while being away from the US was American style washing machines and dryers. American washing machine cycle times are half their international counterparts and American vented dryers just get the job done compared to international ventless dryers or hang drying.
If you're concerned about speed of the cycle, you must be concerned about the speed of everything in your life. Grocery store check-out lines, doctors appointments, traffic in general, waiting for lines at each specialty store for cheese, cold cuts, fish, ...
Everything looks "fast paced" in Europe but, ultimately, it's just crowded and takes forever to get anything done.
Your dream home will soon be sold and you'll move back to the US if washing machine cycle times are already a concern.
 

Nigel Goodwin

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
DON'T DO IT!!!

It's a really, really, really BAD IDEA.

I've seen it a number of times - in every case while delivering proper European appliances to them, to replace the unusable American ones.

American ones aren't any faster (ot they wouldn't wash as well) - it's simply that they are very old style, and still take hot water - something European machines haven't done for decades. European machines are far more efficient in both electric and water usage, particualrly water - which is why they don't take hot water in. Most hot water systems here are combi boilers, and the small amount of water modern washing machines take means that they would only ever get cold water out of the pipes.

As for driers, you can still buy vented driers here, and they are considerably cheaper than non-vented ones.

Incidentally, the maximum current from a UK mains socket is 13A at 240V, giving a maximum power just over 3000W, the rest of Europe is only 10A 220V, giving only 2200W maximum. Anything higher than that has to be wired in to an independent circuit by an electrician, such as showers or cookers.

Because of the European 10A limit, much equipment in the UK (such as kettles) tends to be 2400W rather than 3000W - same appliance across all of Europe.
 

mjk39

New Member
Just want to redirect the conversation as Options 1-3 don’t seem to be good solutions.

If anyone knows much about Solar, I'm curious if Option 4 may be an option
 
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ronsimpson

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Option 4: We plan to install a solar panel and battery pack system for our home. I’m wondering whether some of the power from this system can be distributed as 120V 50hz and dedicated to our washer and dry.
Just get an inverter from the US and connect it to the battery bank. It can run in parallel with all the other electronics. You will have a 240V house with the laundry outs at 110V.
 

MaxHeadRoom78

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Option 1, many appliances run on 50hz/60hz with not problem, As already mentioned, induction motors are slower, it is not financially viable to convert to 50Hz.
 

Externet

Well-Known Member
Not to solve your technical question, but to tell you what I would do.
Sell the existing laundry equipment (and all other 120V60AC) in USA and avoid the shipping to Europe and homologation laws; with that money find used great condition european laundry equipment and if any problem, come back here for the other kind of repair/refurbish/maintenance technical assistance. You will have proper spares availability there and not a nightmare if any repair is needed in the future with no technicians skilled in US equipment.
I will be also implementing a house in Europe in October and will not transport any items.
 
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gophert

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Just want to redirect the conversation as Options 1-3 good solutions.

If anyone knows much about Solar, I'm curious if Option 4 may be an option
We cannot tell you if it's viable until you tell us how many kWh you're installing. Or, at minimum, how much land you plan to buy and what percentage you are willing to cover with solar panels. And which latitude in Northern Europe you are in. And whether you plan to do laundry in the winter months. And what the solar index is in the specific area you plan to buy - we'd have to analyze for the worst sun hours of sunshine in the winter months unless you plan not to get clothes dirty during those months, plan to move or plan to have a lot of clothes to last until summer.
 

KeepItSimpleStupid

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
I would think that adding the US like power when the house is built would be the thing to do. The rooms of interest would probably be the kitchen and laundry. The laundry could use hardwired with disconnects.

Driers are weird. Older dryers were actually wired wrong and were 3-wire. Newer dryers use a 4-wire plug (L1, L2, N and Ground).
Electric dryers typically use 240 and gas 120V. The Neutral allows the controls to be 120V and the heating element to ebb 240.

The frequency difference probably won;t matter. The only way to really fix that is motor-generator or inverter. There are somevariable frequency AC supplies out there.

There are some VFD (Variable Frequency Drive) controllers that take 120 V in and create 208/240 3-phase out. It just turns out that 208/240 3-phase are motors that exist. We don;t have 120V 3-phase.

Residential is 240 split phase. 120-0-120. Air conditioning is usually 240. Electric Stoves 240, Electric water heaters 240.
Water heaters did not normally get neutrals, but they do now because of a 120 V exhaust fan that's used on high efficiency models.

Our lab had 208 3-phase and 4xx 3-phase. The 4xx 3-phase were for 30 air to water heat pumps.
We moved from a 240 3-pase location (Delta) to a 208 3-phase location (Wye).

When we moved, most equipment could be wired from 240 to 208. The heaters for about 6 diffusion pumps had to be replaced.
The powers that be, specified 3-wires instead of 4.

We had a German company as a tennant that wanted to use German power or 240 V 3-phase for furnaces, that's what they got.
There was a big difference between 240 and 208 3-phase.

3-phase residential does exist. It's just very rare. Those with a machining hobby have issues for 3-phase motors for milling machines.
 

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