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Converting 230V espresso machine for use in the US

Postby tjkoko on Tue Sep 09, 2008 9:00 am

If I purchase a 220-230 volt espresso machine, would there be much difficulty converting it to 120 volts for use in the United States?
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Postby stefano65 on Tue Sep 09, 2008 10:40 am

Depends on what machine
and how many electrical- electronic parts there are
a leva machine fairly inexpensive
a super auto>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>.........
or as possible a step down transformer
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Postby zin1953 on Tue Sep 09, 2008 10:52 am

tjkoko wrote:If I purchase a 220-230 volt espresso machine, would there be much difficulty converting it to 120 volts for use in the United States?

If you live in the US, and are planning to use the machine in the US, why would you buy a 220v machine and then not run it on 220v???

I understand that many of the machines that are built to run on 110v were originally designed to run on 220 and then "altered" for the lower voltage, often at diminished performance. So I can see why buying a 220v machine might have its advantages, but why buy one and then not take advantage of its power?
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Postby uscfroadie on Tue Sep 09, 2008 10:57 am

If I purchase a 220-230 volt espresso machine, would there be much difficulty converting it to 120 volts for use in the United States?


If you have plans to bring it back to the US, I recommend buying a 120v and using a step-down transformer as Stefano65 mentioned, which is what I'm using here in Germany. I have a 1600 watt transformer supplying power to my QM Alexia (1500 watts) and my Mazzer Mini (not sure right off hand how many watts). To date, I've never had a problem or tripped a breaker. I even have the transformer plugged into a 220v timer so that the machine is at optimal temperature when I wake up and when I get home from work.

Here is a picture of the setup.Image
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Postby tjkoko on Tue Sep 09, 2008 11:39 am

Here are the specs of the used machine I'm thinking of purchasing, exactly as listed:

ECM
Veneziano model--Veneziano A 1

Watt 1700 W
Voltage 230 V. / 50 Hz.

120 V. / 60 Hz.
200 V. / 50-60 Hz.

So I'm a bit confused. Compare all of the above voltage specifications. Confusing. It appears that the machine might be setup for dual voltage without requiring more than a flick of a switch depending on geographic location?
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Postby zin1953 on Tue Sep 09, 2008 11:56 am

It looks to me like they just copied the original specs from the website -- go to http://www.ecm-espresso.it/product/VENEZ_A1.htm and scroll down.

That typically means that the company makes a machine that will run on 230v and 50Hz, and another one at 120v and 60 Hz . . .
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Postby cannonfodder on Tue Sep 09, 2008 11:59 am

Most machines can be had in many voltage setups. The manufacturer just lists them all and you get the unit that is appropriate for you power.

The setup Merle has is opposite of what you are trying to do. A step down transformer is just a big resistor (yes I know that is over simplified), a step up transformer, which is what you would need to run a 230v machine on a 110 line, is much more expensive. I have a two group that I restored; I ran a new 220 30A line for it.

To truly convert it, you would have to replace the heater and probably all the electronics, it would be cheaper to purchase a new machine at the correct voltage unless it was a simple level box and a solenoid or two.
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Postby tjkoko on Tue Sep 09, 2008 12:03 pm

...appreciate all of the replies and know well of step up/down transformers. As to exact voltage, waiting to hear word from owner who is a food and beverage operator. Won't bother to convert the electrics.
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Postby uscfroadie on Tue Sep 09, 2008 3:43 pm

Are we talking about the one on eBay? If so, look at the pictures - one shows what appears to be a 120v plug. If that is the case, no transformer will be needed.

If I were you, I'd ask the seller to send you a picture of the placard that specifies the voltage. It'll be quite clear on what the machines requirements are for juice to power it.

Good luck!
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Postby tjkoko on Tue Sep 09, 2008 5:44 pm

Damned, you guessed my little secret. We'll see how this one turns out although I really would like to get that machine over the PVL.
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