Need a voltage transformer for 220v

Recommendations for buyers and upgraders from the site's members.

#1: Post by popeye »

I need to pick up a 110/120 to 240v transformer for my latest upgrade. I've done a little research and i need at least 2000w. I'm concerned about idle load - it seems all transformers draw some power when on, even if they're not supplying power to any components. Does anybody else use a transformer to power a 220v machine? Can anyone recommend a high quality transformer that can be left on 24/7 without starting a fire and without causing my electrical bills to balloon?
Spencer Weber

User avatar

#2: Post by shadowfax »

For what it's worth, the one I used with my Nino, the Simran VT1500, was so-so. I should have gotten the VT2300F, as no adapters would have been needed and I think it's comfortably above the Nino's power requirement (IIRC a couple guys in Europe measured it pulling down ~1150W during operation). As you've found, a transformer needs to be rated well above a motor's operational rating because most motors draw way more current than they are rated for during the moment of startup. That said, the Nino should be pretty good about not doing this--it has a pair of start capacitors that are supposed to alleviate that problem and give it a much smoother startup. I'd still recommend getting a transformer way over the motor spec, though. And I will say of the Simran transformers that they are very rugged and heavy, but still manage to feel like Chinese-made crap.

As to heat issues: IIRC my VT1500 drew about 20-30W at idle (on and nothing plugged in). This seems really reasonable (about like leaving a CFL bulb on all day), and wouldn't cost you more than a few dollars a year. That said, it did get irritatingly warm to the touch for me. I don't think it was anything approaching a fire hazard, just a nuisance. One more thing to worry about breaking, and something that makes you feel uncomfortable hooking up to a $2000 grinder. Anyway, good luck with your search.
Nicholas Lundgaard

ECM Manufacture: @ecmespresso #weliveespresso
Sponsored by ECM Manufacture

#3: Post by billm3 »

For the cost of a transformer and the idle electricity use, is having an electrician run a 220V line possible?

Even less expensive if you are comfortable running the line yourself.