Any experiences using a 240V EU espresso machine with a 240V outlet in the US?

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AZ3Desert
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#1: Post by AZ3Desert »

I'm looking at purchasing a 220V/240V Espresso machine from Europe (EU) and using it in my US kitchen with a dedicated 240V outlet. I narrowed my machine choice down to a LELIT BIANCA PL162T V3 ESPRESSO MACHINE or a PROFITEC PRO 700 ESPRESSO MACHINE (again the 220v models). Both machines can work at 50HZ and 60HZ... so that is not an issue.

As I researched power requirements, I see that in the EU they use 3 wires: 220/240v, Neutral and Ground to supply the machine. In the USA, we use 3 wires, but they would be 120v, 120v and Ground to achieve 240V. The 2 120V lines are out of phase.

I think US 220V/240v should work with the espresso machines... But after researching on the net, I can only find references that are not very detailed with people doing this... most posts are using a step up transformer to go from US 120V to 220V/240V... not my use case.

Can someone that has used a 220V/240V EU machine with 220V/240V US power, please share their experiences and how they wired them up? If it is with one of these machines, did you experience any issues (like electronics do not properly work)?

Thank you so much!

Nunas
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#2: Post by Nunas »

I have not used an EU machine on our split phase system, but have done lots of other 240-volt wiring, both here and in Asia. You should have no problem. Most EU/Asian machines have blue, brown and green/yellow wires, which correspond to neutral, hot and safety ground respectively. Here, we have red, black, white and green/bare, which corresponds to hot, hot, neutral and safety ground. Our hot wires are not different phases (industrially we do have 3-phase, but that's a different thing). In our split phase system, the red or the black to the white each give 120-volts. The red to the black gives 240-volts. Thus, to use our power on an EU machine, the brown goes to the red or the black, the blue goes to the black or the red and the green/yellow goes to the frame. You don't use the white wire.

One word of caution is to check with an ohmmeter that there is no internal ground on the machine from the blue or the brown to the frame. There isn't supposed to be (here or in the EU), but one never knows. I suggest checking both because it used to be that European internal wiring was sometimes backwards (brown and blue reversed), I've no idea why. I don't think this is an issue with modern appliances. Another thing to be aware of is that voltage ratings for appliances are "nominal", not actual. It is not uncommon here for our 120-volt lines to be as high as 127-volts, and therefore our nominally 240-volt lines to be 254-volts. Be sure that the EU appliance can withstand voltages this high.

If you search here on H-B, I'm sure you'll find lots of posts about this; I remember seeing them from time to time.
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JohnB.
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#3: Post by JohnB. »

AZ3Desert wrote: Can someone that has used a 220V/240V EU machine with 220V/240V US power, please share their experiences and how they wired them up? If it is with one of these machines, did you experience any issues (like electronics do not properly work)?

Thank you so much!
My 230v Speedster has been running fine on U.S. power now for 14 years. Green/yellow on ground & the other two are your hots.
LMWDP 267

Davi-L
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#4: Post by Davi-L »

Also consider a 240 volt GFI. Not cheap but safety is worth it.
Dave
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BaristaBoy E61
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#5: Post by BaristaBoy E61 »

Our Speedster is also hooked up on a dedicated 240vac circuit wired to the load centre by a licensed electrician.

+1 Davi-L & JohnB.

For a 240vac GFCI breaker. Your electrician can also put a plug on the machine's line cord if you like.

No electrical problems at all.
"You didn't buy an Espresso Machine - You bought a Chemistry Set!"

LittleCoffee
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#6: Post by LittleCoffee »

Parents in US have run a U.K. kettle for over two decades this way. If it works for a kettle it will work for a machine. If you choose a U.K. machine the plug has a built in fuse - not as good as GFCI but better than a European plug without. My parents just wired a U.K. extension lead and the you don't need to change plugs on whatever you buy.

AZ3Desert (original poster)
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#7: Post by AZ3Desert (original poster) »

Firstly, of the 2 models I mentioned, I think I am most likely going to get the Profitec 700 Pro. I'll add the flow control.

@Nunas, thank you for the detailed response around the electrical connections in the EU... I did search through H-B, but did not see the detail you provided. Actually in most cases, folks were trying to convince the person to buy a 120V device or a step up transformer.

Beyond the Neutral line providing the return path for the 240v (perhaps 220v EU) line, I was concerned it may be used some where elsewhere in the circuit. I was not able to find any detailed circuit diagrams for the Profitec 700 to dig through. I did send Profitec an email asking if they were available. But based on your response, it sounds like that is highly unlikely... As you recommended, I will ohm out between the Neutral, case and ground lines to make sure they are not connected... that would be bad ;-).

On the line voltage, I measured mine and it is 240v... but I know that can vary during the course of the day. I also spoke to 2 of the EU vendors that ship to the US and they both said it should work fine. So I'll just have to risk it... I will hope that it will be tolerant to variations I may see.

AZ3Desert (original poster)
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#8: Post by AZ3Desert (original poster) »

@JohnB, Davi-L, BaristaBoy E61, LittleCoffee, thank for your advice and sharing your experiences. I tried to reply to each of you, but apparently, I can only do one post within a give period of time.

I will look at putting in a GFI breaker!

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BaristaBoy E61
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#9: Post by BaristaBoy E61 »

If you have a licensed electrician doing your instillation with a GFCI breaker, I'd also install a 'Whole House Surge Protector' at the elecrical panel load centre that is the best way to protect all 240vac equipment as if it were plugged into a surge protected power bar. This will protect all equipment 120vac & 240vac equipment, espresso, HVAC, dryers, stoves etc. that have sensitive electronic controls that can be taken out by surges during electrical storms and after power failures.
"You didn't buy an Espresso Machine - You bought a Chemistry Set!"