Used Mazzer grinder says 220V / 50Hz. What happens if I plug it in to 110V?

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Postby andrewpetre » Aug 25, 2009, 12:43 pm

I saw lots of discussion about 220v 110v conversions. I don't really want to do any converting at this point - I just want to know what happens if you take a 220v grinder and plug it into 110.

I picked up an older Mazzer grinder. I don't exactly know how old, but it doesn't seem to have another model name on it, which seemed odd. It is silver and round-ish like the SJ body and has the stepless spring-resistance burr carrier. Power switch has On / Start. I didn't turn further to see if it was a timer. Maybe they all are?

The sticker on the bottom says 220V and 50Hz, but the grey plug coming out the side is a (household standard) NEMA 5-15 three prong plug like you'd find on anything. I'm not sure how to reconcile those two data unless the motor was replaced? I plugged it in and turned it on briefly, and it seems to spin normally.

The place that had it claimed that it had been in use on a regular outlet.

So the questions I'm left with are:

1) Is there a way to tell if the motor is actually designed for 220v/50hz?

2) If it was, and I power it with 110/60, what are the consequences? Should it have even turned on?

Sorry if this was answered in the other thread. I saw information about heating elements, but not much to the point of electric motors.

Thank you!


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Postby ira » Aug 25, 2009, 7:16 pm

If it's 220 50 and you plug it into 110 60 for a few seconds nothing will get hurt. Since you've no idea how it's wired, I'd turn it on and then plug it into an extension cord and see if it runs. There is a chance it won't work and you got it cheap because someone tried putting a 110 plug on an 220 machine and it acted broken. The thing to be careful about and the reason I said turn it on and then plug it into a cord is if it's wired really wrong you won't be touching the machine and if it hurts the plug, at least it will be a cord and not a wall plug.

You should probably check with a meter to see that ground is ground and that neither the neutral or hot connect to the case.


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Postby Espin » Aug 25, 2009, 7:43 pm

If it runs at all, it will be lacking in speed and power.

If you can get a 220V (or 240V) circuit to connect it to (dryer? stove?), it'll spin 20% faster than normal and really chew through the beans.

Ideal here is probably to verify that the motor won't do anything stupid at 60hz other than run fast, and then get a step-up transformer - somewhat oversized for current may help with the motor starting properly.

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Postby misterdoggy » Aug 26, 2009, 8:24 am

I don't imagine a very long life if it does even turn.

You know you can buy very very cheap 110 to 220 voltage adapters on ebay, maybe less than $20

Wait and do it right

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Postby andrewpetre » Aug 28, 2009, 3:38 pm

All good advice. I will check the plug / neutral / body issues.

I was reading this thread ( The Mazzer Super Jolly Mod session ) and someone was suggesting that they had one that "was already converted".

The circumstances were strangely similar to this one -- it has a 110 style plug on it. I haven't used a 220 appliance before that didn't have a special plug.

It appears to be the same cord / plug all the way into the body. It's not a hack at the end or anything. Maybe I'll add a picture or two...

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Postby randytsuch » Aug 29, 2009, 10:46 am

If you are right, and they already changed the motor, then you DONT want to plug it into 220/240V, a motor designed for 110 will not like 220V, and you'll most likely blow it up.

But, you can do the reverse, running a motor designed for 220V at 110 won't hurt it, it will just run slower, and not have as much power.

If it was me, I would try grinding some beans at 110, and see how long it takes to grind them. Would be better if you could weigh the beans, so you could figure out how many grams per second it is working at.


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Postby Lockman » Sep 01, 2009, 3:21 pm

Sounds converted to me. Should be pretty obvious when you grind with it.
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Postby cubastreet » Sep 01, 2009, 6:26 pm

A 220V winding won't run slow on 110V, as the motor is synchronous - it runs in time with the frequency of the a.c. current. It might have trouble starting, and will definitely run with less torque, but won't run slow.

In fact, if the plate says 220V 50Hz, it will run faster on 110V 60Hz - if it does run.

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Postby jpboyt » Feb 05, 2011, 6:33 am

Ladies and Gentlemen,
I suggest a bit of homework by Googling "Induction Motors" to get a better handle on the information that you are offering. Induction motors are most certainly not synchronous. It is the difference in rotational speed that causes current flow in the armature. If the armature rotated the same rpm as the rotating magnetic fields in the stator the motor would cease to run as there would be no magnetic fields in the armature. An induction motor always runs at a percentage of the theoretical rpm, which is determined by the AC line frequency and the number of poles in the motor. Max theoretical for 60hz is 3600 which is why you see a lot of 3450 rpm motors which are 2 pole motors. 4 pole theoretical is 1800 but you see numbers like 1725 rpm.
As far as "Can I run a 220 VAC motor on 110 VAC?" goes, the problem is that you are stuck with a given amount of impedance in the stator windings. Inductive reactance is a function of frequency and it increases with frequency. So our 50Hz motor at 60Hz is going to draw a little less current. Now as to how it will run let's do a little even numbered math...We are using impedance which is the combination of inductor reactance and resistance.
Cut the voltage in half and you cut the current in half. Wattage, which is power, is Volts times amps. For example 220V / 110 ohms = 2 A, 220V * 2 A = 440 watts. Same motor on 110 is: 110V/ 110 ohms = 1 amp, 110V * 1 amp = 110 watts. Cutting the voltage in half drops the power by a factor of 4. There are other factors involved but you can see that running a motor designed for a European market won't hardly run let alone grind unless maybe you feed it one bean at a time...