Power Up! 110v to 220v Converters Guide
Sometimes a new appliance needs more wattage than you have available for the home or the office.
If you have a large room-sized air conditioner, horticultural lights, high-end shop tools, or a tanning bed, the 120V circuits in most homes and offices aren't enough. You need 240V's, and installing that circuit into your building isn't cheap.
Lucky for you, there's an easy and affordable solution to this power problem, 120V to 240 Converters. 240V step-up converters make it easy to power electrical appliances without upgrading your existing circuits.
With our ultimate guide to 120v to 240 Converters, you'll find everything you need to power up in no time at all.
110 and 220 Volts
“110 volts" and "220 volts" represent an older standard for electrical wiring in the United States and Canada. However, in many regions, voltages have gradually increased from 110V to the current standard of 120/240V at 60 Hz. The term and use of 110V and 220V are still common.
120 and 240 Volts – Residential Electricity
The electrical power supplied to most homes in the United States, and Canada is a split-phase system. First, electricity flows into your home at about 240 volts. Then, it splits into two 120-volt halves at the main circuit breaker panel, called phases.
Most consumer goods and electronics use electricity from one of the 120-volt lines. However, some larger appliances require 240V outlets. This includes clothes dryers, ovens, ranges, air conditioners, heavy-duty power tools, and compressors.
What Appliances Use 240 Volts?
While most consumer goods, including portable electronics and most appliances, run on 120V power, some demanding more power rely on 240-volt electrical systems. The following are the most commonly used appliance requiring 240V power:
- Floor Finishing Equipment
- Large Format Printer
- Electric Vehicle Charging
- AC/Heating Duct Cleaning Vacuums
- Room Size Air Conditioners and Heat Pump Systems
- 240 Volt Shop Tools
A Quick 220® System will provide an easy-to-use 220-240V outlet.
Can a 240V Appliance Run on 120V?
You need to use a 240-volt appliance with the required equipment or power outlet. In the U.S., Canada, and neighboring countries, standard household outlets run at 120 volts. It's ill-advised to connect an appliance requiring 220 or 240 volts to one of these outlets because it can damage or destroy the device.
Suppose a device or appliance requiring 220V is plugged into a 120V outlet. In that case, it will only receive half of the necessary energy to function, causing poor performance. In addition, if the device or appliance has a motor, it can become damaged. So, what if your device requires a 220V outlet, but none is in sight?
Converting a 120V Outlet to 240V
Converting a 110V outlet to a 220V outlet requires an electrician's skill. Making this change in your home, apartment, or office often requires extensive rewiring and, most likely, a building inspection. Not to mention, that kind of skilled work comes at a steep price.
The obvious option is to hire an electrician to install the 240V outlet. But unfortunately, that'll cost you hundreds to thousands of dollars, and working with contractors can be a hassle. So, we do not advise hiring an electrician. Instead, we suggest converting the power using a step-up 120V to 220-240V converter.
A step-up 120V to 220-240V converter is another alternative to converting 120V to 220-240v. In many situations, it is simpler and more cost-effective to convert two 120V outlets into a source of 240V without modifying existing circuits. Plus, it's an easy DIY installation!
What is a 220V Converter?
By connecting the converter to two independent sources (different phases) of 120V, the 240V step-up converter creates one source of 240V power. As a result, the 240V step-up converter can power a wide range of machinery and equipment, for homes, offices, and more.
It's important not to be confused with a 240v step-down converter, which takes an existing source of 240V and converts it into a 120V power source.
Should I use a 220-240V Converter or a Transformer?
Converters are lighter, more compact, affordable and support higher net wattages than high wattage transformers.
Where Can I Get a 110v to 220-240V Converter?
You can buy a voltage converter from most stores that sell electronics online and in person. Be mindful of whether you are purchasing a step-down or a step-up converter. (220v to 110v, step-down converters are usually used for international travel.) Quick 220® Systems sell easy-to-use 110V to 220V converters that combine two 110V outlets into one 220V power source.
How to Use a Quick 220® Systems 120v to 240v Power Converter?
- First, check a 110/120-volt outlet with a voltage tester to ensure the outlet is wired correctly and doesn't have a ground fault interrupter in the circuit. (Quick 220® Converters come with one in the box.)
- Plug the power supply cord into the 110–120-volt outlet just tested
- Plug the other power cord into a different 110/120-volt outlet. Use an extension cord of appropriate length, as needed. (The two outlets will most likely be far apart.)
- The amber lamp on the front cover will light when the second power cord is connected to another outlet on an independent, out-of-phase circuit. If the lamp doesn't light, try different outlets until it does. An independent, out-of-phase circuit is electrically 180 degrees out of phase with the first. Quick 220® systems automatically test for this, with no special knowledge or action required on your part.
- Finally, plug your appliance into the 220/240-volt outlet created by the converter and begin use.
Check out Quick 220® Electrical Power Requirements for more information on Quick 220® systems Power Converters and requirements.
Still Not Enough Power?
Quick 220® Systems are rated at 15 or 20 amperes, depending on the model. Higher amperages are unavailable because electrical power on ordinary 120-volt circuits will not deliver at ampere levels above these limits. 20 amperes or more require special wiring to be installed professionally.
That brings us to the end of our ultimate guide to 110V to 220V Converters. We want this to be an evolving resource. So, if you still have unanswered questions about 120V to 240V converters, leave a comment below letting us know. We'll update this post with your question and our answer, powering up this post and the knowledge of future readers.
If you're unsure what voltage or Quick 220® systems you need, try our simple questionnaire or contact us for help, we would love to hear from you.
Telephone: 1-800-347-0394 (US & Canada) or 1-602-938-6057