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Thread: An American percolator in Australia - power adapter?

  1. #1
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    An American percolator in Australia - power adapter?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hey all just received a presto percolator. Reading up online, it has some very big fans.

    Problem is it came with the USA power lead.

    So can I stick an adapter on it and use it or do I need a transformer?

  2. #2
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    You need a step-down transformer.... else you will "let the smoke out" when you plug it in.

    The transformer should match or exceed the current draw of the device, you might find it's a fairly large transformer needed to get this working too.
    (circa $150-$250 for a quality transformer)

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    Check the power markings on the device (if it has any). Some devices have a full-range power input (eg marked as 100-240VAC) so you can get away with just an adapter.

    Otherwise Andy is right: a transformer is required, and possibly a pretty big one depending on power draw.

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    "Universal" power input (100-250V, 50-60Hz) usually only applies to some electronic and not electrical items. Anything with a heating element or a mains voltage electric motor is (almost?*) always going to need a transformer. Amazon describes presto percolators as being designed for North American power, so you'll need a transformer.

    *I included "almost" because if I didn't, there is bound to be at least one person on this site who would quickly contradict me.

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    From the Amazon description of the 12 cup model, it is 120 volts, 60 Hz only.
    You'll need a step down transformer with enough power to handle the startup load

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    An American percolator in Australia - power adapter?

    What's the difference between an electronic and an electrical item? ;-)

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    Senior Member Vinitasse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fruity View Post
    What's the difference between an electronic and an electrical item? ;-)
    Heaps!

    Electrical devices were those which used electrical power but did not include electronic components (transistors, integrated circuits etc.). Examples would be lamps, heaters, vacuum cleaners and kitchen items such as kettles, refrigerators etc.... on the other hand...electronic items, obviously, do incorporate electronic components.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vinitasse View Post
    Heaps!

    Electrical devices were those which used electrical power but did not include electronic components (transistors, integrated circuits etc.). Examples would be lamps, heaters, vacuum cleaners and kitchen items such as kettles, refrigerators etc.... on the other hand...electronic items, obviously, do incorporate electronic components.
    Interesting! Can't say I would have ever tried to differentiate the two that way.

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    Senior Member Vinitasse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fruity View Post
    Interesting! Can't say I would have ever tried to differentiate the two that way.
    Whether or not you choose to differentiate these two disciplines or not, they are... in fact... quite distinct and that is why there are Electrical Engineers AND Electronics Engineers and also the reason why, on the one hand, we have Electricians and, on the other, Electronics Technicians.

    The basis of the distinction actually hinges on the exchange of electrons across space. The original "electronic" device was the vacuum tube where electrons flowed from one plate to another across a vacuum. This is the fundamental defining factor. As technology developed printed circuits and chips the concept of electrons moving over space, as opposed to through a conductor only, still fits... whereas... the flow of electrons through a conductor falls within the "electric" realm.

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    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Vinitasse is pretty well on the money, although some electrical devices do incorporate electronic controlling components.

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    Senior Member Vinitasse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    Vinitasse is pretty well on the money, although some electrical devices do incorporate electronic controlling components.
    Very true Yelta... but I would argue that any electrical device with added electronic circuitry would fall into the definition of being an electronic device

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    Thanks all. On the unit itself it says approx (actually a squiggly -) 125v at 10a and approx 250v at 5a.

    Since I'm not going to pay a couple of hundred dollars to run this thing can I just plug it in and see. I don't care if the unit blows as it unusable anyway but if their is a risk of me burning the house down i would rather not.

    My wife has purchased hair straightness from USA and run them without a transformer. So maybe just plug it in and see?

  13. #13
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zaheerkha View Post
    Thanks all. On the unit itself it says approx (actually a squiggly -) 125v at 10a and approx 250v at 5a.

    Since I'm not going to pay a couple of hundred dollars to run this thing can I just plug it in and see. I don't care if the unit blows as it unusable anyway but if their is a risk of me burning the house down i would rather not.

    My wife has purchased hair straightness from USA and run them without a transformer. So maybe just plug it in and see?
    Crikey! your a braver man than I am.

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    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    Wow, hopefully the device has a fuse inside that will pop before you do.

    The hair device might be dual voltage? Giving something mains powered double the volts normally generates unwanted excitement.

    Cheers

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    Not brave probably stupid.

    If I get bored this weekend and I do it I'll post some pics.

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    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Yes stupid.
    This is the Darwin Theory at its best. Asking the question then ignoring the answer is very troll like behaviour.

    The only thing I can think of that would make it more likely to be fatal is to try it in the bath.

    I don't think you are going to be a long term member.
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    240v direct will blow it ( or the internal fuse ) straight away.
    but for $10 you could try one of the 1600W 240/110 travel converters,.. providing there is nothing much more than heater elements inside.
    I have used them on hair dryers etc OK

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    I've never seen a $10 travel converter that wasn't just a plug adapter.

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    There are many, just google or try Ebay
    $_57.JPG$_57.JPG

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    Why don't you post a picture of the data plate label?

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    Quote Originally Posted by zaheerkha View Post
    Thanks all. On the unit itself it says approx (actually a squiggly -) 125v at 10a and approx 250v at 5a.

    Since I'm not going to pay a couple of hundred dollars to run this thing can I just plug it in and see. I don't care if the unit blows as it unusable anyway but if their is a risk of me burning the house down i would rather not.

    My wife has purchased hair straightness from USA and run them without a transformer. So maybe just plug it in and see?
    Hi zaheerkha

    Don't people bother to read a post before replying?

    In other words it is a dual voltage model... "125v at 10a and approx 250v at 5a" is definitive.

    The only thing you need to know is whether it switches automatically (like most "universal" hair dryers and shavers do these days") or whether there is an actual switch. Often the switch is accessible externally, sometimes you have to pull the machine apart just to flick it.

    Considering I have an early (1970's???) Panasonic percolator and reckon it is the worst way of making coffee in existence, I will be interested in your comments about what ends up in the cup!

    Have fun with your new toy.


    TampIt

  22. #22
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    This type of device usually uses a Series/Parallel selector switch.

    Parallel for 120V and Series for 240V. If the unit came with a User Manual, it should be explained in there how to make the change from one to the other. If you're not sure, a quick trip to an licensed appliance repairer will sort it out for you in five minutes...

    Mal.

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    Thanks for the info. I havn't noticed a switch and the instructions don't have any details. I've emailed Presto. Now the waiting game, hopefully they respond.

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    Quote Originally Posted by blend52 View Post
    There are many, just google or try Ebay
    $_57.JPG$_57.JPG
    Wow, I stand corrected. There is a good reason why those are not sold in stores here.
    From a user review on Amazon

    "I bought this for my trip to Australia to use with my flat iron for my hair. I double and triple checked the max load that this would convert and my flat iron was well within all the limits specified.

    The first time I plugged it in it immediately blew the fuses in our hotel room and fried my favorite flat iron. Thanks a lot."
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  25. #25
    Senior Member Mariner's Avatar
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    An American percolator in Australia - power adapter?

    I will go in to Walmart and have a look in the next few days to give you an answer if you want.

    Having a lot of stuff from the US and overseas (perks of being a sailor) and a few large and very bulky step down converters, it would surprise me a great deal if any cheaply produced appliance drawing high current (domestic) like this would be capable of voltage switching. I have got away with it in lamps from pottery barn and restoration hardware etc but they are only using low wattage in comparison.

    Please, do not plug in any appliance to 240 that is not specifically designed to use it. Seriously. You could die in the flick of a switch - literally. Is it worth a $40 kettle?

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    Thought I would give an update.

    Finally grew the balls to try it out. Worked fine. No issues.

    For anyone else who might come across this, the brand is the presto percolator.

    Coffee itself is very different to espresso. Its much milder/smoother. Not to my taste but I'm getting used to it. Always comes out streaming hot which I do like.

  27. #27
    Senior Member Mariner's Avatar
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    Hi Z,
    Nice one. I will certainly look into one next time I'm in the US. I guess they must work for both voltages then Don't think I would have tried it, but glad you did and had no issues.
    Make a good cup?

  28. #28
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zaheerkha View Post
    Finally grew the balls to try it out. Worked fine. No issues.
    Just to be clear, which version of the above variations in advice did you try mate....

    Mal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    Just to be clear, which version of the above variations in advice did you try mate....

    Mal.
    I plugged it in and used it. Just used an adapter plug from burnings.

  30. #30
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Sorry mate...

    Really confused now. So, this was a 120V AC unit plugged into a 120V AC socket or what exactly...

    Mal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mariner View Post
    Hi Z,
    Nice one. I will certainly look into one next time I'm in the US. I guess they must work for both voltages then Don't think I would have tried it, but glad you did and had no issues.
    Make a good cup?
    Well its different. The taste is much milder in flavor. Wasn't expecting it to be as strong as an espresso but it was more like tea (not a bad thing just different). I get why some people would like it. I didn't like it at first but its starting to grow on me.

    To be fair I've been using some aldi ground coffee cause I don't currently have a grinder. I could probably add more coffee, currently using 2 tablespoons per cup.

    Ask me in a couple of weeks.

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    Myer has a similar one - Breville CMP12 Cafe Percilator $119 Breville | CMP12 Cafe Percolator | Myer Online

  33. #33
    Senior Member Vinitasse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    Sorry mate...

    Really confused now. So, this was a 120V AC unit plugged into a 120V AC socket or what exactly...

    Mal.
    I read it this way... seems to me a 120V AC unit was plugged into an Aussie 240V AC socket using a cheap adapter from Bunnings. Talk about turbo-charged coffee... probably didn't take long to brew up a cuppa. If the RCD didn't trip it might be time to have a sparky look at the panel before everything melts down and bursts into flames

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    Oh for pity's sake! Once some of you people get an idea in your head you can't get it out again with a crowbar, and it seems fear is what cements it there!

    From post #12 by the OP: "On the unit itself it says approx (actually a squiggly -) 125v at 10a and approx 250v at 5a."

    Translated: "On the unit itself it says ~125v at 10a and ~250v at 5a." A "squiggly -" = ~ = AC.

    As shocking as it is to some of you, it appears to be a dual voltage appliance and the OP has demonstrated it to be such. No fuses blew, no RCDs tripped, and it works! Nothing to see here; move along!

    Enjoy the journey, zaheerkha.

  35. #35
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Who pulled your chain mate...

    Mal.



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