Modifying 125V 16A clothes steamer for Europe

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by tic, Nov 9, 2015.

  1. tic

    Thread Starter New Member

    Nov 9, 2015

    I have a clothes steamer, that specifically states that it is 125V for use in the US. I want to specifically use that steamer in France. I have opened the steamer and can see that the mains voltage goes through a switch, then through a thermostat ksd301 125V 16A 128c opening temp, and finally into a heating element.

    In order to make this work, do I just need to replace the thermostat with a 250V rated one? I notice that I can only easily come by 10A versions of the ksd301. Will that suffice?

  2. bertus


    Apr 5, 2008

    As the heating element is rated for 125 Volts, it will draw 2X the current at 250 Volts and take 4X the power.
    It will most likely burn within a very short time.

  3. mcgyvr

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 15, 2009
    Modifying the steamer in anyway is dangerous and could cause a fire,etc...
    Throw it away and buy one designed to be powered in France.

    You can buy step down transformers to convert the voltage down to 120V buy they are probably more expensive than the steamer in the first place..
    Sorry.. Time to buy a new one.
    JWHassler likes this.
  4. tic

    Thread Starter New Member

    Nov 9, 2015
    Awww....Thanks guys :( So the heating element will burn out then? It is some proprietary heating element that can't be opened and has no information on it
  5. Dodgydave

    Distinguished Member

    Jun 22, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2015
  6. Alec_t

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 17, 2013
    Although dodgydave's solutions are tempting, I'd have safety concerns. The diode would reduce the rms voltage, but the steamer is still subjected to high peak voltages. The insulation of wiring/components in the steamer is unlikely to be rated for 250V rms.
  7. tcmtech

    Well-Known Member

    Nov 4, 2013
    I wouldn't be the least bit worried about the added voltage being any decent appliance such as a hand iron/steamer would have more than sufficient insulation ratings on it's wiring and heating elements so it can pass the UL Standard 73 testing requirements which for a device that operates in damp/wet conditions would be 2500 volts minimum between the live wiring and the any part of the body.

    "UL Standard 73 - Motor Operated Appliances

    “An appliance shall withstand for 1 minute without breakdown the application of a 60-hertz essentially sinusoidal potential between live parts and dead metal parts with the appliance at the maximum operative temperature reached in normal use.

    The test potential for the primary circuit shall be:

    A. One-thousand volts for an appliance employing a motor rate 1/2 horsepower (373 W output) or less or 250 volts or less.

    B. One-thousand volts plus twice the rated voltage for (1) an appliance employing a motor rated more than 1/2 horsepower or more than 250 volts, or (2) an appliance applied directly to persons - see item C.”

    C. Twenty-five hundred volts for an appliance that is applied in a wet or moist condition directly to persons.”
  8. tic

    Thread Starter New Member

    Nov 9, 2015
    Wow.....I really love this forum. Thank you everyone for your replies.

    Dodgydave, I really appreciate your response. I really have forgotten a lot of my electronics from over a decade ago. Would you be able to explain that concept to me, and what do you mean by placing the diode on an insulated heatsink? To keep it cool? The maximum temperature of the thermostat is 128c.
  9. Dodgydave

    Distinguished Member

    Jun 22, 2012
    You can put the diode that i quoted in series with the supply, it will need an heatsink which will keep it cool, as the Tab is the Cathode you will need an insulated mica washer kit to bolt it to the heatsink, the heatsink itself can be connected to earth, an easier way would be a light dimmer to lower the voltage, as it needs 16amps thats a 4kw dimmer.