Using 240vac devices from China

Thread Starter

kkay

Joined Mar 13, 2022
4
Hi Everyone. I have a question regarding Electrical standards in China versus North America. If you have a Chinese manufactured device that requires 240vac to operate, can you operate that device in North America with the 240vac derived from L1 and L2 as set out by North American standards? Thanks.
 

Ian0

Joined Aug 7, 2020
5,154
Often the problem with such products is the lack of insulation, not the lack of grounding, in which case you are much better off as you only have 120V to ground instead of 230V!
 

MaxHeadRoom

Joined Jul 18, 2013
25,214
So if their wiring diagram illustrates a hot and a neutral only, would you just connect L1 to hot, and L2 to neutral?
Yes.
I posted late last night so forgot to add that if converting a 240v equipment that uses L1 & N to L1 & L2 , the conductor that was previously the neutral should be fused and a DP disconnect used if not already.
Also technically, if retaining any white N conductors now used for L2, they should be indicated by placing RED tape at each junction point in all the conductor connection points.
 

Ian0

Joined Aug 7, 2020
5,154
If you are an importer Chinese manufacturers will offer you a product with certification that complies with the standards, or a cheaper version that doesn't! Your choice.
 

MaxHeadRoom

Joined Jul 18, 2013
25,214
Just read some of the experiences on the CNC forum to get the idea.
They usually can be brought up to code however.
Certification does not mean a lot from China!
 

Ian0

Joined Aug 7, 2020
5,154
I used to work as standards compliance officer, and it was part my job was to determine the authenticity of Chinese documentation.
There is an national body called CNAS which oversees the test houses (equivalent to BSI and ANSI), and it is possible to check the validity that way.
However, I did track down the addresses of one or two so-called test houses to Chinese restaurants in east London.
 

Thread Starter

kkay

Joined Mar 13, 2022
4
Looking at a couple specific examples. An E27 led bulb, rated at 220vac; A ceiling fan rated at 220vac. Can they be run in North America?
 

MaxHeadRoom

Joined Jul 18, 2013
25,214
There should be no problem running on 240vac 60hz. Usually the allowed tolerance is 10%.
If the fan is a type of induction motor, it will run a little faster.
 

crutschow

Joined Mar 14, 2008
29,810
Should be OK as long as running on 60Hz instead of the designed 50Hz doesn't significantly affect the operation of the device.
 

Thread Starter

kkay

Joined Mar 13, 2022
4
There should be no problem running on 240vac 60hz. Usually the allowed tolerance is 10%.
If the fan is a type of induction motor, it will run a little faster.
Ok. So just connect L1 and L2 to the bulb, or to the hot and neutral wire on the fan?
 

MaxHeadRoom

Joined Jul 18, 2013
25,214
Yes, the 240v L1 & L2 replaces the L1 & N.
Typically it is best/safest to provide switching of both L1 & L2 rather than just the L1 that the original may have.
But in small trivial devices you just have to be aware of it.
Check for proper earth GND conductor.
 
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