Is it ok to use 120V blender (or juicer) in a 220V country?
If you’ve invested in an expensive blender and for whatever reason, decide to move to a different part of the world, you may be faced with the decision: does the blender stay or go? While the USA and most of Central America use 110-120V electricity, the rest of the world (mainly Europe, South America, Asia and Australia) use 220-240V. To accommodate the difference, you can buy a transformer to change the voltage between your blender and the wall. However, changing the power that runs the blender can really wear the motor down over time, and after several months to a year, you may find that the motor “burns out.”
If you spent a lot of money on a nice Vitamix, Blendtec, Omega, or Ninja blender, you might really be tempted to keep it and just hook it up to a transformer. But, I’ve heard the horror stories from people saying that their blender died after just a few months in their new country, every time! (Keep in mind that if your blender dies, you’ll be out even more money to buy a new one and will no longer have the old one to sell either!)
Most warranties are not covered when you switch voltages or use transformers.
Your best bet: Sell your fantabulous blender (or juicer) and find it a happy, new owner in your existing country, or gift it to a family member or friend. Buy a new one that matches the voltage in your new destination and keep the new motor running at full power with the correct voltage to match the voltage in your new home.
Voltage-friendly blender-finding tips
- Are you living in or visiting the USA and looking for a new 220V blender to take home with you? Check amazon.com and ebay.com for blenders that are 220V and described as Not for Use in USA. The prices are much cheaper than what you will find overseas, but the catch is that they only ship within the USA. So, buy the 220V machine and have it shipped to your address while you’re in the United States. When flying home, remove the blade from the base of the blender and pack it in your checked bag. The rest of the blender can be placed in your carry-on bag.
- Look for a new blender on craigslist or ebay in your new country. If your local destination has a group facebook page, try posting an ad and ask, “Does anyone have a used blender for sale?” You will be surprised in how many responses you get!
- Contact the blender manufacturers in your new destination country and ask if they have any refurbished machines or returns for sale at a discounted rate.
The Technical Details: Transformers will fix the voltage problem, but not the frequency problem. Transformers can not shift frequency. Running a 60Hz motor on 50Hz will have the following results:
1) It will turn 20% slower.
2) Cooling will drop dramatically, and current draw will increase causing even more heat.
3) The horsepower output will drop, possibly dramatically. Bottom line – your blender will not survive its warranty period, or if it is out of warranty it certainly will have a reduced life.
Thanks to Richard Thompson, an electrical engineer (and my dad!) for providing this explanation!
Remember: It’s best to stick with the voltage where you live. If you live in a 110V country, use a 110V blender (and juicer). If you live in a 220V country, stick with a 220V blender (and juicer). That way, you’re sure to make the best green smoothies, green juices, and health drinks for many years to come!
Learn more about blenders and green smoothies in my NEW book Green Smoothies for Dummies by Wiley Publisher, NY, USA. It’s FULL of awesome recipes to please everyone in your family with a healthy green drink. Now available for sale on amazon.com!
For more on how to start a raw food diet, how to do a detox at home or what minerals you may specifically be deficient in, book a private health consult with me via Skype.
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