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Electric Motors/blender plugged into a wrong voltage source

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Question
QUESTION: Hi,
first I'd like to thank for your help and time, i really appreciate it.

I bought a Vitamix 5200 blender from ebay, brand-new that came in the original box.
The blender needs 120V source and i've plugged it into a 220V ( :-( ), needless to say it didn't work..

After reading a bit i bought a transformer, 220v to 110-120v, 1500w (the blender needs 12.5 amps so i understood its ok), but it still doesn't work..

Did i burned the blender? if i did - can it be fixed? (its an expensive one, so i thought it is worth a try)

Thank you very much! I hope there is a solution other than buying a new one..

ANSWER: Sorry to hear about the mistake  but    how in the world  did you get the 120 plug into a 220 outlet?

The plug end should miles different,      


Next   1500 watts and the 12.5 amps is at 110 right?

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_many_watts_in_12_amps_at_220_volts

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_many_watts_is_5_amps

But lets use volts times amps times power factor  [power factor is sort of efficiency  for some kind of straight no frills resistive load,  which you don't have the power factor would be ONE, with this blender it has a motor so the power factor will be lower, but for making this simple we can use ONE and be OK]

So 12.5 times  120   is   1500 on the nose,     no room for inrush,      what is inrush,  it is the power needed to magnetize the motor poles  [4 to 10 times full load of 12.5 amps for a few seconds]

You have just 1500  if a straight transformer,  it is going to struggle,    if it is a transformer with some type of motor starting consideration,    you might be OK,  

But the blender does not start,    can you measure the voltage on the secondary    [120] side of the transformer so we know if we have voltage and what it is?

My guess unless you measured it,  is the primary voltage   you used by accident  is not exactly 220  utilities are rarely on the nose,    so if you had high voltage  you could have 240   or if low   you could have 201   202  203  only by measuring it would you know,

That would effect the whole transformer wattage formula,    

NEXT HERTZ or frequency,    In the US  residential power is 60 Cycles per second,   

Electricity voltage in Israel is 220 volts at 50  FIFTY Hertz. Tourists coming to Israel with devices which do not support 220 voltage should use a converter or transformator.

Due to the fact that many Israelis travel abroads and bring back electricity devices that do not support 220 volts, you will find that mopst if not all electricity shops in Israel have voltage transformators in stock.

This type of Jacket can connect to outlets with: two round exits, or two diagonal rectangles, and/or a third round or rectangle bottom outlet.

Telephone wall jackets are british type - with a more diagonal shape than french or US type. Following is an image of a typical phone jacket:



If you are carrying a laptop with an american telephone outlet - make sure you have the appropriate adapter

So  I bet if you look the blender is rated 120   60 Cycles  and you are trying to use a converted 220 FIFTY CYCLE  source,   and that ADDS to the problem   the amps will go up past the 12.5 just due to the 50 hertz  it will run slower,    

So the transformer is not big enough at 1500     but some devices   and I not sure on the vitamax  but it might be dual rated on the hertz  I will look one up and see if I can tell,   

But we have to know what the voltage is coming out of the transformer      

Even though it is too small,    we need to know if we are getting SOME KIND of power to the blender,  if there is power    the blender should do something,    

Now however you got the 110 plug into the 220 outlet,   there could be an internal fuse in the blender,  it could be removeable  or it could be soldered to a bread board,  in the machine,   

Your best bet,    considering you have 50 hertz   and 220 hertz  is to take the unit to a repair shop   within a few minutes and one ohm meter they can tell you if the blender is open or has no continuity  meaning maybe a blown switch,  blown fuse,    blown unit,  

And they can provide you with a converter big enough to handle the difference in voltage and hertz     sorry for the bad news  but those are the facts,      

You  might appeal to vitamax and tell them the TRUTH       THE TRUTH IS VERY REFRESHING THESE DAYS and with any luck,   you might ask if they would consider taking your unit,  providing you with a unit to fit your location  and as a consumer advertising effort   they may take mercy and take care of you,       but I would lay out the facts as they are,

Good news the stats on the vitamax are dual 50/60 at 120   so I would contact them and tell them you have a machine that wont work,    and have a transformer,      

I see these are now going for near $400 bucks   

The transformer is not big enough if it is a straight 1500 watts without consideration for inrush,   so what is tripping the blender off?     Is it the power is being drained, or is open?

 

Vitamix warrants to the owner that if this Machine (a "Machine" consists of a motor blender base and any containers purchased together) fails within 5 years from the date of purchase due to a defect in material or workmanship or as a result of normal wear and tear from ordinary household use, Vitamix will, within 30 days of receipt of the returned product, repair the failed Machine or component part of the Machine free of charge.

If, in Vitamix's sole discretion, the failed Machine or component part of the Machine cannot be repaired, Vitamix will elect to either (A) replace the Machine free of charge or (B) refund the full purchase price to the owner, unless Vitamix receives prior written notice of the owner's preference.
About Vitamix

Family-owned and operated since 1921, Vitamix is an industry leader in high-performance blending technology, providing the highest-quality blending equipment to consumers and the foodservice industry in more than 80 countries throughout the world. Every Vitamix product is built by at our world headquarters in Cleveland, Ohio using a strategic selection of only the finest premium materials. As a result, Vitamix is continually recognized by leading consumer magazines and award organizations for its cutting-edge product innovation.

Vitamix is trusted by more professional chefs and major chain restaurants than any other brand to create a variety of fresh, flavorful dishes from whole-food ingredients. Besides preparing breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the machine can be used to quickly prepare frozen drinks, smoothies, nut butters, frozen desserts, dips, and salsas for everyday life and weekend entertaining.



---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Wow,
Many thanks for the detailed answer!!

Maybe it wont be good news, but at least i know what to check and have any chance to figure it out.

I got the 120V plug into the 220v outlet quite easily (sadly), with an adapter (small one, not a transformer or anything.. the same one i use to plug my laptop that i bought in USA, it supports the 220v but has a different plug).

I will check what you said (the transformer outlet and if the blender is open or has no continuity) and hope for good. You advice that if i can get it fixed it is better to replace the transformer with a more powerful one? such as... 1800W?

I can tell that there is voltage coming out of the transformer, cause i've plugged my computer (bought in the US) and it was charging...

Also ill call vitamix and tell them the whole story (i couldnt agree with you more about the truth, i personally believe in it!)

Thanks again! you definitely shed some light that was really missing.
Will let you know if there are any developments or questions.

Shahar.

ANSWER: I see what happened now,     the laptop should have a voltage switch on it,  220 or 110    most have that switch     because laptops travel,    blenders do not,     and yes you need a bigger transformer,    for the inrush,   if it was a laptop the only motors are the little fans,  the blender has a good sized motor that has to start up, and sometimes it starts up with a big load of hard product that needs to be chopped or whatever,     so you need the extra   ummmphhh to get a blender started versus a light weight load like a laptop,        and you will learn a lot about vitamix      do they sell high dollar blenders and care about their customers or do they say  well we got your money    you are on your own,       you have some responsibility for this, but in my opinion     they should make it virtually impossible for you to use just an adapter,  there should be more fail safes built in,          if they are worth a damn  they will understand an honest mistake,    hell everything fit,     they did not put a block or in line fuse to help with something like this,      

I have seen good companies take care of the whole thing,   or at a very discounted fix,   if they leave you on your own,  maybe you should consider another brand next time,       I am not sure what a vitamix is really for,   that a regular blender would not be capable of doing for a lot less money,         maybe I just don't understand,    but all it does is mix, puree, blend so on   right?    

Any brand name blender will do that,      the first clue is the name  Vitamix,    why does it have to have vita   like vitamin in the name,    you are simply trying to mix up some healthy product into a drink          like I said maybe I don't understand,       

But I am a youth sports coach,  have studied muscle memory, general health, first aid, body building and so on,         if a person wants to get into shape,   no one NEEDS A 10,000 dollar exercise machine,       if a person can do 150 pushups   [correct pushups]   some cardio exercises   [cleared by your doctor if you are in a certain age group or have other issues that need to be looked at]   add in some pull ups,   and other exercises that can be done by using your own body weight,     most don't need to be body builders,    nature made us like we are,      back then there were no exercise machines or special blenders,    the body knows what it needs most of the time,         

There is so much ripoff with all this vanity stuff  it is incredible,     I have no problem with people making very good drinks for themselves with a blender so it has the taste they like,   good for them,   but I went through eight years of Okinawan Karate,  and my Son did the same thing,     there are no exercise machines in the Dojo,     I have watched my Son do over 450 [push ups  by taking three classes back to back to back   but after he got into shape]

Walking,  running,  pushups, situps,  on a schedule where you take no chances of hurting yourself will produce amazing results,  and not one weight was lifted,    

Anyway  let me know how it goes,     and glad you are considerate of your health  and not asking the world to pay for your medical problems       that right there is impressive    

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hi,
Good news! I took it to an electrician and he succeed to repair it!!
The blender works great!

He said that there is a defense overload circuit (or something) that got burned and he only had to replace it. Cost me 65$ (i wend to a good&expensive one).

Too bad that when i called Vitamix support and asked for technical help for this situation no one knew this, they told me the only solution is to send it to them (knowing i live in Israel) to fix it and that there was no defense fuse or mechanism for this.

Thanks again for your help! Thanks to you i have a working blender.

Shahar.

Answer
Good for you,  now you know all you need to know about Vitamix and hopefully many others will read this before deciding on a brand to purchase  or if they have a problem, good for you for at least making an attempt to get help,  and for bringing the issue out,     

It helps everyone,  but I am very glad your situation was resolved,     the answers Vitamix gave on the phone  should be a lesson to everyone,          while you are not in the US,   many are,  and many INDEPENDENT REPAIR SHOPS can repair a variety of devices,  without the need and usually normal high expense to send back to the Manufacturer,  

My shop is located in the Kansas City Missouri Area,  zip code 64141 is a good one to search by,  I have two shops  EMR Repair Inc,  in the north of Kansas City,    service@emrrepaior.com

and one to the east   MEAR Services Inc,   in Buckner Missouri,    it is about 9 miles east of a major intersection 291 and 24 HWYS     most think it is miles out of town, when that is just not true,   we have a hard time advertising because we are so diverse in what our capabilities are.

We repair electric motors, welders, gearboxes, appliances, Government Contractor, Industrial, Residential, obsolete, antique,  plus we are glad to help with anything like this over the phone or by e-mail   repair@mearservice.com,  phone number for regular hours and emergency hours repair, is 816-650-4030   my personal e-mail  William Babbitt is wbwill@sbcglobal.net,  so feel free to contact us through about.com,  and thank about.com for providing this service free of charge to help others,      

I have received some very kind donations from several people I have attempted to help out and hope to be able to track back and thank them personally,     it was very kind and with our home burning last January   and we are still not back in it,   cash is getting tight,   so it has helped,     I also do work for a paid site,  however,  the paid site is not as pleasant,  there is distrust,  there are scams for getting answers and not compensating,   and the whole thing is just not as appealing.

I have done this for a decade, and would rather help someone who needs the help,  versus someone trying to beat someone out of their time and knowledge,  which happens on the paid site too often.

The proof is I have no problem putting my personal address on here,     I won't be able to resolve every problem,   but I have been in the repair business for over 35 years and there is more than one or two ways to approach a problem like this,  it is not always a technical issue that gets results,   

So please feel free to anyone reading this to drop me a note, regarding any problem,   I also have decades of experience in youth sports, and other areas of interest,   guitars, lessons,  I spent every year after High School in some sort of trade school or night school, everything from hard sciences to labor law, to a Magic class,     [pretty amazing the technology behind magic shows and tricks]

I am glad to hear that the device had some kind of protective device in it,  it might have been what is called a thermistor,   it is not a mechanical type overload, it operates by changes in temperature creating changes in resistance,  or it could have been a dozen other protective circuits,   

The Vitamix customer service had no idea,   and probably were never trained or told,  Vitamix apparently wants to capture the after market repair, both in parts and labor, which is fine,  that is their business,  but it is not always a good situation for their customers

I am constantly writing all types of manufacturers to offer our services for their warranty and after market repairs,   every type of business from electrical scooters,  to winding pickups for electric guitars, to being a service station for about anyone,   and we barely get even a response let alone a conversation and a polite NO,    but that does not mean we cannot repair these devices,   just like the shop you lucked into,  no freight,  a reasonable charge,  and you are all set to go,    

We could offer a lot of service in the MIDWEST of the US,  but so far,  not much luck so we remain independent,   and still offer to help those in need, at no charge what so ever,   

Very good story  and a good ending,   thank you for taking the time to write,  and if anyone needs a repair depot in the Midwest United States,   drop me an e-mail,  the worst that could happen is we cannot come to some sort of agreement,   the best is better customer service and at a better cost to everyone involved,

William Babbitt

President MEAR Services Inc

President EMR Repair Inc  

Electric Motors

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Three phase/ AC DC single phase motors, controls, any problems or failures, motor installation, performance issues, connections. All other electric motors/gearboxes/apparatus. Specialty repair concerns, obsolete motors and solutions. Other mechanical or specialty equipment. See my profile under Home/electrical at this site

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30 plus years in the electrical motor and apparatus repair industry. VP level management of repair facilities, current owner of my own specialty repair and consulting firm.

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Currently fielding concerns at this site under "Home Electrical"

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4 year technical, College level specific courses, EASA repair courses, vibration analysis electronic and electrical trade school.

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