Electrical Wiring in the Home/Appliances from other countries


QUESTION: I wondered if you might know a way around my dilemma: I am living in the US, and I have a kitchen appliance from Israel that I'd like to be able to use here. The appliance is 250 volts, and probably uses around 2500 watts. Would it be sufficient to use a simple plug adaptor, or would a step up transformer be necessary? How do you know when a step up transformer is needed and when it is not?
Thank you for your help!


Using a step up transformer is not an option and you don't need it anyway, you already have 240 volts in your house panel. Simply change the plug on the appliance to an American 240 volt male plug and you will also need to run a new 240 volt circuit and receptacle to the kitchen where ever you intend to use it. The new circuit could be 15 or 20 amps.


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

QUESTION: Thanks so much for your reply! We are renting an apartment, so we are unable to do any electrical work here. My followup questions are:
1) is there any other alternative for us?
2) how do you change the plug on a foreign appliance to a an American 240 volt male plug?
3) out of curiosity, why is a transformer not an option?
Thanks again!


1.) No practical alternative I can see other than buying the American equal to what you have.

2.) Remove the old one, identify the "ground" wire of the 3 in the cable, connect the "ground"
wire to the green ground screw on the plug, connect the other two wires to the remaining brass screws on the plug. It doesn't matter which wire goes to which screw. Then your done.

3.) The biggest reason is the 20 amp dedicated kitchen circuit you may or may not have will not carry the 2500 watt load of the appliance using a transformer. When you cut the operating voltage in half you double the amperage which in this case works out to be 20.8 amps which is over the maximum amount of a 20 amp kitchen circuit.  Also by the time you purchase a transformer big enough to make the conversion you could just buy a new appliance. Its just not worth the trouble and expense when you can get what you need more cheaply and directly  just buying an American made unit.

About Electrical Wiring in the Home
This site answers questions related to home electrical wiring, home wiring, general electrical help,and other electrical questions related to aleternating current (AC). You can find help on the National Electical Code, home electrical issues, wiring electrical outlets, installing lighting, electrical grounding, and general electrical help for do-it-yourself projects not require an electrician. If you do not see your home electrical wiring question answered in this area then please ask your electrical wiring question here

Electrical Wiring in the Home

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts




Licensed Master Electrician (32 years) 6165B Contractor in Closter New Jersey with 40 years total experience in Residential - Commercial - Industrial work. Emergency Service - General trouble shooting and repair work - ONAN & GENERAC generator installation - Paddle fans - Kitchen & Bath exhaust fans - AC lines - Smoke detectors - Telephone lines - Cable TV lines - Computer network cabling - Exterior lighting - Recessed lighting - Security lighting - (200 - 150 - 100 amp service up grades) - Electric Heat - New circuits - New appliance hook ups - and more ! FREE ESTIMATES 201-358-1552 Fully Insured


Licensed contractor in Closter New Jersey.

"The Frank Williams School of Electrical Construction". My dear old boss is 100 ! and still going God Bless him. I started working for "Tenafly Electric" right out of high school at 19. He was tough but I learned more working for him in 8 and half years than most guys. We did mostly industrial work while doing some commercial and residential so I was fortunate to be exposed to all 3 areas of electrical construction. The guys I worked with were all good guys and I stay in touch with some of them still. Most of us went into our own buisness's which says something about the caliber of the guys I worked with. We had some interesting clients : Wella Corp. of shampoo fame, Farah Fawcett etc, I didn't buy shampoo for 10 years. It was a great place to work. Pan Am the former airline just before they went under, another great place to work, nice clean environment. C&C Metals, the largest button manufacturer in the US at that time, a not so clean environment but a very interesting place to work, lots of machine's cranking out buttons of all kinds but you had to be on your toes, it was a potentially dangerous place to be . All kinds of action going on around you.

©2017 About.com. All rights reserved.