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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-12-2015, 10:41 PM Thread Starter
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Default Spain

I posted this in the start off area, but it doesn't seem that many people post in there...

I am moving to Spain this august from the USA. I plan to open a little woodworking shop there. What do I do about the electrical differences. Do I need to rewire all my machines/tools? Or is there an adapter for machine of this type of power.

Thanks,

Ricky
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-12-2015, 10:55 PM
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Yes you can get converters. All the euro systems I'm aware of are single voltage 230 volt 50 cycle systems.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-13-2015, 07:50 AM
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Better off selling everything you have and starting over, That would be my recommendation even if you were simply moving across the US. That goes not only for tools but all your house hold goods.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-13-2015, 09:06 AM
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I wouldn't sell all your stuff unless you want the fun of trawling around the machine shops again. In the UK we use 240volt wired equipment domestically but on construction sites we use 110 volt gear for safety. You can get these step downs quite cheaply and I think they work pretty well. I believe Spain has a similar situation and as they are in the EU will have the same regulations.

Enjoy Spain.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-13-2015, 09:10 AM
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Default 240 - 110 volts

Yes 220 230 or 240 is the norm in Europe. The only thing is, if you are using 110 tools they are what is required on building sites, at least in the UK and converters are freely available, also at least in the UK. Most site workers would get thrown off the site in the uk if they pitched up with 240v tools, for safety reasons. So, your choice.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-13-2015, 09:58 AM
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Default Adapters for Spain

Hi, Ricky,

check out this description on TripAdvisor tripadvisor.com/Travel-g187427-c95649/Spain:Electricity.Info.For.Spain.html
(I can't yet post links, I think, so just cut and paste into the address line)
And yes, adapters are readily available for Spain and Europe in general, on Amazon for example.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-13-2015, 10:33 AM
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Most European systems are 220 volt which is one issue, and a frequency of 50 hertz (cycles per second for us old guys). The voltage is easily reduced to 110 volts but the frequency is not readily changed. Many (most?) tools will work on 50 hertz but run a bit slower. Most electronic equipment does not care and works just fine. I would hang on to your present tools if they are anything but Harbor Freight El-cheapos and see how they work.
Enjoy.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-13-2015, 10:34 AM
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Does the EU power run the same 60 Cycles as US power? Does it make a difference?

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-13-2015, 11:29 AM
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I heard many years ago that the reason for 50 cycles instead of 60 was safety related. 60 cycles is more likely to match the rhythm of the average heart which makes getting shocked more likely to cause heart arrest. 50 cycles is out of rhythm and is less likely to do that.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-13-2015, 03:54 PM
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A note of caution, be extremely careful of the overall quality of the wiring in the facility you will be using, particularly if it is an older building. ground wires may or may not be present, neutrals may not be "neutral" and breakers may well be serving too many outlets. The EU is moving to breakers with GFI built in which can make them susceptible to back EMF forces. I doubt that your tools will trip one but it is something to be aware of.

I offer this information with the caveat that I am neither an electrician nor an electrical engineer, rather it is based on 30 years of experience installing medical equipment throughout Europe, including Spain.

Spain is a beautiful country with great people and this should be a great experience.

I look forward to updates.

Jon
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