For residents of North America, the vast majority of the electric and electronic devices we own are designed to accept 110v from the electrical system in our homes. However, if you’ve ever bought a new electric range or clothes dryer, you know that 110v isn’t always going to cut it. Larger appliances need more power, which is where a 220v outlet comes in.

But where does that extra voltage come from if our home outlets can only supply 110v?

For that, you need a 110v to 220v converter.

Incoming voltage: How it works

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For most areas, the local electric utility company delivers power at 220v. This is because sending electricity at higher voltages allows it to be transmitted faster and over longer distances. It also requires less copper in the wires to do so, which makes it more economical for the utility company.

Then, once the 220v current hits the telephone pole outside your home, it gets split with a three-wire split-phase system. This system divides the single-phase 220v electricity into two separate 110v conductors that share a common neutral wire – also known as a ground wire. Ground wires provide an additional, safe path for electrical currents in the event of a short circuit.

Since electricity follows the path of least resistance, it’s constantly seeking to return to ground. Ground wires provide a clear path for this. Without them, the possibility of being electrocuted increases as whoever is holding the wire may become the conduit to the ground instead.

This is also why your larger appliances that take more power are usually three pronged. The third metal prong connects directly to the neutral ground wire, making it safer.

However, these three-pronged plugs can cause their own problems in some homes.

Limited 220v outlets and wrong plug shapes

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Image courtesy of noricum. Licensed under Creative Commons 2.0-SA

The problem starts when you have an appliance or other electronic device that requires 220v, like a casement air-conditioner, a dryer, or an EV charger. Now, there’s a chance that if you have an electric range or dryer in your home, you already have a 220v outlet installed. However, most other 220v devices typically have a much lower current draw and don’t use the same large plugs and receptacles. Instead, they use plugs and receptacles that are the size of traditional 110v outlets, but have a slightly different plug shape and a 220v supply.

Hire an electrician or buy a voltage converter?

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You could hire an electrician to come out and install a 220v outlet, but that’s going to cost several hundred dollars. And working with contractors can be a tremendous hassle. However, there’s an easier way to combine these two phases back into one.

With a Quick220.com 110v to 220v converter, you can create a convenient 220v outlet wherever you need. All you have to do is plug into each of the two phases in your home’s electrical system and our converter does all the rest. It even checks that the circuit is wired correctly first!

Follow our simple installation tutorial or check out this helpful video by April Wilkerson below.

How does it work?

Great question. The Quick 220® system uses two out-of-phase electric signals at 110v. The unit recombines the voltage into a single-phase 220v signal. There are several models available, offering 15A or 20A service. The 20A model is available with a straight or locking outlet plug.

Can I run my appliance on a Quick 220® voltage converter?

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Different appliances have different power needs, so it’s important to understand how much current your appliance will draw. Take a look at the back of your appliance and find the plate that displays its specifications. There are three important things which you need to find:

  • Current draw – this is a number in Amps (A)
  • Voltage range – should say 220-240VAC; other voltage ratings cannot be used with a Quick 220®
  • Power consumption – generally two numbers, “peak” and “continuous,” expressed in watts (W)

How does all this work? Basically, you need to select the right Quick 220® voltage converter for your appliance. If your appliance draws more than 20A or 4800W continuous at 220-240v, you cannot run it on a Quick 220®. Doing so will risk damaging the unit and could even start an electrical fire.

If your 220v appliance draws 20A or less or 4800W continuous or less, you can run it on a Quick 220®. The question is, which model do you need? The 15A or the 20A?

  • If your 220v appliance uses up to 15A continuous (roughly 3450W-3600W depending on fluctuations in wall voltage), you can use a 15A Quick 220® converter.
  • If your 220v appliance uses up to 20A continuous (roughly 4600W-4800W), you can use a 20A Quick 220® converter, available in straight plug or locking plug configurations.

The Quick 220® voltage converter can power a wide range of appliances. This list is NOT exhaustive–just a small sample!

  • Air conditioners
  • Lab equipment
  • Servers
  • Commercial refrigerators
  • Printing presses
  • Air compressors
  • Professional exercise machines
  • Commercial ice cream machines
  • Power tools

Can I run ANY 220v appliance on a Quick 220®?

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Photo courtesy of Tim Patterson. Licensed under Creative Commons 2.0-SA

No.

Any appliance that needs more than 20A continuous cannot run on the household circuits that supply power to a Quick 220®. The appliance will draw too much current through the circuit. If you’re lucky, you’ll trip the circuit breaker or fuse. If you’re unlucky, you’ll start an electrical fire.

Here is a list of appliances that CANNOT run on a Quick 220®:

  • Electric stoves
  • Household clothes dryers that draw more than 20A of current
  • Older welders that do not use capacitors to store electricity
  • Any 220v appliance that requires more than 20A continuous

The Bottom Line

If you’ve ever needed a more convenient 220v outlet and don’t want to pay through the nose to have one installed, the Quick220.com 110v to 220v converter is for you. Shop our online catalog or call our customer service department if you have questions about how to power your appliance.