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  1. #1
    CCBW JPPR2's Avatar
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    Step up/down transformer

    I am considering bringing back quite a few 110/115V/50/60hz devices to Thailand soon. We will be doing a moderate refurb on my GFs house and one will be some wiring. I have thought about installing this step up/down transformer TOPOW ST-3000 Step Up / Down Transformer (3000W) ST3000 B&H and pull lines around the house to use the 110/115v items. We plan on stocking up on a bunch of good quality kitchen appliances and I have a ton of power tools. My bigger question is it worth it or not. This unit is 3000w peak and most items would use 300w to 400w at max operation which happens infrequently. I have considered the line loss and most Romex wire it is negligible so installing it near the master panel and running wire would not be an issue.

    The trade off to not doing this is buying subpar Chinese no name junk or spend big money on high-end Brand items. Most of the items available here are 50% to 75% cheaper then in Thailand.

    Thoughts? Anybody attempt or do this?

  2. #2
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    Count on your fingers (other than your tools) just how many appliances you would use in the house that could not be bought here, how much extra will they really cost..

  3. #3
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    I would be more inclined to just have portable voltage converters for your 110 volt devices. Portable being the operative word, and no need to modify / add wiring and 110volt outlets as well as 230 volt outlets. Cheaper, easier, safer. By the way, installing the transformer onto a hardwired loom would mean it would be running all the time, probably not designed for that.

    New Range of USA Step-down tranformers

  4. #4
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    J... Your biggest risk will be plugging your 110 volt devices accidentally into the most convenient 220 volt socket. It will likely happen unless you modify your 110 tools to use a non-standard plug.

    Also.... Note that power in Thailand is 50 Hz, not 60Hz as in the USA. Make sure your transformer will handle that, otherwise it will get quite hot. Your tools will also run hotter and possibly slower off of 50Hz, and some electronic devices may not work at all.

    In general, I would say avoid putting wiring in a house to add 110 volts. Perhaps make a portable tote with the transformer to use with those tools you want to bring and occasionally use. As the other posters say, you can buy anything here.
    Press On Regardless

  5. #5
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    'We plan on stocking up on a bunch of good quality kitchen appliances...'
    It seems you have yet to buy your appliances.
    Lots of good quality international brands in Thailand, you'd be pleased with...all 220, and all not that expensive, and many now with inverters which save on electricity.
    I'd stay clear of 110 and step-down transformers...asking for problems like burnout as fridges kick in and out, probable high electric bills, and possibly fire. IMHO

  6. #6
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    Just wouldn't bother.
    I'll go deeply into the technical if you want but it's a waste of time.

  7. #7
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JPPR2
    My bigger question is it worth it or not.
    No......

  8. #8
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    I didn't go to the point of wiring my house, but I did by a transformer for my coffee pot I brought back from the US. After doing research, I found out that buying quality appliances from Europe are more expensive, but it eliminates the need for the transformer and cheeper to operate than 110V and they are 50 htz.

  9. #9
    CCBW JPPR2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thailazer
    Also.... Note that power in Thailand is 50 Hz, not 60Hz as in the USA. Make sure your transformer will handle that, otherwise it will get quite hot. Your tools will also run hotter and possibly slower off of 50Hz, and some electronic devices may not work at all.
    Thanks, TL, I checked into that already. The unit has a logic in it that depicts that Hz and switches.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chang yai
    By the way, installing the transformer onto a hardwired loom would mean it would be running all the time, probably not designed for that.
    I spoke with the company, this particular unit is designed to run all the time.

    Quote Originally Posted by jingjoke
    It seems you have yet to buy your appliances.
    Lots of good quality international brands in Thailand, you'd be pleased with...all 220, and all not that expensive, and many now with inverters which save on electricity.
    While I agree that all items can be bought or found in Thailand I have bought some real junk there and from my experience most is junk. However if you want better quality branded tools and appliances etc they are available but you will pay dearly for them. I have been there and done that a few times already. Kind of like good yard tools(shovels, rakes, Sledgehammers etc.) Took me weeks to find a good shovel and after one hole it snapped.

    Quote Originally Posted by the dogcatcher
    Just wouldn't bother.
    That is still on my mind trust me, why I asked you folks. I am analyzing cost effectiveness, PITA headache Vs buying in Thailand.

    I was not planning on bringing a fridge, washer/dryer or oven over. We have all of that already and was bought in Thailand. Most would be kitchen top appliances. Chances are best route is buy this unit and leave it portable in shop area and run what requires 110/115v. The rest would be biting the bullet and buy quality stuff in Thailand at a much higher cost but does make it easier. I appreciate the feedback.

  10. #10
    Lord of Swine
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    Jaysus, how many kitchen top appliances do you use?
    All popular brands are available here. You want to wire your house to save a few bucks on a blender?

  11. #11
    CCBW JPPR2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Necron99 View Post
    Jaysus, how many kitchen top appliances do you use?
    All popular brands are available here. You want to wire your house to save a few bucks on a blender?
    Enough to make me look into it and consider the trade offs. But its more about my power and shop tools. I just thought about the kitchen stuff after the fact.

  12. #12
    Thailand Expat Boon Mee's Avatar
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    If you have a favorite hand tool that's 110vac like a cordless drill, bring over a 600 to 2K watt stepdown transformer. I'm glad I did as my Porter Cable 1/2" drill has been indispensable. Almost plugged the charger into a wall socket once!

    Transformers are more expensive over here so if any doubts and you have room in your container, throw a few in.
    A Deplorable Bitter Clinger

  13. #13
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    If you already own the tools, in question, like your favourite table saw and the cost of shipping them over plus whatever duty you need to pay is worth it you can buy step down transformers at Amorn.

    If your cordless drill happens to be 12 volt you can simply convert it to use a small 12v lead acid battery as do rock climbers. Then all you need is a local 220v battery charger.
    Better to think inside the pub, than outside the box?
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  14. #14
    CCBW JPPR2's Avatar
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    Great info all, I really appreciate the feed back.

    I have my cargo costs in a spreadsheet and thus far it makes economical sense to ship everything. Its more then just a few power tools. I still have more to consider but there are so many basic home and yard tools available here (plus what I currently own) that are WAY less expensive then in Thailand. To sell what I have now for half or less then I bought them for then turn around and pay 2x more in Thailand it does not make sense. We are also buying things off Craigslist at even lower prices to bring back. She is a very smart shopper and I am not looking to blow a wad in Thailand.

    Being my GF has been here a year it will all ship in her name to avoid any duty fees.

  15. #15
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    I've used a step down transformer (for power tools) for more than 20 years and never had a problem.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by JPPR2
    Kind of like good yard tools(shovels, rakes, Sledgehammers etc.) Took me weeks to find a good shovel and after one hole it snapped.
    so, you didn't find a good one

    Quote Originally Posted by JPPR2
    But its more about my power and shop tools.
    so, all you need is a small transformer in your workshop

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boon Mee View Post
    If you have a favorite hand tool that's 110vac like a cordless drill, bring over a 600 to 2K watt stepdown transformer. I'm glad I did as my Porter Cable 1/2" drill has been indispensable. Almost plugged the charger into a wall socket once!

    Transformers are more expensive over here so if any doubts and you have room in your container, throw a few in.
    BM I have just pickup a 230-115V 9.5 amps trani that I had built here in Thailand.
    I will look a the price tomorrow.

    Maybe a imported Trani would be expensive,here.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by JPPR2
    and I am not looking to blow a wad in Thailand.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ratchaburi
    Maybe a imported Trani would be expensive,here.
    wrong thread chaps, go to the Ladyboy yhtread

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by JPPR2 View Post
    I am considering bringing back quite a few 110/115V/50/60hz devices to Thailand soon. We will be doing a moderate refurb on my GFs house and one will be some wiring. I have thought about installing this step up/down transformer TOPOW ST-3000 Step Up / Down Transformer (3000W) ST3000 B&H and pull lines around the house to use the 110/115v items. We plan on stocking up on a bunch of good quality kitchen appliances and I have a ton of power tools. My bigger question is it worth it or not. This unit is 3000w peak and most items would use 300w to 400w at max operation which happens infrequently. I have considered the line loss and most Romex wire it is negligible so installing it near the master panel and running wire would not be an issue.

    The trade off to not doing this is buying subpar Chinese no name junk or spend big money on high-end Brand items. Most of the items available here are 50% to 75% cheaper then in Thailand.

    Thoughts? Anybody attempt or do this?
    I brought some stuff here and none of the electronics I brought ever worked 100% when I used a converter. I had a nice juicer that ran at about 1/3 the normal speed and finally burned up. Buy stuff when you get here.

    Another option is to take the items to an electronic shop and have them converted to 220. I actually did that with an old VHS when I first got here.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrAndy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by JPPR2
    and I am not looking to blow a wad in Thailand.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ratchaburi
    Maybe a imported Trani would be expensive,here.
    wrong thread chaps, go to the Ladyboy yhtread
    Thanks for dat DrAndy

  21. #21
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    for the motors in spinning equipment, on the whole its the phase frequency that determines the speed, your 60 hz stuff will spin slower, the current will go through the coils for longer, causing it to heat up. Probably no worth doing.

    most other stuff will probably be fine, though timers may run slow too.

    What you really really do need to do, if you install permanent sockets with 110v on them, is make sure that the sockets are incompatible with the 230v ones so that you cannot accidentally plug a 110v applice into a 230v socket as this could result in at best the kit breaking and at worse exploding, as in shrapnel.

    There many well be issues with earthing and conductor bonding. this may be or may not be a safety issue; but its way out of my expertise. You should get the advice of a decent sparky.

  22. #22
    CCBW JPPR2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hazz
    install permanent sockets with 110v on them, is make sure that the sockets are incompatible with the 230v ones so that you cannot accidentally plug a 110v applice into a 230v socket as this could result in at best the kit breaking and at worse exploding, as in shrapnel.

    There many well be issues with earthing and conductor bonding. this may be or may not be a safety issue; but its way out of my expertise. You should get the advice of a decent sparky.
    Haze,
    I had thought of that as well I can easily do that. My Uncle who is a general contractor was the one who thought having it wired separate would be a neat idea if what I was taking warranted it. We drew out some schematics and how to do it. He is a sharp guy and I can do it myself.



    Lots of good feedback from TD members which has me thinking about it. I need to list what I will bring and determine if it is worth it. A lot of what I have is designed for switching (TV's, Computers and a few other things) making them compatible anywhere. Its the one off stuff and my older shop tools I am weighing the value. I am also bringing my Honda EU Generators so I could use those to charge up 12V stuff or run those electrical tools.

    Again I know I can just dump all my stuff here but its more of a cost thing to me. My GF feels the same way. Why sell it dirt cheap to re buy in TL at more. Purchasing things I want to replace could run 100k to 200k baht. Before returning here to the states I went looking at tools and items. a Good Makita drill is 2.5X more, Dewalt Sawzall was 5x, In kitchen a Kitchen-Aid Mixer and meat grinder was nearly 3x then here and honestly I had a hard time determining if it was a knock off. There is a ton of that and unlike here if it dies you are pressed to return it.

    A few years ago I bought a socket set in Bangkok, S&K(as the box showed). Used it 3 times, Ratchet head spun out. But cant go back, the drive not worth it.

    Again thanks for the responses

  23. #23
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    sorry, JPPR, you are crazy to even consider doing a rewire to save a few bucks

    a portable transformer in your toolshed is one thing but kitchen appliances and all that stuff really is a nonsense

    yes, you can bring them, and yes, you may save some money, so what?

    you can but good quality reasonable priced items here and you can get them fixed IF they break down (the ones you bring may not have any spares available)

    a simple life.....
    I have reported your post

  24. #24
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    Concerning 50 hrz vs. 60 hrz, too low voltage and hrz is as damaging as too high voltage and hrz. Meaning, yes it will run, but it will burn the motor up.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by JPPR2
    I am considering bringing back quite a few 110/115V/50/60hz devices to Thailand soon.
    use individual transformers, cheap at 400 THB

    for the big appliances, the Europeans are far better and they are all available here since all production has shifted here

    110V is a poor system, and your project would be dangerous, probably illegal too

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