Home /
Search 🔍
the Site
pub Where the world gathers for
plating, anodizing, & finishing Q&As since 1989


Using wrong line source voltage and frequency


Sir, I would like to be clarified if I have a machine rated at 230V/ 50 Hz, and the line source available is 220V/ 60Hz. Is there any devastating outcome to my instrument if I will plug it to the available line source?

Abdul rahim uri quilinguen
dgm - dubai, dubai, uae


The voltage isn't the main problem (most equipment is built to handle a ± 10 percent voltage variation). But the frequency difference is a big problem for many reasons. This is a question that can't be answered except by the supplier. Most things won't work, but there are a few industrial motors that are built robustly enough to run under these circumstances.

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey


As Ted says, the voltage is no real problem, but the frequency is a major one. Many pieces of electrical equipment use the frequency to run their clocks and other time-based items, so they won't work properly, if at all. It is possible to buy a frequency converter, but they are not easy to come by, are usually quite expensive and tend to be quite big. As far as I know, the USA (and perhaps Canada) are the only other major countries that use 60Hz, whilst most of the rest of the world uses 50Hz, so it may be worth trying to source the converter from the USA. You may be better off getting a 60Hz replacement machine - try a trade-in.

trevor crichton
Trevor Crichton
R&D practical scientist
Chesham, Bucks, UK


Major problem will be on AC motor speed, which will be a bit difference RPM for 50/60 Hz and heat more if run on difference frequency, there are no need to consider for the cooling fan.

Suvatn Srisanan, Mr.
- Bangkok, Thailand

finishing.com is made possible by ...
this text gets replaced with bannerText
spacer gets replaced with bannerImages

Q, A, or Comment on THIS thread -or- Start a NEW Thread

Disclaimer: It's not possible to fully diagnose a finishing problem or the hazards of an operation via these pages. All information presented is for general reference and does not represent a professional opinion nor the policy of an author's employer. The internet is largely anonymous & unvetted; some names may be fictitious and some recommendations might be harmful.

If you are seeking a product or service related to metal finishing, please check these Directories:

Chemicals &
Consult'g, Train'g
& Software

About/Contact    -    Privacy Policy    -    ©1995-2023 finishing.com, Pine Beach, New Jersey, USA