110V vs. 220V
By Avi Goldstein
People often ask if they are better off buying 220 Volt appliances, or can
they get by with 110 volt appliances. There are several issues involved.
- Cost – is the price of the appliance + a transformer
significantly cheaper than the comparable 220 volt appliance?.
- Speed - Israel works on 230 volts, 50 cycles, America 110
volts 60 cycles. As a general rule most motors will work about 15
per cent slower, and some times of timer and door lock motors will
not work at all.
- Many fridges can be used with a transformer, but this is
a special transformer designed to compensate for the difference in
cycles. Please note that with increases in energy efficiency, slower
cycles could mean that there is insufficient defrost cycles in some
- Features – perhaps the features that most interest you in a
product are not available in the export models.
- Availability of spare parts – You really love that BANZAI
fridge, but if it breaks down and you're the only person in Israel
with it, and there are no spare parts available you won't be so
happy living without a fridge while the parts are flown in from
- Small Appliances – if it's an inexpensive kitchen type
appliance, especially if it's low wattage and you already have a
suitable transformer, so it can be worthwhile to buy. It's not a big
loss if it doesn't work properly.
- Many ovens and dryers work quite well with full or partial
transformations. Since even in America heating elements are
often 220 volts electric, dryers and ovens often require relatively
small transformers (but they do require a knowledgeable technician
to split the 110 volts from the 220 volts).
Avi Goldstein is the manager of Goldstein & Berger Ltd,
American Appliance Specialist
PO Box 10446, Jerusalem, Israel