110v or 220v can you use either?

As I live in Ontario most of my plugs are for 110v. Which isnt a problem, but i have a spare plug for 220. Would there be any concern over having a 220v plug made and having my power supply selected to 220v? Wouldnt this also make the printer more energy efficent? Im no electrician, but my dad ran the idea past me so im curious what you guys think herd.

If the power supply has a 220 setting and much of the world runs them on 220, are you really willing to take a chance on blowing up your printer and burning your house down. If so then go for it. I mean what have I got to loose. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

But seriously folks best ask an electrician if you are not sure

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There should be no difference in efficiency, in fact 220 may be a bit less efficient as there’s more potential for heat generation. There are certain types of transformers and amplification type circuits that can get potential benefit from running 220, but nothing I could think of in a 3d printer.

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I’d be somewhat to very cautious about doing that.

“220V” on the power supply means 215V-230V at 50Hz, not 60Hz that’s used in North America.

It really depends on the transformer used in the power supply along with its circuitry and whether or not it overheats at 60Hz and 220V.

If the power supply transformer is driving a full wave rectifier directly into the switching power circuitry, then you won’t have any issues (other than it will probably run warmer and at lower efficiency) but if the output of the transformer only goes through a half wave rectifier, you could have some (potentially) serious heating issues as well as it being very inefficient and unable to provide full current. The half wave rectified circuitry is more likely because it results in a cheaper power supply (the AC current provides the base clock for the circuit which eliminates the designer to put it in).

Definitely, NEVER run a European 220V/50Hz appliance with a North American 220V/60Hz source.


Good point. I’ve only really done this sort of thing with Class A/B sort of stuff, big transformers, rectifiers, etc… mostly power amps in racks.


My key question is: Is it just the plug that is 220 volts or the power suppy requirement?

If the plug itself is 220VAC with the round prongs on the plug-into-the-wall end, that means the plug was designed to fit a standard 220VAC outlet but the end that fits into the supply should be standard regardless of the plug type on the receptical end. I have a plug with a 220VAC receptical end that came with an adapter plug to allow it to be plugged into a 120VAC receptical. The adapter plug just changes the pins to slots, nothing else.

Most power supplies have a switch on the side of the supply case to allow you to select between 120VAC and 220VAC as the input voltage and will run on either 50Hz or 60Hz. The four power suppies on my CNC machine all have that feature as does my printer.

There is no difference in efficiency between 120VAC and 220VAC other than the current required to supply the device.

A 350W draw on a 220VAC system would give you 350W/220V≈1.6A current draw to feed the supply.
A 350W draw on a 120VAC system would give you 350W/120V≈2.9A current draw to feed the supply.

The output amperage and voltage of the supply itself will remain unchanged regardless of the voltage setting/supply voltage.

Caveat: I’m an 442A Industrial Electrician.

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This was what i was thinking, but im not a certified electrician, just exposed to aircraft electrical systems which is a whole different beast (400 hertz) and honestly i dont deal with it that much anyway as im an engine guy.

Thanks for all the input here. If i make an adaptor plug ill post my new smoke machine if i forget to switch the power supply to the 220v setting.

Do you have any photos you can share here to help describe what you want or are are trying to do? Pictures of the plug, cable and the power supply would be REALY helpful.

This being said because I either missed something or you didn’t explain things in enough detail for me to understand.

If you plug a power supply set at 220V into 120V, it will not destroy it. It just won’t work. However a power suppy set at 120V plugged into 220V well, say good-bye to it before you plug it in. The plug type is only for the reciptical it’s intended to be plugged into. A 220V plug used with an adapter in a 120 V receptical will still mean only 120V is supplied.

I’m currently 2 time zones away from my printer, but can send picutres when I get back.

The gist of what I was thinking was I have a 220V plug in the wall which i think was ment for a dryer at some time. Currently it’s not in use. My printer has a standard 120 (or is it 110) northa american 3 pringed plug. So I was thinking of making an adaptor plug or wire that would plug into the 220 receptical and either into my 120 plug or directly to the power supply reciptical.

Should be simple enough so long as I dont mix up the power supply selector.

What I was more so unsure of was a bit related to the herts, as differernt countries (Japan, China, Euroupe) use differernt frequencies and I wasnt sure if it would be detrimental to the operation of the power supply.

So if ive got it right, then if 220 is selected but plugged into 110, then it would operate at essentially half power for arguments sake. If I do it the other way I get to print in magic smoke. As for the herts difference it should be relitivly minor/irrelevant, If I were to correctly plug my printer into 220 and have the power supply selected correctly.

Forget the hertz. It’s really a non issue for most devices today. Most every supply will run on 50 to 60 hertz. Hertz is the AC side of things. Once it’s rectified into DC, no hertz involved. It’s DC voltage at that point.

You say you think the outlet was meant for a dryer at some time? No sure eh? Have someone check the outlet. It could be 220 straight up (3 prong outlet) for a dryer or like a plug for a stove that is wired to supply both 220V and 110V (4 prong outlet). Little things matter.

If it’s a dryer outlet it’ll be three prongs (2 prongs voltage, 1 prong ground). Just 220V.

If it’s a stove outlet it’ll be four prongs (2 prongs voltage, 1 prong neutral and 1 prong ground) which means you can still have 120V. Two prongs are connected to the two mains 220V wires to give you 220V. Either one of the two 220V prongs connected to neutral will give you 120V.

Pictures of what you have currently would greatly help. Looking forward to what you can send Dr.Marvin


Umm. Don’t forget the Hertz.

Ideally, you should understand what the transformer is designed for as running one set up for 50Hz running at 60Hz will have different eddy current and hysteresis losses - these both are a function of the frequency and increasing the AC frequency increases these losses, which means more heat. Along with that, you should understand how the DC/DC converter clock base is generated, if it’s from the AC source, you’re going to be running it at the wrong frequency.

I’m being vocal about this because a couple of years ago I helped a friend with PC power supply problems. He did what the Dr. is asking about, using a 220V dryer plug instead of standard 110V outlet. Only he didn’t tell me and asked me how the DVD drive could take out the power supply - the DVD drive’s 12V supply line was melted. He thought the power supply was defective and bought another (and another DVD drive and cable) and the same thing happened again. After going to his house, I saw that he was taking power from an unused dryer plug in his basement with the 220V switch selected - we got a third power supply, ran it off 110V and everything has been fine since then.

Just remember that the primary design criteria of the power supply you’re using is cost - the designers will do what they have to do to keep costs down and if they can save a few pennies by assuming that the users will ONLY run the supplies at 210V-230V/50Hz or 110V-120V/60Hz then they’ll design to that requirement, not allow them to run outside those limits.

Probably (70% confidence) you won’t have any problems running 220V 60Hz into a power supply with the switch set to 220V. Please monitor the supply’s temperature and stop if things start to get warm.

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As you can clearly see, this power supply will work at either frequency. This is one of three power supplies in my homemade CNC router. So long as the switch is set to the correct voltage, the frequency does not matter.

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