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Check how much current your microwave needs!


Hermie
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When I wanted to change the plug on my microwave to the Australian plug, I discovered the following.

In Australia, the standard plugs and sockets have a maximum current capacity of 10A. South Africa's plugs can carry a higher current. Some of the microwaves sold in South Africa (especially the combination grill and microwave) use more current than the Australian ones. Unfortunately the appliances do not specify what current they use so you'll have to work it out using the following formula:

Current = Power / Voltage

Check in your microwave manual what the maximum power output (Watt) is for your microwave and then divide it by 230 (Australia and SA both use 230V, 50Hz mains power). If the answer is more than 10, you cannot use the microwave unless you have a special 15A socket installed in your house by an electrician. The maximum power should not be more than 2300W (2300W/230V = 10A).

If your microwave use a current of more than 10A, I would suggest you sell it in South Africa and buy a new one in Australia.

We have a LG combination microwave which has a maximum power output of 2500W and if I had known what I know now, I would not have shipped it to Australia.

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There is actually a 15A version of the Aussie mains socket. The 15A plugs are similar to the 10A ones but the earth pin is wider to stop them from being used with a 10A socket. However, such 15A sockets are rare and it is unlikely that you would find one in a kitchen. Some air conditioners use them, and also some power tools and welders.

You could get an electrician to install a 15A socket for you but that could be a messy expensive exercise. That is one situation where the old Aussie style timber framed house is an advantage.

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thanks for the advice, but it came a few days late, just after we have bought a LG combination microwave, typical. I wanted to ask another sernario, as i was told it wasnt worth us taking appliances to oz as our appliances in south africa dont match up with the oz electrical power so 3 months after you have plugged your fridge, microwave and tv it all go's on the blink. just wanted to run this thought through a few electricians who have an idea of what happens there in oz.

hope its just alot of nonense talk,

it did come from saffers who returned from oz, so maybe they wanted to ruin my day????

michelle

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Hi I was wondering about large appliances like dishwasher,washing machine etc......

I heard from one of the saffers that arrrived in Canberra they have had endless problems with dishwasher,tumbledryer and microwave --could it be the 10 vs 15 plug issue?

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We have been here nearly a year and haven't had any problems with our SA appliances (dishwasher, washing machine, fridge)

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I brought my combination/ grill microwave and various other small appliances which all work 3 and a half years later

My hubby is an Electrician and constantly explains this to me but I still don't understand.

My take on it is that most of your appliances will work on 10 amp plugs, 15 amp plugs are usually for industrial appliances.

Have a look at your electrical goods and you will see that the majority will be fine using Hermie's formula- how many of your appliances are more than 2300 watts?

As he points out Australia and SA both use 230V, 50Hz mains power

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Have to agree with the 'it will work camp'. We brought over EVERYTHING and they all work with no issues what so ever and that has been for about the last 18 months now. We didn't have to change a thing (except the plug of course) for it to work. Just changed to an Aussie plug and switched it on .. no problems ....

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Thanks for the great advice, will go have a look what my microwave manual says!

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  • 2 weeks later...
When I wanted to change the plug on my microwave to the Australian plug, I discovered the following.

If your microwave use a current of more than 10A, I would suggest you sell it in South Africa and buy a new one in Australia.

We have a LG combination microwave which has a maximum power output of 2500W and if I had known what I know now, I would not have shipped it to Australia.

I would put a plug on it and give it a go anyway. If you have an ammeter check the current. Then if it works run it for a while and feel the plug. If it gets warm then dont use it. Your oven is only 8% over 10A, so if it is slightly under spec it will be OK. Also a microwave or even convection uses maximum power, then off tehn on and off, so the short bursts will reduce the heating of wires

Many items in fact actually draw less curent. Also it will still work as a microwave as they have maximum ratings of 600W or have 2 magnetrons giving 1200W

http://www.gallawa.com/microtech/output.html

The worst is you trip the power. The 15A socket has exactly the same pins

In terms of lifespan

Only a vacuum cleaner died, but so did its replacement

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