Will 120v/60Hz microwave ovens run at 120v/50Hz?

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All your food would be overcooked*.... the clock almost certainly uses mains frequency for reference..
-- Sue
Unfortunately I can't use that excuse to explain why everything else I cook ends up burnt, even on a regular range..
Reply to
Where are you going?
It would generally be cheaper to buy a new Microwave at the new location than buy a transformer big enough to drive the old one where the mains is 230 volts 50 hz.
Reply to
John G
That's the reason for my dilemma, I already have a 5KVA trafo that could drive every 110V item I have and much more. The particular microwave is a 15 yo G.E.- made one that has never needed repair, works great, looks great, and is much more substantial than the boxes being made today.Besides all that, the shipping cost would be zero - I have lots of extra space. Hence my indecision :-) The big question still is - would it work?
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No. The transformer core will saturate when operated at a lower line frequency. Core losses go up as the frequency goes down, while copper losses go up as the the frequency goes up. The big old iron core power transformers made for microwave ovens were made as cheap as possible so you will either blow the oven's line fuse or smell the insulation burning on the magnet wire in the transformer.
Reply to
Michael A. Terrell
Not quite my experience with one I brought back to the UK from the US - many years ago when you couldn't get them here and they still cost lots there. It worked fine for many, many years before it finally gave up.
But I had been longing for a combined microwave/fan oven/grill - which I now have- and wouldn't swap for a vanilla microwave now even if it had been made by Marconi and picked up the trawler band..
15 years old GE? You would be better placed to say whether they were quality items then, over-engineered, rather than made as cheap as they now find that they can make them.
However, microwave ovens are now "cheap as chips" - in fact considerably cheaper than many chips. You can buy one for 25GBP, new..
If the OPs did work here, which I think it would, but the question would be for how long, the cooking timer would probably be way off - which was a real pita. I ended up painting out the old times around the dial of the rotary analogue timers and writing in new ones. Of course, if it did have a cheap transformer, it wouldn't last long enough to bother.
I would have suggested donating it to a local charity shop and buying a new one on arrival. At least the OP will know that it is still doing good somewhere. I too hate this throw away society and generally don't throw anything away if it still works (written whilst typing away on a 98Mhz machine...)..
And buying a combination microwave,fan oven with grill..with a timer, so stuff in the fan oven doesn't end up as burnt offerings because you forgot about putting them in..
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I've never bought a new microwave oven, but I've owned and used them for over 20 years. They were picked up for free and repaired, if needed. If i couldn't find a free one, i could get one for a couple dollars from a thrift store.
The very early commercial units could handle 50 Hz because it was a conventional designed oversized HV transformer design that was built for rugged service. The replacement transformers for those early ovens cost two or three hundred dollars in the '80s. My first microwave oven was an all stainless steel Amana Radar Range that was made for heavy duty service in a restaurant. A new diode and HV cap and I had it running. These ovens were built by Litton, which is a big US defense company that does a lot of military RF contracting, so its no wonder they were built to last for decades.
I have scrapped several newer ovens with very cheap laminated core transformers that are made with a welded shunt that is used to regulate the transformer. They don't like to run outside their specified frequency because there is so little iron in the HV transformer core. Some are marked 60 Hz only on the transformers but I don't tear them down other than to repair or recycle them anymore.
As far as old computers, I collect and repair what I can, then pass them on to disabled Veterans in my area who can't afford to buy a computer. The latest count was a little over 45,000 veterans in my county before hurricane Katrina, and I have been told that more veterans are moving into the area after losing everything they had in hurricane Katrina and the floods that followed.
Reply to
Michael A. Terrell

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