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I've currently got several Cadet RM162 Registers (in-wall heaters) in my home. They're powered with 220VAC power. I'm curious about the challenges of converting some to the sort of electric radiator that appears common in Europe. From what I can tell, the voltage is the same, and the load (current) is similar. But what is unclear is if 60Hz power in the US will be a problem for heaters designed to run on 50Hz power more common in EU/UK.

One retail site I've found many of these on is Geyser.

Since the resistive heating element really won't care about the frequency of the AC power, the real question is about how the built-in thermostat will handle it.

  • My question is; What are you trying to accomplish? – d.george Aug 27 '17 at 10:51
  • What I have in mind is efficient and quiet heating. These Cadet registers are noisy, and only provide heat while blowing. Whereas a radiator has no buzzing fan, and will continue to convect & radiate heat between heating cycles. And the typical oil-filled, free-standing electric radiators available in the US are unappealing for numerous reasons. – roens Aug 29 '17 at 7:08
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The resistive element in the heater will not care about 50/60Hz.

The motor, however, will - to start with the different frequency will change its speed. This in turn will change its current draw, to either less or more than it is designed for.

This, however, seems like a fool's errand; resistive electric heaters are dirt cheap. You will spend more shipping one heater intercontinentally than the heater is worth. Buy your heaters on your own continent.

The only case I can see it being useful to even think about the question is if you are fitting out a blue-water boat capable of an ocean crossing; or fitting exotic machinery unique enough to justify crossing oceans (say, in a container). Or military equipment.

P.S. Thermostats. US vs EU thermostats work completely differently and incompatible. In North America, the thermostat either switches the full 240V current, or switches a low-current, low-voltage signal. In EU, the low-current signal thermostats use full mains voltage. None of these three thermostats are compatible with each other. Using a foreign thermostat is not wise, as it will be unsupportable - local HVAC guys won't know what to do with it.

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    Indeed, AC frequency won't matter for the resistive heating element. It might matter for any attached digital temperature controller/thermostat. But then, that'd be a question to be answered by any particular manufacturer. – roens Aug 26 '17 at 23:19
  • @roens Oh, I forgot about the issue of thermostats. It will probably work fine powerwise (unless it has a clock)... But if it uses an external thermostat, US vs EU thermostats work completely different. – Harper Aug 26 '17 at 23:22
  • Most of these EU/UK electric radiators I've found seem to have built-in controls, and often even just plug in to an outlet, even though they're mounted on a wall. Challenges of a local "HVAC guy" solving any sort of problem with one should be relatively limited to getting power to it. – roens Aug 29 '17 at 7:12

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