I am not an electrical engineer, and I want a simple language answer to a question that I think covered elsewhere, but I didn't understand.

If I get a washing machine designed to work on 220 V 60 Hz, can it run safely on a 220 V 50 Hz electricity source?

The item is relatively new (the specific product I am asking about).

  • Going to have to go with No; I actually downloaded the manual to check and it says 220/240V 60Hz in 3 separate places, no ambiguity. If that's not the answer you want to hear, ask Samsung directly - there's an outside chance they'll admit their manual is wrong.
    – Brian Drummond
    Oct 8 '17 at 14:02

The general answer is no because the washing machine may have an AC induction motor which gets overexcited and overheats when connected to a lower mains frequency but the same voltage. You had to lower the voltage accordingly. Torque stays the same but the speed reduces to 50/60.

BUT there should be only very few 220V appliances which aren't built for 50Hz originally, and simply labelled 50/60Hz. Because higher frequency is seldom a problem.

So, check the device and/or motor plate if it says 50/60Hz.

  • 3
    Modern washing machines typically have a VFD for running the motor. I have a 5 year old Samsung, with a VFD. I assume the label says 50/60Hz - so check the nameplate...
    – vidarlo
    Oct 8 '17 at 13:56
  • 2
    Running 50Hz devices at 400Hz sometimes is a problem when the inductance of a transformer simply doesn't let through enough power.
    – PlasmaHH
    Oct 8 '17 at 14:14
  • 11
    400 Hz is aircraft AC supply frequency. I've yet to find a washing machine on an aircraft.
    – Transistor
    Oct 8 '17 at 20:04
I am not an electrical engineer

Then here is a simple answer.

Check the nameplate of the appliance. This should be a little plaque or embossed writing close to where the line cord comes out. If it says 220 VAC, 50-60 Hz, then you're fine. If it just says 60 Hz, then don't try to run it at 50 Hz.

If it doesn't say anything about the frequency, then you have to assume it is intended for whatever your specific local frequency is. If you are in North America, for example, then assume 60 Hz, and that anything else won't work unless the nameplate explicitly says it's OK.


As outlined, you may see issues with the motor, but I would suggest it may be OK, since many are designed to be cross compatible. A closer look at the drum motor may be worthwhile.

Another thing to consider is the timings for the programs. I have played with 50 and 60 Hz microwaves... they work on either, but the clocks and timer circuits, at least from my experience, use the mains frequency for timings - thus you may find your 1 hour program takes 72 minutes! ;-)

  • Actually, I believe it is highly unlikely that the microwave takes mains as clock reference. It is much easier (and cheaper) to clock the controlling microprocessor from a crystal or an RC circuit. I don't mean it is impossible but, to convince me, you'll have to tell me that your experience goes beyond your own microwave.
    – Krauss
    Oct 8 '17 at 20:58
  • LOL @ Harry... Krass - I have seen it with my own eyes - there was a guy and Im not sure if I can find it now as I think he has (finally) gone out of business. However he was converting US microwaves into plasma cleaners - in quite a dangerous way, and selling them all over. When he sold to another region he just put a label with the calculation on. There was no RTC or anything in there. Nov 17 '17 at 20:43

Although some modern appliances convert to DC, it is not obvious unless the nameplate specifies it. e.g. 50/60Hz

Although It does mention Europe in the preliminary info, no mention of 50Hz .

So for best answer , send an email to Samsung.



Simple answer is: No it will not work

At 50Hz (lower freq), motor inductive reactance decreases, current increases, winding temp increases, insulation breaks, short circuit

If doesnt say 50/60Hz then don't run it on lower frequency (50Hz)

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