I have an old table-fan that I bought years ago and was rated for 110V. During the checkout process, it the option of choosing 110V or 220V and I made the mistake of choosing 110V. I haven't been able to use it and it's been collecting dust and I thought I'd get it running so I opened it up.

Inside I found a the motor that was connected to a 300VAC 3uF capacitor and it was also connected to a three-speed selector which to was rated for 300V. All the wires inside the fan are also rated for 300V.

The only thing that doesn't seem to be rated for the 220V is the fuse in the plug. There's a fuse that reads, 110V 5A.

I don't know much about electronics but I've been doing research on this. What I've found is that since it has a capacitor, it isn't a three phase motor.

I'm scared of plugging this into 220V and starting a fire. Is there a way I can check (and run) this table-fan at 220V? I've also read that that motors can be rewired to be run on 220V.

I'm really wondering if they actually do use different motors for the 110V and 220V version or is the motor in both versions the same with the only difference being the fuse and the capacitor.

  • You are wise to be cautious. Do not just plug it in as it is. There is definitely more to it than just the fuse and capacitor. The number of coil windings around the motor will be different between the two different voltages. Depending on how the fan maker designed it, they could possibly have used two different motors, or they could have used one motor that has extra connections on its coil windings to allow wiring it differently. Without details of the motor (model numbers, photos of motor label, etc) it is not possible to make a definite answer.
    – Grunthos
    Commented Jun 9, 2014 at 19:46
  • 220 will push twice the current through the windings and burn up the motor. Yes, they truly are different, the wire in the windings is sized differently, unless you have one that's dual voltage and requires setting jumpers to change it. Most table fans are not set up this way... Commented Jun 9, 2014 at 19:49

5 Answers 5


Don't do it. Plugging the fan into 220V will draw twice the current and result in 4 times the power delivered to the motor, so it will spin like crazy. There is risk of overheating, fire, fan blades dislodging and bearings overheating.

In some cases the motor can be rewired for a different voltage but it takes a fair bit of experience and knowledge to do this correctly. It's also unlikely that a simple fan motor will support this, so it's definitely not worth taking the risk.

I would recommend taking the loss and properly disposing of the fan. Properly disposing includes making sure no one else accidentally plugs it in. So please don't give it away or resell it unless you are absolutely sure that the recipient knows what he/she is doing. I know it's a bit painful, but it's the right thing to do.


You may be able to purchase a step-down transformer that will convert your 220V supply to 110V. You will need one that can supply the full power rating of your Fan (110V x 5A suggests 550W).

It may be cheaper to write-off the fan and purchase a new one of the correct voltage.

  • some travel kits will have a step down transformer (others will have a step up so be careful) Commented Jun 10, 2014 at 10:22
  • 2
    @ratchet freak, almost all travel kit transformers are rated well below the wattage required for a fan.
    – Sam
    Commented Jan 6, 2015 at 22:56

I have purchased 110v fan which is being run on 220 volts. On observing the circuit, it was found that two non polar polypropylene capacitors in parallel with total capacity of 5.5uf been have used in live line in series. Working fine for the last two years.


If your motor is rated 300V, you should find how the inner coils are wired and rewire inner coils to run on 220V. Here you can find a scheme that fits: link

If Appliance follows US standard, this is a guide that takes into account US-color code for electric motors

  • 3
    The OP never said his motor was rated 300V, but rather other various components. There's no way a person who "doesn't know much about electronics" could safely rewind a fan motor to handle twice the voltage; I dubious an expert could do it. Commented Oct 29, 2018 at 15:37
  • Who talked about rewinding? That motor was taught for a 'multi voltage' appliance, the only thing is to connect the inner coils from delta to star. Also NEMA has standard colours for motor coils so it's just a matter of flipping a couple of wires.
    – DDS
    Commented Oct 29, 2018 at 16:56
  • 1
    Well, rewiring is better than rewinding, but neither could be considered safe for most end-users. I just thought you'd want to know why someone (not me) likely downvoted your answer. Commented Oct 29, 2018 at 18:26

If you are taking a loss on the fan anyway then plug it in outside and see what happens. It could be exciting to watch.

  • 3
    Reckless behavior is discouraged here. Commented Jul 23, 2018 at 12:08

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.