Author Options:

Foreign 220V appliance in the USA? Answered

Hi...I am moving back to USA from South Korea.
I want to bring my LG fridge model # R-T693TH 220V and would like to know if it will work in the US if I install a 220V electrical system in the house. Or would I require a step down  220V to 110v thnx for your replies.


I don't recall if Korea operates on 60Hz or 50Hz. If 60HZ, it's as simple as hooking up to a 220 line.

Most houses have 220 for appliances like electric clothes dryers and air-conditioners, but although most US refrigerators operate on 110/120VAC, 220VAC isn't all that weird at all.

Apartments I'm not so sure about. If you're going to be moving to an apartment, You'd need to check with whomever you're getting housing.

I won't go much further except to say that 110 is simply one half of the 220 (L1-L2) fed to the home...(L1-return, L2 -return) 

Yes, forgot to mention. This is all US standards I talk about. Most foreign countries have kept the old ways of 110V and 220V running through their lines.

Yes, your exactly right. We are an odd country. And good gracious, might I just clear up this whole conversation by saying, yes, we get 240V, and no, we don't get it on a seperate line. I see my comment may have started that, but that's not what I meant at all. I just meant we get 240V and 120V, not on seperate lines. Steve is once again right, it comes in the phases. We are supplied 120-0-120. My whole point is that it is not 110 and 220 here in the US. That's all. :I

I figured as much, (I think they have it as a result of our involvement there following the Korean war) but I wasn't prepared to look it up at the time I responded. Thanks for confirming.

Since when ? AFAIK, US supply is 110-0-110, and 220 is taken across the phases. When did it change ?

It's been 120 since at least the late 60's. It works out in most places to 116-118 volts.

I'm a member of an antique radio forum and one of the problems with using radios from the 30's -50's it they were built to run on 105 -110 and don't like more than that.

Yes, sorry, the 120's been like that for ages. It was the assertion you guys get110 and 220 delivered on separate wires.


We do.  Check the next to last diagram on this page.  The transformer takes single phase multi KV voltage and turns it into what we use.  My supply starts out as 7.5 KV.

No, you get two 120 V, and neutral. 240 is available across the hots

Yeah, if so, I'm jealous. I only have a 2-wire with return to my home. I'd love to have a dedicated 240 feed. I could buy a decent TIG welder and a milling machine and hook my table saw and some other shop tools up the "right' way...

who am i kidding? I can't afford a welder, let alone a milling machine...but the table saw and others I have would be nice powered by a dedicated 240 feed!

> 2-wire with return
.  That is 240 V. 240 between the two incoming lines and 110 between either incoming and neutral/ground (often bare). Insert a 2-pole breaker in your breaker box and you have 240 V. Just don't try to run more than one (maybe two) items at a time unless you know you have the ampacity.

240 220/ 120 110, all the same to me. I've been here all my life and I've heard 110 115 and 120. (and 220 230 and 240)

I got the impression from Explosionist's post that new construction is fed by a pair of 220/230/240 lines, rather than a single feed like this old house of mine, hence my reference. :)

. 120 V +/- 5% (114-126), but it appears that that is just a figure most utilities aim for, not law.

In part isn't that based on the pole transformers? Along with load fluctuations?

.  Yeah. Ppl near the transformer will have higher voltage than those near the end of the line so you have to set the transformer so that the ppl at the end have enough juice during dips, but the ppl close by don't get fried during spikes. I find it amazing that they can (usually) hold the voltage within 5%.

.  We (at least I) are not trying to make a case. Just discussing the nuances of mains power.

There is 220 volts here in America. You might just have to install one.

Trust me. I know this, atleast for newer homes built after 2005. Houses are fed 240 and 120 volts. Several large appliances in my home run off a dedicated 240 volt circuit. In older homes they are most likely 220 and even with new circuits run they will deliver 220 unless you want your home completely re-wired and each circuit updated.

If you want to plug 1 220VAC device into 110VAC you would need a step-UP transformer... obviously, one large enough to handle the load the fridge will present.

It will be more efficient to run it off a 220V drop (just as your electric stove and/or electric drier are wired). And given that the fridge is the major consumer of electricity in most households, efficiency does matter. But of course that will probably require getting an electrician in to set up the 220V circuit for you.