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Thread: European treadmills on 208v

  1. #1
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    European treadmills on 208v

    Hi, I got a call from the gym manager today telling me he is having problems with the treadmills. Apparently they are 220v connected at 208v. There are 6 treadmill, 2 of them have constant problems with the electronic board and have changed them a bunch of times, 1 of the has occasional problemas and the other 3 have worked fine. Initially I was thinking to just add a transformer for each of them, but the issue that concerns me, is why 3 machines work fine without any issues. Am I missing something?
    Thanks!

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    All the machines may eventually fail, once driven hard enough for long enough. Motors and other inductive loads draw more current to achieve the same nameplate wattage/power from a lower voltage source. More current = more heat, and IEC rated motors and definite-purpose relay components are not designed to survive beyond design limits of heat or amperage. Your 208v transformer secondary may have taps that allow a voltage adjustment increase, if doing so won't damage other equipment.
    Roger Ramjet NoFixNoPay

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    Assuming its not the L-L voltage doing it, raise the voltage to 230-240.

    I agree with the comment above, IEC equipment tends to have very little tolerance built in.
    I'm in over my head...

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    Quote Originally Posted by ramsy View Post
    All the machines may eventually fail, once driven hard enough for long enough. Motors and other inductive loads draw more current to achieve the same nameplate wattage/power from a lower voltage source. More current = more heat, and IEC rated motors and definite-purpose relay components are not designed to survive beyond design limits of heat or amperage. Your 208v transformer secondary may have taps that allow a voltage adjustment increase, if doing so won't damage other equipment.
    Thanks, I get that, but what if I tell you the equipment was installed less than 6months algo, and 2 of those started failing right away. You still believe I should just adjust the voltage?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guanac View Post
    Hi, I got a call from the gym manager today telling me he is having problems with the treadmills. Apparently they are 220v connected at 208v. There are 6 treadmill, 2 of them have constant problems with the electronic board and have changed them a bunch of times, 1 of the has occasional problemas and the other 3 have worked fine. Initially I was thinking to just add a transformer for each of them, but the issue that concerns me, is why 3 machines work fine without any issues. Am I missing something?
    Thanks!
    I was thinking to just add a transformer for each of them, but the issue that concerns me, is why 3 machines work fine without any issues. Am I missing something?
    Thanks!
    The 3 machines that work fine could be manufactured by a different manufacture, or the 3 could be a different model number, series.

    Some treadmills use AC motors while others use DC motors. The ones that use DC motors are usually powered by a SMPS, Switch Mode Power Supply.
    Depending on the design of the SMPS the AC power input voltage range can vary widely. The treadmills that are failing could have a tighter AC input voltage range.

    I agree you should boost the 208V to 220V for all 6 treadmills.

  6. #6
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    EU equipment has a fairly wide operating range to cope with the so called “unified” declared voltage of 230V +10% -6%. The UK and Germany being at the +10% end, Belgium at -6%. 208V is out of the range. What also may be the problem is 208V is Ph→Ph. 230V Ph→N. As it’s the control PCB failing I’d go for a problem with the neutral.

    I’ve had this voltage problem before when we imported machinery from Belgium. The manufacturers wouldn’t guarantee the gear unless we supplied the correct voltage. We ended up with one side of the factory on 380V the other side on 433V.
    The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mbrooke View Post
    Assuming its not the L-L voltage doing it, raise the voltage to 230-240.

    I agree with the comment above, IEC equipment tends to have very little tolerance built in.
    Got a source for that?
    Please understand that I'm not saying you are incorrect just that It's something that I hadn't heard/read.
    Si hoc legere scis nimium eruditionis habes.

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    I find it hard to believe that a 220v unit will have trouble running on a 208V system. The boards should not have an issue with that small voltage difference
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Alwon View Post
    I find it hard to believe that a 220v unit will have trouble running on a 208V system. The boards should not have an issue with that small voltage difference
    The "harmonised" voltage is 230V, not 220V.
    But you have a point.
    Si hoc legere scis nimium eruditionis habes.

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    IEC style equipment tends to have more purpose built design but I have not seen all that much difference in failure rates when applied properly.

    I'd be inclined to get a transformer and get the voltage upto the "right" level. I don't know if it being L-L versus L-N matters any but it would not hurt any to make the 230 grounded when doing this just to eliminate that as an issue. Presumably they are rated for 50-60 Hz?

    It might be that they just bought junk too.
    Bob

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