What happens if plug an 110V appliance in 220V socket?

It depends upon the nature of the appliance but generally speaking if the voltage is too high it draws too much current and burns out, if the voltage is too low it draws too little current and/or does not perform to its rating. The mathematical reference is Ohm's Law and the Power Triangle.

If you plug an 110V appliance in 220V outlet (same as 120v to 230v, 240v) you can only hope that some protection device disconnects the power to the appliance.
If it is some kind of heating device, (toaster, incandescent light, lamp, bulb, space heater) it will develop close to four times the designed heat, and probably burn out in minutes, or seconds. If it is some AC drive, it most likely will burn out very quickly. If it is a universal drive, (or DC), it may spin up to twice its intended speed, and wear out quickly.

If you plug a 220V device into 110V outlet, it will normally last a little longer before it dies.
An AC mechanical drive may fail to start, or it may take up more current than it is designed for, and eventually burn out.

The insulation is usually not a problem unless there is a major flaw in the design. It is current that is your enemy, a piece wire that is warm at 110V (120v) will turn into a fuse at 220V (230v, 240v), all other things being equal. Determining the wattage/load is usually performed by the design engineer to meet the performance specs set by the electrical engineer.

In all cases, you are probably contravening local regulations, because in most countries, the electrical sockets are designed to accept only certain plugs, in order that you do not mismatch appliance voltage and outlet voltage. In some countries, you can get severely punished if anything goes wrong because you tried this.

You can simply buy a 110v to 220v converter to make the appliance works smoothly.

Leave your comment


9/24/2016 1:34 PM
A good information
10/10/2016 1:51 AM
I once had a 220VAC device and only 110VAC to use.  I peed on it while plugged into the 110VAC out let and it worked just fine.
12/2/2016 6:00 PM
How do i repair when it burns out
12/5/2016 1:45 PM
I plugged a 110 refrigerator into a 220 outlet.  Now it is not working.  Did I ruin it?.  Or did I just blew the fuse? Can this be repaired?
1/2/2017 1:52 PM
We have a voltage range is 220 to 247. Can I use my fridge directly or steplizer is necessary for it???
1/11/2017 2:42 AM
If i plugged an 110v/120v soldering iron on a 230 v  socket outlet will the soldering iron damge or any risk happens
1/12/2017 3:29 PM
Once burnt out can the device be repaired
1/13/2017 3:34 PM
I used to think this was true, but my wife has been taking a 110v curling iron to Europe for years, using only a plug convertor (not a voltage convertor) and it hasn't burnt up yet! I was certain that it was going to go "POP" the instant she plugged it in the first time. It didn't. It is ETL listed (not UL) and "conforms to ANSI/UL standards. I guess ETL listing is cheaper? The cord is 105˚C and 300v rated. The ANSI/UL standard probably has a safety factor >4x and 220v is only 2x its rating, it's actually designed to handle it.

I'm NOT recommending this to anyone!!! Whenever she has it plugged in I'm always on high alert and know where a non-conducive implement is that I can quickly unplug it with should it overheat. She's fully aware that she may fry the iron, but it's rather inexpensive, she can live without it, and she'd welcome the need to go shopping for another, dual voltage model anyway.

Word to the wise. :-)
1/19/2017 3:35 PM
I made the mistake of plugging a 115v into a 230v and it sure did burn out quick.  It a record player though that was pretty expensive.  I am wondering if it can be repaired?
1/28/2017 7:13 PM
I hooked up a dishwasher to a 2:20 amp wire and now the dishwasher is not working is that a problem with what I did
1/28/2017 7:14 PM
I plug the dishwasher up with 110 Karen to a 220 Karen now I'm dishwasher is not working is that a problem
1/30/2017 12:16 AM
Does the hertz change if turning a genset from a 250v to a 125 v? With the hertz stay the same?
2/3/2017 3:31 PM
I accidently plugged in the 110v brother sewing machine into 220 v , and it is not working,
how can i repair it?
2/5/2017 7:32 AM
I'm usually very prudent about voltage mismatched but yesterday after a horrific week and in a tired frenzy to get work done I forgot to check the specs of a cheap device I bought from the US ... the device burned out within seconds and jumped the safety switch of my house. It was specced at 120V but here in Aust it's 240V. So yeah the circuits fused and it out of operation in seconds. It's best to not buy devices from overseas at all unless it's a laptop computer which *generally* are ok with a range from 110-240. If the device is cheap don't bother with a transformer and adapter, it's not worth the hassle. And in the future you might forget the transformer and burn the device. Only if the world could have decided on a bloody standard in the first place ....

2/5/2017 7:46 AM
I meant if the device is cheap don't bother getting a transformer, just get a device designed for your country in the first place.... also never get cheap ass fake power adapters or transformers from the Chinese either. eg due to crap and lazy manufacturing the high voltage AC can come into contact with the supposedly low voltage DC wire and kill you.

Rule of thumbs I learned;

1. Buy electronics from your own country. Even if you get the transformer and adapter there may be dodgy parts e.g non operational neutral line which can be dangerous. Respect electricity. The more adapters and transformers you are jerry rigging the more things can go wrong.

2. Don't buy crap directly from China. Made is China is often inevitable but make sure its been already OK'd by the regulatory body of a developed country.

3. Don't work with electricity when you are tired or stressed.
3/1/2017 2:49 PM
I put a  par 30 lamp rated at 120V 60Hz into a lamp fixture rated at 120 V 60hz, but when the lamp did not come on, troubleshooting, I found  220 volts at the terminals.. WEhile I need to dig down into tjhis
3/4/2017 3:36 PM
Just plugged a NutriBullet blender into a 220V.  Not currently working, does it need time to resurrect or is it just dead?
3/21/2017 4:33 AM
what would happen if i used the power to the clothes dryer for an RV hookup?
4/1/2017 2:16 PM
I connected behringer audio mixer via Eurorack power supply which needs 120v input to 220v main supply, it initially lit POWER LED on console and later LED went off. I connected again and power LED never lit. Now I am not sure my ignorance damage Eurorack power supply or mixer? is there any way to check Eurorack Power supply indeed damaged?
4/8/2017 1:01 PM
How come 110V device draw more current on 220V circuit? Isn't it vice versa?  If I read Ohms law same power will be delivered by 110V*10A and 220V *5A. Or am I getting it wrong?