How to ... Use a mixer with a different voltage

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Welcome to the first in a series of "how to" articles to help our customers solve those frequently asked questions about their KitchenAid mixer.

KitchenAid mixers have become very popular in Europe during the last few decades. KitchenAid build mixers that work specifically in Europe, however, we are now seeing mixers that are built for the USA appearing here too. In many cases, these are people who have moved to the UK from overseas and brought their KitchenAid mixer with them.

Unfortunately, USA built mixers will not work here in the UK or Euorpe, unless they are converted to 230V or used with a transformer.

We get many questions from customers, asking us if their mixer is compatible and if they can use their mixer safely in the UK. Here are some answers to those most frequently asked questions:-

What is the voltage here in the UK?

All electrical appliances here in the UK and across Europe have been harmonised since 2003. They all operate on 230V and the frequency is 50Hz. Countries that used to be 220V - 240V are now on 230V and countries that had been 110V to 126V have now been moved to 120V.

A good clue is the moulded 3 pin plug which many items have attached to them. If you are intending to use a mixer, or any appliance that is 120V, you will need to purchase a transformer to plug your item into so that it can safely be used in the UK.

How can I tell what voltage my mixer is?

KitchenAid label all their mixers with its voltage underneath the base. This label on the base also shows the full model number and serial number of your mixer. If the mixer has a moulded plug fitted, this is also a good indicator of its voltage.

Should I buy a 120V mixer from abroad?

Generally we would not recommend doing this. If you import a mixer from the USA, it will end up being more expensive after shipping, taxes, duties and the cost of a suitable transformer. Even If you are able to convert your model to 230V, the cost of the conversion will again make it more expensive.

What will happen if I plug my 120V mixer into 230V?

If you do not use a suitable transformer, then you will destroy your mixer. On some models (those with a mechanical governor), you may get a few minutes use out of it before the motor spins out of control and destroys components in the rear of the mixer. If you have a mixer with an electronic control, then the mixer usually blows immediately. Sometimes there is a bang and a flash, sometimes it just does not work.

I have a 120V mixer, what options do I have to use it in the UK, Europe or Australia (with 230V)?

Here are your best options if you have a 120V mixer and you want to use it here in the UK:-

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  • Use a suitable transformer

  • Convert your mixer to 230V

  • Sell your mixer and buy a 230V model

What transformer would you recommend?

The transformer you use must be capable of handling the full power of the mixer continuously. It must also be safe to use in the kitchen, where there is a danger of liquid being spilt. We only recommend the use of site transformers as these are usually IP44 protected and deliver sufficient power. To use one you will need to replace the 110V plug with an appropriate plug. The normal colours of a US flex lead are black, white and green. Black is the live wire, white is neutral and green is the earth.

Can I convert my mixer?

Some mixers can be converted and others cannot. If you have a KPM5, K5, K5SS, K50, KSM75, KSM90, K45 (classic), KSM150 (Artisan) or a KSM156 or any other traditional 4.5qt or 5qt version, then yes you can convert it.

If you have a 6qt mixer, it can be converted. Again the cost is high.

7qt mixers can be converted to 6.9l however as well as swapping electrical components, a hole needs to be cut into the pedestal. One again, the price is high..

The mini can also be converted. The cost is high.

If I can convert my mixer, what do I need?

We have kits made up however sometimes we are not able to source all the parts. Please contact us for more information.

I only need to replace the motor, don’t I?

On Artisan tilt-head mixers, the whole of the top of the mixer is a “motor”. The main parts are the armature and the field assembly. A lot of people wrongly believe that replacing these two parts is all that is needed to convert the mixer. The other parts we put in the kit are necessary in order for your mixer to work safely. Each part included in the kit is needed to make the mixer the same specification as a 230V mixer that is shipped from the factory. Leaving out parts will either make it unsafe immediately or at some stage in the future when someone works on the machine and is misled because the labelling still denotes that it is 120V.

Other mixers have a control board, motor and mains lead that need replacing. They also need an RF filter.

We hope that these questions go some way to help you resolve your issues with your KitchenAid mixer.

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