North American Voltage
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North American Voltage

In the US and Canada 208, 220, 230, and 240 volts are often used interchangeably with reference to the commonly available higher voltage that is available for higher current appliances. Likewise 110, 115, and 120 volts may be used to refer to the commonly available lower voltage.

However, the use of these various voltage terminologies is largely outdated and inaccurate.

Explanation of Voltage ranges:

All common North American power supplies are provided at 60Hz. Equipment designed for US and Canada will typically perform satisfactorily on the voltages available in Mexico and the Latin American countries.

110Volt: Outdated and typically no longer supplied by utilities.

115Volt: Outdated and typically no longer supplied by utilities. However, 115 volts nominal may be referred to by equipment design standards as this is the Nominal Utilization Voltage as defined by ANSI C84.1.

120Volt: 120 volts is the common lower voltage supplied by US and Canadian utilities. It is provided by the utility as 120 volts ±5%.

208Volt: 208 volts is a specific voltage (not derived from 240 volts) which may be supplied to a commercial facility in addition or as an alternative to 240 volts. It is provided by the utility as 208 ±5% volts and should not be used interchangeably with 220 thru 240 volts.

220Volt: Outdated and typically no longer supplied by utilities.

230Volt: Outdated and typically no longer supplied by utilities. However, 230 volts nominal may be referred to by equipment design standards as this is the Nominal Utilization Voltage as defined by ANSI C84.1.

240Volt: 240 volts is a specific voltage which may be supplied to a commercial facility in addition or as an alternative to 208 volts. It is provided by the utility as 240 ±5% volts and should not be used interchangeably with 208 volts.

…as it relates to Vollrath equipment design, specification and certification for North America.

Equipment intended to utilize a typical 120 volt power supply shall be rated 120 volts. The equipment shall be designed and certified to operate safely and provide satisfactory performance at utilization voltages between 110 volts and 126 volts. The power and/or current rating of the appliance shall reflect the actual power derived at 120 volts.

Equipment intended to utilize a typical 208 volt power supply shall be rated 208 volts. The equipment shall be designed and certified to operate safely and provide satisfactory performance at utilization voltages between 191 volts and 218 volts. The power and/or current rating of the appliance shall reflect the actual power derived at 208 volts.

Equipment intended to utilize a typical 240 volt power supply shall be rated 240 volts. The equipment shall be designed and certified to operate safely and provide satisfactory performance at utilization voltages between 220 volts and 252 volts. The power and/or current rating of the appliance shall reflect the actual power derived at 240 volts.

Equipment intended to be capable of utilizing either 208 or 240 volt power supply shall be rated as a range; 208 – 240 volts. The equipment shall be designed and certified to operate safely and provide satisfactory performance at utilization voltages between 191 volts and 252 volts. The power and/or current rating of the appliance shall reflect the actual power derived at each voltage as a range; {power at 208} – {power at 240] volts. Preferably higher current designs would utilize the 208 – 240 volt rating, rather than discrete 208 and 240 volt ratings.

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