Author Topic: Festool 220V Electrical Issue - Need urgent help  (Read 1861 times)

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Offline Intex

  • Posts: 33
Festool 220V Electrical Issue - Need urgent help
« on: July 03, 2018, 10:41 PM »
On the Festool KS-60 I just purchased, my electrician came to install 220V in my garage, and there is no problem doing that, but when he cut the Kapex power cord, it only had two wires, a BROWN and BLUE, but NO ground. The Plug is a UK 220V plug that has 2 horizontal male plugs and one Vertical Male plug, with a 13 amp fuse between them.

Anyone know how these are connected to 220V and what they vertical piece is connected to??

Picture enclosed

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Offline aloysius

  • Posts: 320
Re: Festool 220V Electrical Issue - Need urgent help
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2018, 11:27 PM »
First things first:  get a new sparky.  Anybody in the trade who doesn't know what s/he's doing in something so simple & basic as single phase wiring is a danger both to you & themselves.

Your tool is double insulated.  Denoted with a double concentric square symbol on the type plate.  This is global & universal.  ANY electrician with the most basic education should know this.  More importantly, double insulated appliances MUST NOT BE GROUNDED.  That's why there's only 2 conductors in the power cable.  Active & neutral, occasionally erroneously named in less civilised climes as "hot & not".

All modern single phased active conductors have the global standard red or brown thermoplastic insulating sheathing, & neutral are universally blue or black these days.  There's no exceptions other than perhaps the most primitive & crude 3rd world economies whose products are best avoided anyway.  Inaccurately cabled appliances are poorly designed or made & therefore dangerous.

Plugs should be rewired according to your own particular jurisdiction.  Correct instructions will be clearly & succinctly outlined on the packaging of appropriately sized, shaped & rated power appliance plugs (i.e. voltage, current & pin shape & layout).  I'm obviously at a distance from you, so cannot possibly give you any further meaningful instructions as to which conductor goes where on your own power plug.  To do so would be irresponsible by virtue of differential possible interpretation of my guidelines.  Follow the published instructions that accompany your plug to the letter, & the likelihood of error is reduced to an all but imperceptible possibility.
FOG-wit since '95:  Some say since birth...

Offline Svar

  • Posts: 1557
Re: Festool 220V Electrical Issue - Need urgent help
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2018, 12:10 AM »
First things first:  get a new sparky.  Anybody in the trade who doesn't know what s/he's doing in something so simple & basic as single phase wiring is a danger both to you & themselves.
I second this one above.

Then, find your wall outlet on the chart: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/NEMA_connector
You are in the US and I imagine this is what your electrician installed and hopefully wired correctly. NEMA 10-30 is probably most common, but now days they are 4 prong (with ground).
I think your two Kapex wires should connect to two hot (black) wires on your NEMA X-XX.
Vertical pin on your UK Kapex plug (earth) is not connected to anything. It's not needed for double insulated tool. The fuse is between brown wire and one of the horizontal pins.
But then again, don't take my word for it, consult a qualified electrician.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2018, 12:27 AM by Svar »

Offline aloysius

  • Posts: 320
Re: Festool 220V Electrical Issue - Need urgent help
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2018, 12:36 AM »
Specific to your Q in regard to the "polarity" of the illustrated plug, the "vertical" pin is a ground or earth, the neutral pin (clearly marked "N" in the photograph) has continuity to the blue sheathed conductor, and the active pin continuity to both the brown sheathed active conductor & a fused link to the active supply.

The UK plug design & layout is probably the best designed, safest and most conductive plug design currently used in the world.  Clearly superior to the rather crude examples used in Europe, the Americas, Australasia, Asia etc.  That long earth is always going to be the first & last terminal to be connected & disconnected respectively, and the spade conductor shape, cross sectional area and insulative sections allow for much higher current transfer than any alternative design I've come across other than specific high current designs.

It makes my own Australasian "upside down" light conductor design, the Euro standard "dual earth" & North American reversible connectors seem pretty crude & primitive in comparison.  That fused link in particular allows for safe alternative "ring main" wiring systems that would otherwise be rather unsafe for residual current detection & interruption.
FOG-wit since '95:  Some say since birth...

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 214
Re: Festool 220V Electrical Issue - Need urgent help
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2018, 12:55 AM »
To add to the others

UK Wiring

There is a nice color code chart there.

Assuming your electrician taped up the wiring to the wall plug as black (hot 1) and red (hot 2),  you will now just connect. brown to black,  blue to red.  It really doesn't matter if switched the other way.  It's going to be 220V either way.  Same thing would happen in the panel shifting the double breaker 1 spot.

Terminology to other places vs the N.American split phase gets a bit weird simply because we have a center tap (the neutral, which is referenced to ground at a single point in you house electrical) to produce two  110V legs.  220V stuff doesn't use it.

As was mentioned, the fused plug is for UK style ring bus, doesn't apply to US as we don't allow ring bus designs, and only 110V can have branch circuits.  Your 220V is a single load, so the breaker is protecting the wire to the outlet, but can also be protecting the lead to the tool as well, no more need for the fuse.

All said, be sure to have a competent electrician. If the cord had him/her spooked, find another person for peace of mind.

Offline Alex

  • Posts: 5729
Re: Festool 220V Electrical Issue - Need urgent help
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2018, 02:10 AM »
Brown = phase
Blue = neutral

The Kapex is double insulated, doesn't require a ground wire according to European rules.

Offline Sanderxpander

  • Posts: 171
Re: Festool 220V Electrical Issue - Need urgent help
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2018, 02:52 AM »
I think I read somewhere that the Kapex is double insulated so it doesn't need a ground. In any case, I'm pretty sure a blue wire is the neutral wire and the brown one is the phase one.

Offline SteveW

  • Posts: 12
Re: Festool 220V Electrical Issue - Need urgent help
« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2018, 03:10 AM »
Further to what others have said UK wall sockets have an internal shutter to prevent small children putting their fingers in the socket and contacting live metal the longer vertical pin is designed to open the shutter as the plug is inserted so contact can be made by the other pins.  The live and neutral pin are also insulated for half their length to prevent people doing what I did as a child grasping the plug with fingers rapped around the plug and contacting live metal.  As has been said one of the safest designs around.

Offline Gregor

  • Posts: 1067
Re: Festool 220V Electrical Issue - Need urgent help
« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2018, 04:26 AM »
Dual isolation = no user touchable conductive parts that through a fault could connect to mains, whatever happens inside the device.

Regarding dual isolation on the kapex:
Could someone (preferable one who has taken apart his Kapex, so knowledge is first hand) please confirm that there is a plastic gearbox (and non-metal gears/transmission in it) between the motor (which is powered) and the arbor/blade (which can be touched)?

Offline PeterK

  • Posts: 971
Re: Festool 220V Electrical Issue - Need urgent help
« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2018, 06:52 AM »
Are you in the US? I have never heard of nor come across a double insulated 220/240 volt tool in the US and don’t believe they are allowed by code but could be wrong. Every 220/240 item I have wired over 45 years has always carried a separate earth ground.

Offline NL-mikkla

  • Posts: 276
  • www.m144h.com
Re: Festool 220V Electrical Issue - Need urgent help
« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2018, 10:01 AM »
It says on the plug to
L = Lead wire = Brown
N = Neutral = Blue
This is indeed basic knowledge for any sparky

But as an old sparky I'm a little confused here, does it matter how you connect your plug in the US?
It sure doesn't matter here in the Netherlands because that would indicate that you have to pay attention as to how you put the plug in the socket.....

I understand that because of the vertical thing you can only plug it in the same direction over and over.
Or are you connecting your Kapex with a fixed wiring?
Or (very very hard to imagine) to a DC power supply ?


Offline aloysius

  • Posts: 320
Re: Festool 220V Electrical Issue - Need urgent help
« Reply #11 on: July 04, 2018, 10:33 AM »
Spot-on Mikkla.  You're 100% correct.  AC stands for alternating current.  This literally means that the current alternates (or oscillates) at the set frequency of 50 Hz in the entire world EXCEPT North America who insist on doing things differently.  And why shouldn't they?  Thanks to Nicola Tesla, they invented high voltage AC transmission & reticulation anyway.

This is why in some jurisdictions reversible plugs are possible (& dual earth receptors in GPOs necessary).  Not, however in the UK as there must be a polarity-dependent fused link to the active supply.

The current flowing between conductors reverses direction 100 (or 120) times per second, giving the 50/60 Hz frequency of alternation.  Almost all current electricity networks now run on AC, except some extremely dangerous/explosive/pyrophilic environments such as Tri-Nitro Toluene or powdered aluminium plants, offshore oil & gas rigs etc. where the additional non-sparking "safety" of low voltage DC is preferable.
FOG-wit since '95:  Some say since birth...

Offline six-point socket II

  • Posts: 779
  • aka @the_black_tie_diyer
Re: Festool 220V Electrical Issue - Need urgent help
« Reply #12 on: July 04, 2018, 10:45 AM »
Hi!

I might be totally wrong here, but:

As far as I understand the OP has 2 hot leads (120 V each -> 240V) and Ground.

This is not going to work with the tool.

@Intex Do yourself a big favor and get an electrician who knows what he is doing.

DO NOT CONNECT BOTH WIRES TO A HOT LEAD EACH!

Kind regards,
Oliver
Kind regards,
Oliver

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 214
Re: Festool 220V Electrical Issue - Need urgent help
« Reply #13 on: July 04, 2018, 11:55 AM »
The confusion is in the terminology of "neutral".  The US is split phase, but really the US is 220/240V, we just add an extra twist to things.  the many KV lines drop down to the transformer and make 220/240V same as they do in other parts of the world.  But in the US we have a post in the middle of the transformer windings, thats neutral in the US, it's the center of the 2 legs of the 220V.  Thus the neutral term.  Other country don't do this and just run everything off the 220/240V.

In the US we refer to the two 220 legs at hot 1, hot 2, and then the center neutral.  But the neutral is still a hot.   We call it neutral because we do single point bonding (usually in your main service panel) of the neutral and ground to maintain the reference to earth.  But neutral is still a hot.  Neutral carries power the same as the hot does. Where ground under normal operation does not, it's a reference/safety device.

The UK wiring is using neutral too, but it's not in the "center" like the US since they don't do split phase, they just reference to ground on one side, and thus call that neutral.  They could have called brown hot1 and blue hot 2 just the same.

crude diagram

North America:
|--------------------240V------------------------|
120V (hot 1) --- 0 (neutral) ---- 120V (hot 2),  delta between hot 1 and hot 2 is 240V.

Europe:
|--------------------240V------------------------|
0 (neutral) ------------------------240V (hot 2),   delta between hot 1 and neutral is 240V.

The neutrals are "hots" in both applications, but they get called neutral because their reference to ground, but doesn't change the potential between the 2 legs.

Or if you want to look at it another way, look at the back of say your computer.  The Power supply will say 100-240VAC, 50/60Hz.   It's the same computer in N.America and Europe or Japan.  They just ship with a different cord that adapts to the regional plug.   It's about the voltage span between the 2 legs.  It's not DC power with a negative voltage or anything like that. The power supply sees the same thing electrical if it's  UK wiring vs a US wiring.

They can switch blue and brown in the UK, just the same as we could switch a black and white wires (120V), or switch black and red wires (240V) in the US and everything would work the same.  We work to avoid switching the black and wire wires to ensure the references to neutral are correct now that we have AFCI and GFCI protection.  Similarly the shift after 1996 from 3 to 4 wire plugs on 240 stuff to separate ground and neutral on appliance using 240/120V combined circuits.  It works the same, but it's in effort in "clean up" so their is less of a chance of issues long term.

But same caveats apply as in your pre-purchase post. If you want to be sure, have qualified electrician do this. We are folks talking on the internet and cannot replace licensed electricians.  Still, I'm sure their are folks here who have done what your doing, and search of internet of connecting European appliances in the US will show it's normal.  Just like computers.  Also you have military members in the US who by 220V appliances that travel with them globally, including the US as 220/240VAC is the same no matter how you get it,   Hot to Hot, Neutral to Hot as long as it spans 220/240VAC.     (Note, I use 220/240V because there is plenty of variation in the US, and in the UK/Europe they have variation and difference countries have all tweaked their specs to get into a common nominal around 230VAC.  US in general will probably run a few volts lower than what you see in Europe.

Just looking at my German made water heater, it list power ratings at 208V, 210V, 220V, 230V, 240V.  It's all the same.  But adds the key phrase "single phase" which is what we all have.  The tools are single phase. 

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 214
Re: Festool 220V Electrical Issue - Need urgent help
« Reply #14 on: July 04, 2018, 12:07 PM »
AC stands for alternating current.  This literally means that the current alternates (or oscillates) at the set frequency of 50 Hz in the entire world EXCEPT North America who insist on doing things differently.  And why shouldn't they?  Thanks to Nicola Tesla, they invented high voltage AC transmission & reticulation anyway.

 Almost all current electricity networks now run on AC,

Early days, frequencies were lower and more varied.  60hz is nice, makes for happy clocks ticking away in sync with everything.  If not 60hz, why not go metric and get to 100hz.  deca-hz  [big grin].

AC is changing, now with cheap semi-conductors,  extreme High Voltage DC power is becoming more common for super long transmission lines (the ones that cross oceans).  DC is a better way to transmit power, you just need cheap/practical equipment to boost up to those voltages and then bring down, which wasn't available till the past 20-30 years.  AC transformers are dead simple/cheap, thus did the job for a century.

Not helping them get their Kapex going though...

Offline Naildrivingman

  • Posts: 487
Re: Festool 220V Electrical Issue - Need urgent help
« Reply #15 on: July 04, 2018, 12:19 PM »
AC stands for alternating current.  This literally means that the current alternates (or oscillates) at the set frequency of 50 Hz in the entire world EXCEPT North America who insist on doing things differently.  And why shouldn't they?  Thanks to Nicola Tesla, they invented high voltage AC transmission & reticulation anyway.

 Almost all current electricity networks now run on AC,

Early days, frequencies were lower and more varied.  60hz is nice, makes for happy clocks ticking away in sync with everything.  If not 60hz, why not go metric and get to 100hz.  deca-hz  [big grin].

AC is changing, now with cheap semi-conductors,  extreme High Voltage DC power is becoming more common for super long transmission lines (the ones that cross oceans).  DC is a better way to transmit power, you just need cheap/practical equipment to boost up to those voltages and then bring down, which wasn't available till the past 20-30 years.  AC transformers are dead simple/cheap, thus did the job for a century.

Not helping them get their Kapex going though...
It can’t be that simple😳

NA cycle of 60Hz is based off the clock?  If so, I truly learn more here by accident than elsewhere by design...

I didn’t see it covered in this thread, but I thought I read it in another that Euro tools will work in NA, but the motors wear out faster because of the increased cycles?  And conversely NA tools work in Euro, but the motors do not reach their designed maximum rpm?

Do I have this right or am I just making it up as I go along...?
Dance with who brung ya...

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 214
Re: Festool 220V Electrical Issue - Need urgent help
« Reply #16 on: July 04, 2018, 12:53 PM »

NA cycle of 60Hz is based off the clock?

I didn’t see it covered in this thread, but I thought I read it in another that Euro tools will work in NA, but the motors wear out faster because of the increased cycles?  And conversely NA tools work in Euro, but the motors do not reach their designed maximum rpm?


Not based off clock, just makes things convenient for clocks.  Not that you can't make it work with 50hz, just not as nice.  Sadly finding AC only powered clocks is hard now. Almost all wall clocks are battery powered, and alarm clocks have battery backups. I'd love to have a setup like schools have/had with clocks in every room driven from hardwired power. All in sync because they run off the 60hz frequency, and best of all when you need to advance/reset them  you have a variable frequency drive at the supply end and just crank the frequency to quickly advance all of them from one place.  Covers the topic of frequency well.

Far as tool wear, everyone designs around 50/60.  Yes, a tool running at 60hz puts more cycles on the bearings, but at the same time it's cutting faster.  No different than identical cars going A to B at 2 different speeds. In the end, both cars tires made the same number of revolutions to get there.  Next to no one is going to design just for 50hz and not have the tool handle 60hz.   The biggest thing might be something like airflow from the fan verses current draw in the motor.  Again it should be accounted for. And since the tools have fans, they can cover this.  Where say an old table saw with a simple universal motor and no cooling other than fins on the case might run into some issues.

Offline Intex

  • Posts: 33
Re: Festool 220V Electrical Issue - Need urgent help
« Reply #17 on: July 04, 2018, 01:22 PM »
Thank you everyone for the detailed explanations !!!
Yes, I am in the US, and as far as I know, 220v outlets here have 110V on one leg (Pin) and 110v on the other leg (pin), which makes 220V plus a ground.

I will be using a NEMA 6-15 Outlet and Plug (See photo), and if I have read everything correctly, I will attach the BLUE wire from the Kapex to one of the horizontal pins in the NEMA 6-15 plug, and the BROWN wire to the other pin, No Ground .

From my electrical Panel, I will attach one 110V line to one of the NEMA 6-15 Outlet horizontal pins, and another 110V line to the other outlet pin, No connection of Neutral or Ground.

I will have my electrician do this, and pray I dont fry the motor.

If I am not the only one bringing Festool 220V products here, maybe we should have a sticky on the forum for this??

Thanks again.

Offline Intex

  • Posts: 33
Re: Festool 220V Electrical Issue - Need urgent help
« Reply #18 on: July 04, 2018, 01:23 PM »
Other pic

Offline DeformedTree

  • Posts: 214
Re: Festool 220V Electrical Issue - Need urgent help
« Reply #19 on: July 04, 2018, 01:45 PM »
Thank you everyone for the detailed explanations !!!
Yes, I am in the US, and as far as I know, 220v outlets here have 110V on one leg (Pin) and 110v on the other leg (pin), which makes 220V plus a ground.

I will be using a NEMA 6-15 Outlet and Plug (See photo), and if I have read everything correctly, I will attach the BLUE wire from the Kapex to one of the horizontal pins in the NEMA 6-15 plug, and the BROWN wire to the other pin, No Ground .

From my electrical Panel, I will attach one 110V line to one of the NEMA 6-15 Outlet horizontal pins, and another 110V line to the other outlet pin, No connection of Neutral or Ground.

I will have my electrician do this, and pray I dont fry the motor.

If I am not the only one bringing Festool 220V products here, maybe we should have a sticky on the forum for this??

Thanks again.

The electrician will put a double pole 15A breaker in the panel,  he/she will run 14-2 wire from that breaker to the plug.  They will take the white wire in the 14-2 wire and wrap it in red (or black) tape in the panel to signify it's now hot 2, not neutral.  The double pole breaker will have the black wire on one side, and the red on the other.  Nothing will connect to the neutral bar.  The bare ground wire will still be grounded in the panel to the ground bar.  In at the receptacle box. He/She will do the same, wrapping the white wire in red tape,  the black and red wires will go to the side screws (brass colored screws) on your receptacle. If you have a plastic junction box the ground wire will get connected to the ground on the receptacle (green screw). If you have a metal box they will also bond the box to the ground along with the receptacle.

The plug for your cord will have nothing connected to the ground pin.  Since the NEMA 2 series is obsolete you can't get plugs/receptacles without the ground pin. Lack of the ground on your cord won't change things. This isn't like someone snapping off the ground pin on a plug to fit it into an un-grounded outlet. There is no ground in the tool.  This is like having a 2 prone 110V plug where there is no ground pin even though the outlet has a hole for the ground pin.  But since you are making a NEMA 6-15 outlet, you want it wired correctly, thus the ground will be in place on the outlet side, even if the tool does not use it.

Offline Toller

  • Posts: 212
Re: Festool 220V Electrical Issue - Need urgent help
« Reply #20 on: July 04, 2018, 02:22 PM »
I would check with Festool first.
If your tool is 230v 50hz, our 240v 60hz might fry it.  Might not, but I would check with Festool first.
You have three significant differences between what the machine is designed for and what it will be getting.  No one here is qualified to say if it matters to all that fancy electronics.

DeformedTree... the neutral is not hot unless it has come loose from the panel. In all likelihood  your stove and electric dryer chassis are connected to the neutral and they have no voltage to ground.

Offline Svar

  • Posts: 1557
Re: Festool 220V Electrical Issue - Need urgent help
« Reply #21 on: July 04, 2018, 02:46 PM »
I would check with Festool first.
If your tool is 230v 50hz, our 240v 60hz might fry it.  Might not, but I would check with Festool first.
No way Festool would comment or endorse anything like this.
I'm guessing here but the name plate on the Kapex motor likely says: 50-60hz, 220-240v. @Intex could confirm this.
Intex, thank you for detailing your experience. This is very useful. Keep us updated. Good luck.

Offline Intex

  • Posts: 33
Re: Festool 220V Electrical Issue - Need urgent help
« Reply #22 on: July 04, 2018, 02:49 PM »
The Label says: 220-240V  50/60 Hz, so we should be OK

(See attached picture)

Offline Peter Halle

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  • Posts: 11600
Re: Festool 220V Electrical Issue - Need urgent help
« Reply #23 on: July 04, 2018, 05:08 PM »
As a Moderator I am going to lock this thread now.  The OP has bunch of information to provide to an electrician who should be able to weed out the good from the bad.

I am sure that all of us want to see a success and not read about a fried tool or an injury or worse.

Afterwards if the OP notifies me I will unlock this thread if so requested.

Peter Halle - Moderator