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Blog: Do I Need A Transformer?

3kva transformer 11 Sep 2019

Do I Need A Transformer?

If you want to use 110v electric power tools at home, or if you are working on site, you will need a transformer.

What Is A Transformer?

A transformer, often referred to as a 'voltage transformer' or an 'electrical transformer' is defined as "an apparatus for reducing or increasing the voltage of an alternating current". They are small electrical boxes with a power plug and multiple power outlet sockets. They are used to 'step up' or 'step down' voltages. So, for example, if you have a 240v power supply and a 110v power tool that you wish to use, a transformer is used to 'step down' the voltage from the 240v socket to the 110v power tool. The transformer has a 240v power plug that is plugged into the 240v socket. It converts the voltage to 110v and it has multiple 110v power outlet sockets that the 110v power tool can be plugged into, allowing you to power the tool and get the job done. Transformers often have two or more outlet sockets, so you can plug multiple 110v electric power tools into them at once.

Why Do I Need A Transformer?

Whilst many domestic power tools are 240v pieces of equipment, most professional power tools are 110v for site safety, as the risk of fatality is reduced if a power cable is cut during work. On site, transformers provide two 55v lines out of phase. This means that 110v power tools can be connected to a transformer and if a power cord is accidentally cut, the voltage is halved and the shock is less likely to be fatal.

In the UK, domestic power sockets are 240v. A 110v plug will not fit in a 240v plug socket. Therefore if you wish to use a 110v power tool at home on a DIY job, you will need a transformer.

What Type Of Transformer Do I Need?

Voltage transformers are available in a range of sizes and with a number of different power outlets. The type of transformer you need depends on the equipment you need to power. If you are working at home using small power tools like drills, saws and breakers, a 3kVA transformer will most likely be sufficient. For some larger power tools or ‘continuous use’ equipment like floodlights and space heaters, you may need a larger 5kVA transformer. If you are working on site, you may benefit from a larger 10kVA-20kVA transformer - if you need to power a large range of equipment and power tools. It is best to check manufacturer specifications or to ask the retail outlet where you purchased or hired the equipment, to check which transformer would be best to use.

Examples Of 110v power tools that would require a transformer in order to use them at home:

Power Tool Hire & Transformer Hire

We have a wide range of professional power tools and other 110v equipment available for hire nationwide. Our range of power tools includes drills, saws, angle grinders, breakers and more. We also have a range of portable lighting, floodlights and space heaters available. Some of our equipment is available in 110v or 240v. So if you are working at home, you can hire the 240v version and use it at home without needing a transformer. We supply RCD Power Breakers with our 240v equipment for safety. If tools and equipment are not available in 240v, you can still hire the 110v version. You will just need to hire an electrical transformer as an accessory so that you can use the equipment at home without a problem! You can add a transformer to your order during online checkout, or when ordering over the phone.

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