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#48048 - 02/02/05 05:43 PM American 240V dimmer?  
pauluk  Offline
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
Norfolk, England
I've received an e-mail inquiry from somebody wanting to install a European chandelier in an American home. Apparently it uses ten bulbs, and they're rather specialized types which can't be obtained in 120V versions, so the plan is to run a dedicated 240V branch for the two fixtures (she already brought back a supply of bulbs from Europe).

The plan is to run on a dimmer, and herein I see a problem. First, are there any U.S.-market 240V dimmers? I've checked through the Graybar catalog and can see only 120 and 277V types.

There's the possibility of using an American-made dimmer intended for export to 220/240V standards (it seems that Lutron might do one), but are there any such dimmers with double-pole switching? A single-pole one would work of course, but would not be code-compliant as it would leave the fixture hot when turned off.

Can anybody think of any other workaround which would be code compliant? Maybe a double-gang box with dimmer and adjacent double-pole switch?

The only other way I can see would be to run a normal 120V branch through the dimmer and install a transformer for the chandeliers (600 watts total each).

Any other ideas or code problems? I've already thought of the possibility of an inspector not liking a fixture which doesn't have UL approval.

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#48049 - 02/02/05 05:51 PM Re: American 240V dimmer?  
iwire  Offline
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,391
North Attleboro, MA USA
Paul a 240 volt fixture is not allowed in a house.

210.6 Branch-Circuit Voltage Limitations.

The nominal voltage of branch circuits shall not exceed the values permitted by 210.6(A) through (E).

(A) Occupancy Limitation. In dwelling units and guest rooms of hotels, motels, and similar occupancies, the voltage shall not exceed 120 volts, nominal, between conductors that supply the terminals of the following:

(1)Luminaires (lighting fixtures)

(2)Cord-and-plug-connected loads 1440 volt-amperes, nominal, or less or less than 1/4 hp

Sorry, Bob

Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician

#48050 - 02/02/05 07:00 PM Re: American 240V dimmer?  
pauluk  Offline
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,520
Norfolk, England
Thanks Bob. I'd actually just come across that article myself while looking through the code.

I was trying to find the rule -- which I'm sure I've seen -- that in a residential system no conductor must be more than 150V to ground. I was thinking that any xfmr used for 220V output would need a center-tap ground to satisfy that requirement.

Still 210.6 kind of makes that academic now anyway. I'll break the bad news.


#48051 - 02/02/05 07:29 PM Re: American 240V dimmer?  
NJwirenut  Offline
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 806
Bergen County, NJ
Can the fixture be rewired using US standard lampholders?

#48052 - 02/02/05 08:08 PM Re: American 240V dimmer?  
winnie  Offline
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 649
boston, ma
If the customer doesn't need the lamps to be _bright_, then you can simply install the fixture and use the existing 240V bulbs. You will need other light sources in the room, but the chandelier will produce rather nice 'mood lighting' at half voltage.


#48053 - 02/02/05 08:14 PM Re: American 240V dimmer?  
RobbieD  Offline
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 231
Does this fixture have the proper certification? UL? Fixtures and appliances over in europe have CE approval. I was under the impression that anything here in north america must be approved(UL or another recognized approval)I don't think CE is approved here.
Let me know if I am wrong.

#48054 - 02/02/05 08:33 PM Re: American 240V dimmer?  
Roger  Offline
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 1,716
Robbie, there is no general requirement for fixtures to be third party listed or approved. Notice that in 410.4 the words; marked, suitable, and identified are used.

I have a few antique fixtures in my home, some I have rewired and others have the original wiring. I did however check all of them out as far as the wiring.


#48055 - 02/02/05 08:35 PM Re: American 240V dimmer?  
RobbieD  Offline
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 231

#48056 - 02/02/05 10:50 PM Re: American 240V dimmer?  
HLCbuild  Offline
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 209
Herndon,Va USA

Check your local supply house. Mine stocks adaptors that screw into the european sockets that take candleabra bulbs. Then wire it 120v. I've done it. And the adaptors are cheap!

#48057 - 02/02/05 11:13 PM Re: American 240V dimmer?  
Roger  Offline
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 1,716
HLCbuild, I don't think Paul will need the adapters, he is in England. [Linked Image]


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