I'm in Quebec and the company making the machine is in China. The machine is an industrial sized T-Shirt sublimation machine that does two sided printing. So there's a large heated plate that is pneumatically pressed down on to another equally sized heated plate.

It draws up to 4600 Watts.

I can have it made with 1,2 or 3 phase and 220 Volts.

I'm Montreal and will have this set up in a commercial location that I'm going to start looking for this week, but the Chinese factory needs an answer asap.

I'm actually planning on heating only one of the plates so I told them 110 single phase will be fine, then they told me that even if you're only using a single plate with 110 it probably won't be able to hit the full temperature range.

What I'm afraid of is that if I order this thing with 3 Phase 220 it will be an overkill that I don't need that will limit the number of places that I might be able to rent. Or perhaps seriously jack-up my set up costs and time by needing to have 3 Phase installed in a place that doesn't have it.

I checked and the dryer in my home says 'Heater L1-L2 4.5 KW @ 240V ; 3.4 KW @ 208V' and the 4 prong wall socket it's plugged into says '30A 125/250V'. I know 2 Phase doesn't really exist, but this is what the manufacturing company is referring to when they say 2 Phase right?

Since the rating on my dryer would be sufficient to run my machine (I think), and my dryer is on a normal residential circuit, am I right in assuming that if I ask the manufacturer to do it as 2 Phase 220V then I'll have the most options in terms of locations AND be able to run the machine properly?

I need to get this right and I'm totally out of my element. I really appreciate the help. Thank you so much.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Your idea about 2-phase being +-110 volts swinging around a neutral sounds correct. \$\endgroup\$ May 26 '19 at 0:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think you are correct on all items. You can not be 100% sure what the seller means by 2-phase, but if the have been selling products to North America and agree that it is possible to connect one plate to 110-120 volts, their "2-phase" must be 220-240 V, 3-wire. \$\endgroup\$ May 26 '19 at 1:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ If the device requires 4600 watts, and your home dryer does 4.5kw (4500 watts) at 240v, why do you think 4500 watts (your home dryer's plug) is sufficient for a 4600 watt device? \$\endgroup\$ May 26 '19 at 14:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think the comments & answer are good. But you may want to ask the question on (or move the question to) DIY. There are some professional electricians there who could give some very detailed answers. \$\endgroup\$ May 26 '19 at 15:43

"out of your element" .. okay. Heating elements are most of your power and 30A at 240VAC is 7.2kW.

I think 240VAC/60Hz is what you want. Three phase power is going to restrict you to industrial units in many cases, and is very expensive to get installed if it does not already exist. Some commercial buildings use 208 3-phase, which yields 120VAC naturally, but there's not a lot you can do about that if you don't know where you are going to put it eventually. Usually 240V devices will operate okay, but with noticeably (~25%) less power, on 208V.

As to whether it's single phase or so-called two phase ("split-phase" is the proper term), having the neutral and two hot wires, as your major appliances in Canada have, might allow them to use some 120VAC components. It might be best to send them a little diagram of what your receptacle wiring looks like. Something like this: enter image description here (borrowed from this website.

Don't forget to specify 60Hz. Much of the world uses 50Hz.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Thank you so much for that. And many many more thanks for mentioning the 60Hz. I checked the manufacturer's site and it is indeed listed as 50Hz. You're a lifesaver. Also the pun was totally unintentional lol. \$\endgroup\$ May 26 '19 at 1:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ Heaters dont care if it is 50 or 60 Hz. You can define it as 240V split phase and specify the correct plug \$\endgroup\$ May 26 '19 at 4:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SunnyskyguyEE75 OP could, however there is a lot more to these machines than just heaters and it would be cold comfort to have only part of the machine working. Where there is a language barrier and long expensive shipping delays buyers should specify everything they possibly can. Even escrow assurance and pre-shipment 3rd party inspections won't save you if you didn't actually specify in writing what the requirements are. We even specify the external markings on cardboard cartons sometimes. The plug is no big deal, $15 and a trip to HD would deal with that, but motors etc. could be. \$\endgroup\$ May 26 '19 at 10:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ It's a heat press with digital temp control and timers, so it will have a universal AC-DC supply and a 50/60Hz heater & NO motors , and uses less power than a baseboard heater. eg amazon.com/dp/B00CJJST6C/… \$\endgroup\$ May 26 '19 at 11:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ If it draws 4.6 kW, you're going to need a dedicated 20A fuse or higher to get all that on a single phase. Is that standard in Canada? Over here it usually stops at 16A and you'd need a non-standard fusebox go higher (legally). \$\endgroup\$
    – Mast
    May 26 '19 at 15:01

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