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I bought a ceiling fan, and ordered one rated for 110 volts. When it arrived, the fan motor housing was marked 220 volts. I told the seller they'd shipped me the wrong unit, and I'm being told (in bad English) that the fan will work fine at either 110 volts or 220 volts. I'm not sure how that's possible. In my understanding, the fan will draw twice as much current at 110 volts, which could result in overheating and damage. Am I missing something? Is it possible that this is actually safe?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Some motors let you wire them differently for different voltages. Some motors will draw twice as much current but it won't be a problem. Some motors will draw more current to get started but the same current once they're spinning at full speed. \$\endgroup\$
    – user253751
    Oct 16 '20 at 11:57
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'd be very skeptical of operating a fan labelled for 220V at 110V. Yes, it's possible to have a fan that will operate at either voltage but it should be clearly marked as such. If you are in the USA, you should look for a UL symbol on the unit. I'd be quite hesitant to install a non-UL listed fan in my home. If you are elsewhere in the world, there are similar certifying agencies for those locations. \$\endgroup\$
    – jwh20
    Oct 16 '20 at 12:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ Post a picture of the fan. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 16 '20 at 12:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ @mguima ... unless the motor stalls from inadequate torque. Then overheating is a real possibility. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 16 '20 at 13:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ceiling fans use to have a lot of wires - for the motor windings, capacitor, for changing rotation direction. Probably there is a proper way of wiring them to use 110V. But the vendor should provide the correct schematic. A practical installer professional could know it. \$\endgroup\$
    – mguima
    Oct 16 '20 at 23:19
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It will run fine, but will not be capable of its full 220V speed

It is common practice to speed-limit fan motors by reducing the supply voltage. They don't see increased current because the torque drops off faster than the speed.

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