Categorized | Project, Sizing

120V vs. 240V Steam Generator – Does it matter?

Posted on 31 March 2009 by Lynda Ziemba

Is there really a difference between a 120V and a 240V steam generator?  From a performance standpoint, it’s kind of like trying to jump start your 12.6V car battery with a 9V toy battery.

A 120V steam generator is the industry’s answer for unique applications which may be overserviced by standard equipment sizes.  Just like heaters, air conditioners, fans, and humidifiers, a steam generator must have enough power to service the specificed area.  Imagine a window unit air conditioner trying to cool a whole house – not enough power, right?  Now picture a house where all the a/c vents are closed except in one room – it’d be very cold.  The 120V steam generator was designed with a specific installation type in mind…  the tiny enclosure (up to 90 adjusted cubic feet).  Typically, this is a 3×3 shower or an acrylic or fiberglass enclosure.

So let’s look at the electrical impact of 120V vs. 240V.  The average home only has up to 200amps available which is distributed through your circuit breakers.  The average residential steam generator uses 8KW or 8,000 watts.  The method of calculating power output is amps x volts = watts.  Now we do the math:
     33.3amps x 240V = 8000W
     66.6amps x 120V = 8000W

As you can see, it would require twice the amps to run this equipment on 120V power.  The advantages of installing a 240V steam generator are pretty significant when you summarize it:

  • Higher voltage requires less amps to achieve needed watts
  • More amps of power remain available to the home for other uses
  • Power companies charge by the kilowatt so there is no cost difference
  • Thicker cords on 240V equipment reduce voltage drop due to lower wire resistance
  • Faster heating = faster, consistent steam production for even environment heating
  • Reaches temperatures required to achieve intended health benefits
  • Powerful enough to service a room you can sit down in!

Everybody should be able to enjoy the physical, mental, and spiritual benefits of steam bathing, regardless of environment size.  Whether you have a shower closet or a huge master bath environment, properly selected equipment can turn your home shower into a luxury bathing environment.

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