I'm planning to take my pre-1986 La Pavoni machine to Switzerland. It recently dawned on me that it may only work with 110v and plugging it into the Swiss 220v (via a simple plug adapter) might fry it. Anybody have experience with this?

On the bottom of the machine there is a sticker that says: V. 110~ | W. 200 - 800

I'm looking online and see talk of step up/step down converters. Also talk of replacing heating elements. But everything I find is the opposite direction (bringing a european 220v machine to america's 110v outlets).

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Yes, you will fry it. You would have to change the element to one that was rated for 220vac, as well as, any switches/lights that are in the circuit. There is a slight chance that this unit already uses 220 rated components but that have specs that would yeild acceptable 110 performance. The only way you can tell is too take a resistance reading on the element. Let me know if you want to know more and I can help step you through the process. You'll need a digital multimeter and a few other tools to get at the element. You'll also have to feel comfortable getting into the machine like that.
Thanks, Mike. Let me see if I can get ahold of multimeter before I bother you for the step by step.

You know the other option is this, in Europe 220v is common with one major exception - power hand tools like corded drills and saws. They're still 110v.  I used to live in Dublin Eire and had some construction workers for room mates for a time. They would have to carry a small  transformer with them to the job site for their power tools.  I asked them about it and they said this was common for small tools to be 110v because of the American market.  Here is an example from ebay - http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/110V-Power-Tool-Transformer-3-3kVA-Extension-...

Only about $60.  Way less then the potential hassle of finding and changing an element.  Probably can find one in Switzerland when you get there.

For those interested. I ended up buying a whopping 3000W transformer. I wanted to be able to power my american grinder at the same time. It was 144 euro and weighs quite a bit, but now I more or less have an american wall outlet in my kitchen. So far I have had 0 problems.

http://www.rhinotools.com.au/240-110-stepdown-transformers/151-step...

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