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Hello,
I just need to confirm before purchasing a variac;
I am an Aussie and have a 1.2kw “Gentrax” brand generator here in Australia which is 1.2kva 1200 watts (peak only) and 1000 watts actual (generates the Australian Standard of 240 volts AC 50-60hz). I have a microwave I need to run which draws 1150 watts which is
too much for the generator (so it trips and cuts out the generator). if I use a variac to reduce the voltage would it reduce the wattage hopefully to 950watts? would this work? The microwave is a “compact“ brand digital microwave (F)-PM”
Thanks so much for any help
Kind regards
John

 

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It is impossible to tell how that microwave would behave on reduced voltage. Even if it did work, it is entirely possible that it would draw more current. A Variac creates losses of its own. Additionally, a Variac with the capacity you would need would likely be pretty expensive.
 

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yup the microwave will draw more current at lower than rated voltage.
try a microwave like the panasonic inverter microwave unit.
at lower power setting it draws less current so it will work with smaller gen set.
the rv bunch swear by them.
pm me if you need a link
 

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Discussion Starter #4
It is impossible to tell how that microwave would behave on reduced voltage. Even if it did work, it is entirely possible that it would draw more current. A Variac creates losses of its own. Additionally, a Variac with the capacity you would need would likely be pretty expensive.
I read the type of microwave I have will work as low as 400 watts supply through a variac. It’s the behaviour and draw on the generator I didn’t know. The variac here in Australia to suit is $99 here in Aus. I didnt want to gamble buying a variac not knowing if the generator would or wouldn’t respond with a lower power draw. Thank you so much for your advice.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
yup the microwave will draw more current at lower than rated voltage.
try a microwave like the panasonic inverter microwave unit.
at lower power setting it draws less current so it will work with smaller gen set.
the rv bunch swear by them.
pm me if you need a link
The present microwave I have is 650 watt output (1150- 1200 watt input) and is the lowest wattage available in any Aus supplier I could find. All others including Panasonic were 1100 watt supply. I need to be under 1000 watt (say 950 watt input or less) and that is only available through overseas suppliers of 500 watt output microwaves not in Australia and the freight is a staggering $250 dollars upwards). It needs to be compact and lightweight to fit and suit for travelling in an off-road camper.
 
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