SannerDM asked this question 5 years, 10 months ago:

Base Housing Clothes Washer and Dryers

Hello all,

I am active duty USAF. I will be PCSing to Ramstein Air Force Base (RAFB) late February 2015. I am really interested in living at RAFB base housing as opposed to the other two base housing locations in the Area. I have already submitted my advanced application through the housing office, with my preference as RAFB. If a house is only available on the other two bases and not RAFB, than my family and I will most likely choose to live off base. That being said, I am one of the unfortunate members who had just purchased brand new clothes washing utilities prior to receiving notice of PCS selection. I have read extensively that on this forum and other information resources that the base housing office provides these utilities. However, if I am squirrely enough to ship my brand new washer and dryer and get lucky enough to be assigned a house on RAFB, will the government housing on base have hookups for American washers and dryers or German powered utilities? If it is only German, than I will not be bringing my washer and dryer. Also, what brand/quality of these utilities is provided by base housing? Thank you ahead of time for all your help.

Very Respectfully,
David Sanner



5 years, 10 months ago

Quote by SannerDM:
Hello all,

I am active duty USAF. I will be PCSing to Ramstein Air Force Base (RAFB) late February 2015. I am really interested in living at RAFB base housing as opposed to the other two base housing locations in the Area. I have already submitted my advanced application through the housing office, with my preference as RAFB. If a house is only available on the other two bases and not RAFB, than my family and I will most likely choose to live off base. That being said, I am one of the unfortunate members who had just purchased brand new clothes washing utilities prior to receiving notice of PCS selection. I have read extensively that on this forum and other information resources that the base housing office provides these utilities. However, if I am squirrely enough to ship my brand new washer and dryer and get lucky enough to be assigned a house on RAFB, will the government housing on base have hookups for American washers and dryers or German powered utilities? If it is only German, than I will not be bringing my washer and dryer. Also, what brand/quality of these utilities is provided by base housing? Thank you ahead of time for all your help.

Very Respectfully,
David Sanner


Base Housing is equipped with 110 and 220 outlets. I can't say for sure if this is the case in every laundry room. Base Housing already has the units in there, and they will not take them out for you. Stairwell housing has the units in the master bathroom, and the townhouses have a separate room upstairs (Except for the single level homes, which there are very few).

As far as being picky where to live, don't be too picky. I can tell you from experience that getting a base home not on Ramstein has been a blessing in disguise. I live on Landstuhl Post, across the street from the hospital. It is very convenient in terms that everything I need is here (bar commissary), and the lines are much shorter. If you have children, there is also an elementary and middle school on base, gas station, gym, library, barber shop, restaurants, two shoppettes, Burger King, Subway, Anthonys Pizza, T-Mobile, TKS, VAT Forms, CYS (and all their activities are done here), Pharmacy (so you can walk there at 1830 and get your prescription in 5 minutes versus waiting an hour at Ramstein Clinic), Post Office, Boy/Girl Scouts, another laundromat, The only American ER in Kaiserslautern (which comes in very handy to have nearby), Italian restaurant with a bar and small casino, USO Warrior Center, Auto Hobby (which has been considered to be the best one in the KMC), and of course all your specialty clinics located in the hospital. Anything I may have missed, just ask and I'll know if it is here.

I work on Ramstein, at possibly the hardest to reach squadron on the base (around the flight line, at 1st Combat Comm), and it takes me 17 minutes to get there when the LVIS gate is open (6-8 AM for entry, and 1300-1800 for exit). About 12 minutes to get to the KMCC (BX). I can tell you I was not thrilled about moving to LRMC, and now I would not change it for anything. It is quiet, and relaxed here compared to Ramstein.

About the first time you forget your ID card and have to go through the fiasco of trying to get on Ramstein without it, you'll understand. At LRMC, just a quick report of my social gets me back in. So, in that situation, you are looking at a difference of 20 seconds at LRMC or 20 minutes at Ramstein.

Vogelweh housing...I probably would not recommend. Have not heard the best things about that place, and there is no convenience to it if you live on the "Armstrong Club" Side (which is only housing).

5 years, 10 months ago

Quote by Earbyte:
Base Housing is equipped with 110 and 220 outlets. I can't say for sure if this is the case in every laundry room. Base Housing already has the units in there, and they will not take them out for you. Stairwell housing has the units in the master bathroom, and the townhouses have a separate room upstairs (Except for the single level homes, which there are very few).

As far as being picky where to live, don't be too picky. I can tell you from experience that getting a base home not on Ramstein has been a blessing in disguise. I live on Landstuhl Post, across the street from the hospital. It is very convenient in terms that everything I need is here (bar commissary), and the lines are much shorter. If you have children, there is also an elementary and middle school on base, gas station, gym, library, barber shop, restaurants, two shoppettes, Burger King, Subway, Anthonys Pizza, T-Mobile, TKS, VAT Forms, CYS (and all their activities are done here), Pharmacy (so you can walk there at 1830 and get your prescription in 5 minutes versus waiting an hour at Ramstein Clinic), Post Office, Boy/Girl Scouts, another laundromat, The only American ER in Kaiserslautern (which comes in very handy to have nearby), Italian restaurant with a bar and small casino, USO Warrior Center, Auto Hobby (which has been considered to be the best one in the KMC), and of course all your specialty clinics located in the hospital. Anything I may have missed, just ask and I'll know if it is here.

I work on Ramstein, at possibly the hardest to reach squadron on the base (around the flight line, at 1st Combat Comm), and it takes me 17 minutes to get there when the LVIS gate is open (6-8 AM for entry, and 1300-1800 for exit). About 12 minutes to get to the KMCC (BX). I can tell you I was not thrilled about moving to LRMC, and now I would not change it for anything. It is quiet, and relaxed here compared to Ramstein.

About the first time you forget your ID card and have to go through the fiasco of trying to get on Ramstein without it, you'll understand. At LRMC, just a quick report of my social gets me back in. So, in that situation, you are looking at a difference of 20 seconds at LRMC or 20 minutes at Ramstein.

Vogelweh housing...I probably would not recommend. Have not heard the best things about that place, and there is no convenience to it if you live on the "Armstrong Club" Side (which is only housing).


Thank you for all that great information! I hadn't realized so much was on Landstuhl. I had also heard not too much good concerning vogelweh. Perhaps I should rethink think. It looks like I will not be takeing my clothes washing equipment then. Any more adive concerning living there with a family will be very welcome. I do have three children, one is kindergarten age. So proximity to an elementary school is a big thing for me. Especiallu because we will be makeing this move in the middle of her school year. I would of never of thought this would of been a problem with a kindergartner, but Kindergarten this age is much different from when I was a child. At least it is here in Arizona.

V/R,
David Sanner

5 years, 10 months ago

Quote by SannerDM:
Thank you for all that great information! I hadn't realized so much was on Landstuhl. I had also heard not too much good concerning vogelweh. Perhaps I should rethink think. It looks like I will not be takeing my clothes washing equipment then. Any more adive concerning living there with a family will be very welcome. I do have three children, one is kindergarten age. So proximity to an elementary school is a big thing for me. Especiallu because we will be makeing this move in the middle of her school year. I would of never of thought this would of been a problem with a kindergartner, but Kindergarten this age is much different from when I was a child. At least it is here in Arizona.

V/R,
David Sanner


I think that there is a policy in place that says you cannot ship large household appliances that are 110v - fridge, washer and dryer come to mind. When you go on www.move.mil it'll be stated.

5 years, 7 months ago

I know I'm a little late to this thread, but figured I would post my experience since I used to be an electrician and dealt with stuff like this occasionally, especially while deployed when we'd get the wrong voltage equipment and had to make it work.

First of all, everyone else is right... get rid of them or have the government store them while you're overseas since they won't ship them over. Never attempt any of the following unless you're well versed in how electricity works! Voltage is higher outside the US and can kill instantly if you get between the source and load. 0.1A (in any voltage high enough to overcome the body's resistance... roughly 50V+) is enough to kill you by stopping your heart, and US washers pull 15A at 120V and dryers pull 30A at 220V... cut that in half for European stuff. So leave any of this up to the experts!

Just FYI instead of 110-120/220-240V found in the US, Germany uses the EU standard 230/400V and the UK uses 240/415V, but other countries use between 220-240/380-415V. The differences come from the high voltage supplied and how the transformers are wired.

However, just for fun (in case someone who's not entitled to FMO insists on keeping their appliances):

The first problem is the hot water connection.

In US homes, the washer is supplied with a hot and cold water hookup. This is not the case in Germany... they usually only have cold water connections for the washer and dishwasher as well as the guest bathroom sink. The appliances have a built in heater that units designed for the US market lack.


Simple washer


So if on base units are the same way, you'd have to do some rigging up of a small instant water heater (pretty common in older German homes... they mount them under the sinks in kitchens/bathrooms to feed that sink and a bath/shower faucet), or run a hose to the nearest sink and connect it somehow.


Example of an on demand tankless water heater; they cost about 100 Euros


Then off base, in addition to the lack of of a hot water hookup, you'd have to use a transformer for the washer, and they pull about 1500W.

The dryer would be a different story... If it's gas, then the home would need a gas hookup, then another 1500W transformer. If it's a newer electric unit, there will be some major internal rewiring of the unit since only the heating unit is 220V (and will work without a transformer), while the motor and electronics are all 120V, so these would need a 1500W transformer mounted internally (there's room in there!). Older 3-prong units are fully 220V and would theoretically work with a 220V cord that was rated for at least 15A (unless there was something like the timer that connected between phase and ground).

This is how complicated a newer electric dryer would be, and this is only a generalized example (click for full size):

Source

Oh, and besides all that, the motors in US appliances are designed for 60Hz and Europe uses 50Hz, which the transformers will not help with (you need a frequency converter, and those are usually room sized motors!). This means that the motor will turn slightly slower. With the same load, the motor will be overloaded and could burn up. It's fairly common when someone uses an American vacuum, mixer, etc. for long periods expecting it to perform like in the US.

[/end of nerdy electrical stuff]

5 years, 7 months ago

Thank you, Big Daddy Kane! Great info to have.

5 years, 7 months ago

What are your thoughts on transformers?

5 years, 7 months ago

Quote by Bergman:
What are your thoughts on transformers?


What about them? I know that they're used just about everywhere for different purposes.

Personally I try to buy dual voltage products, but that's not always possible.

For example, the TV and home theater I bought in Germany are both dual voltage. When I came back, I upgraded the receiver and bought a new TV. Both are 120V only, so I will have to use a transformer.

In the high voltage and power generation area, it's best to keep things loaded around 80% for maximum efficiency, leave overhead so as to not overload it during peak usage and to not wetstack it (for generators at least). I'd say this would also apply for smaller transformers, and we had stacks upon stacks of them that were bad, but they could have been from poor windings or something. We used to make the guys with nothing to do fix them.

5 years, 7 months ago

The discussion and general belief of other thread of this site is that transformers do not consume more power when not in use. Meaning you can leave them plugged in all the time and it's not going to make a difference. I don't agree and have always bought everything that's dual voltage. If it's not offered in dual voltage I won't buy it.

Here is the post and another here

5 years, 7 months ago

Oh yeah... I was the same way last time I was there and will most likely do the same again! For example, I bought a shaver at Best Buy while on leave and made sure the power supply was dual voltage. There were some unavoidable things like Xbox consoles that were 120v only. Funny thing was the original fat PS3 was labeled for the voltage where it was sold, leading people overseas to believe they needed to run it off a transformer, myself included. I read about early failures when mine died under warranty (thinking it was a stray current from a poor transformer), and they mentioned they all had dual voltage PSUs inside, but also said to be careful and verify for yourself before plugging it right up. Fairly recently I had to reflow it and verified the earliest non-backwards compatible PS3 indeed has a internal label on the PSU saying 100-240V.

Then I get back to the states and it kind of fell off my radar, so I have a few items that are 120V only, like my newer TV and receiver that need a transformer due to taking mains voltage all the way up to the unit. I also have a rechargeable trimmer that is 120V only, but it's a wall wart with a standard DC plug on the unit, so I just need to find a 220V one someone tossed, or a universal one.

Anyway, back to transformer power usage... They will most definitely use power when just sitting there because of internal losses. They won't be constantly pulling the full rating... Just whatever load is using plus losses. This is typically from 1-5W for small transformers like cell phone chargers up to 15-20W for cheap computer PSUs (which is a closer comparison to the large 220/120 units we use overseas). I guess I'll have to bust out my meters when I get there and measure unloaded vs loaded power usage.

5 years, 7 months ago

We've done it with an oscilloscope. I posted pretty much what you posted. The transformers don't put out much more than what is being pulled from it. And, when left on, without anything pulling current, it only trickles current. It isn't enough to warrant turning the transformer off.

Besides, if you are plugging in a device with a clock, or a device that depends on a trickle charge for memory to hold settings (most TVs in the past 15+ years use a small amount of current to keep the settings), etc, would be a pain to reset every time.

Maybe Bergman will believe it now?

5 years, 7 months ago

Quote by JOFTAA:


Maybe Bergman will believe it now?


No - never!

5 years, 7 months ago

Quote by JOFTAA:
We've done it with an oscilloscope. I posted pretty much what you posted. The transformers don't put out much more than what is being pulled from it. And, when left on, without anything pulling current, it only trickles current. It isn't enough to warrant turning the transformer off.

Besides, if you are plugging in a device with a clock, or a device that depends on a trickle charge for memory to hold settings (most TVs in the past 15+ years use a small amount of current to keep the settings), etc, would be a pain to reset every time.

Maybe Bergman will believe it now?


All my transformers are always on thru whole house. I have 6 of them always running. Just got a letter last month from electric company that starting in April our bill will be cheaper every month.

5 years, 7 months ago

Quote by Z-eater:
All my transformers are always on thru whole house. I have 6 of them always running. Just got a letter last month from electric company that starting in April our bill will be cheaper every month.


Bergman?

5 years, 7 months ago

Quote by Z-eater:
All my transformers are always on thru whole house. I have 6 of them always running. Just got a letter last month from electric company that starting in April our bill will be cheaper every month.


I think we all got that letter. It says the price is going down and if you sign a two year contract it'll go down further. But you're locked in for two years.

5 years, 7 months ago

Quote by Bergman:
I think we all got that letter. It says the price is going down and if you sign a two year contract it'll go down further. But you're locked in for two years.


It doesn't matter since I have to be here anyway until July 2017

Would you like to contribute? Add your reply to this topic