Variac or not


I am using the V1.5 120v and using a kilowatt to check the voltage and getting readings between 109v to 113v when roasting (119v when idle), is a variac going to help me get to 120v while roasting in this situation. Tool and Die guy non electrician.



Not. Sagging voltage is a symptom of an oversubscribed circuit. This can be the result of a very long wire run, undersized wires, other devices on the same circuit, or some combination of those. In any case, a Variac cannot help. It will only make it slightly worse, since it, too, will use some power, adding to the load on the circuit.

First thing to do is make sure that the Bullet is the only thing actually running on that circuit. Note that the same circuit may serve up to 5 or 6 outlets. It’s also possible (but probably not to code - I’m not an electrician, either) for there to be lighting fixtures on that circuit.

Are you certain that your house has the full 120V available? It could be that 119V is all you’re getting from the service line.

Also, check the wattage reported by the Kill A Watt. (Alternatively, you can measure the current in Amps and multiply by the voltage to get Watts.) I think it should be just a bit over 1300W, if things are going well.

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What @celticcupcoffee said… he’s right on the money. A variac can restore the voltage at the outlet while simultaneously making the real problem worse. Think ‘electrical fire’. This happens frequently in RV parks where some RVers use a special transformer to get the right voltage at their trailer/coach. I’ve seen more than one fire at a power pylon.


OK thanks, much as I was thinking and a lot more info than I even knew to think about. I am thinking about getting a line ran but if I do I might just as well get a 220v line ran and get the V2 220v upgrade when available. Thanks again guys.

Given your readings, you may not need to do anything. The v1.5 Bullet specs state “Input Voltage: 100V-127V”. Your line input measurements are within that range. Some voltage drop in outlet voltage under significant load (Bullet while roasting) is also not unusual. So, unless something else (that draws any significant current) will be contending with the outlet that you are using for the Bullet, it may work just fine. Give it a go…and welcome to the “roast-roost”. :sunglasses:

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