Leading Manufactuer & Supplier of 12/220 Volt Fridge Freezers +27 11 392 5315 info@snomaster.co.za

The difference between a 12V & 220V compressor!

Mar 14, 2018 | Latest News

SnoMaster produced the first 12V Compressor way back in 2000 and has since been the leader in in producing and supplying various fridge/freezer and beverage coolers for both your indoor and outdoor needs. So what’s the difference between a 12V and 220V compressor you may ask? We decided to break it down and supply you with the basic info to help you choose the right unit for your requirements.


What is a Watt, Volt and Amp?

This may seem like a stupid question, but let’s quickly explain:

  1. AmpsAmpere is the measure of the amount of current that flows past a given point in one second. The electrical equivalent of flow rate.
  2. VoltsVoltage is what makes electric charges. It is the ‘push’ that causes charges to move in a wire or other electrical conductor.
  3. Watts – Power is measured in units called watts. The definition of one watt is simple: One watt is the amount of work done by a circuit in which one ampere of current is driven by one volt.

For a guide to the basics of electricity, click here. Now that we understand the terms, lets get into the difference between a 12V and 220V compressor and what they are used for.


Why choose a 12V Compressor

A 12V Compressor is the answer if you want a unit that can be used outdoors, off-roading and camping. It is designed to withstand the rigors of movement as well as having a low-power consumption (meaning it will last longer on each charge or battery.)

If in doubt, lift & shake a 12V unit, and you will hear nothing ‘rattle’.

Take a look at our Camping & Outdoor Department for all your outdoor needs.


Why Choose a 220V Compressor

220V units are made to run when stationary, like when parked on your tiled floor. The compressor is suspended accordingly, in quite a loose fashion. Put this in a vehicle on a corrugated off-road and, probably sooner than later, the unit’s compressor will spring a leak.

If in doubt, lift & shake a 220V unit and you'll hear and feel it 'rattle'.

Take a look at our 220V Outdoor Series for all your outdoor needs.


Can’t I use an Inverter?

Many will say that an inverter with a 220V unit is not the answer; however if you want to go this route make sure you buy a large enough inverter. We won’t recommend anything below 1000W. Your inverter also needs to be “pure sign wave” and not modified sign wave. The modified sign wave inverter can damage a compressor in the medium term.

Admittedly inverters are quite expensive, but it could be doubled up to run some of your home appliances if needed. Come to think of it, it may be a worthwhile investment living in SA 🙂


Now that you have a better understanding of what the difference is, you can easily make an educated decision when you purchase your next cooling unit.

Of course, if you are still not sure or need more info, please contact Mark on sales@snomaster.co.za and he will gladly assist you in choosing the right unit for your needs.