Home General Rules for Appliance Voltage Compatibility Whenever you travel to a foreign country or order an electrical or electronic product on the Internet, it is extremely important to understand your appliance’s voltage before use. Without all of the information you need ahead of time, even something as simple as plugging in a charging cable to a wall outlet can fry your device or start a fire. Follow these three general rules for voltage compatibility to ensure safety no matter where you are. Buy an Adapter Plug – Especially if you are traveling from the United States to another country, you will likely need an adapter plug in order to use your appliance or electronic device. As we’ve covered in other blog posts, there are a variety of outlet plug types, depending on the country or region of the world, so you will need an adapter that works in your location. Know the Required Voltage – The first step is to check the required voltage for your appliance before plugging in. Depending on where you purchased the item, it will be made for 110 volts (North America) or 220-240 volts (most of the rest of the world). The input voltage information can be found on the appliance itself or its power adapter. Shop for Voltage Converters – Voltage converters help ensure that you can safely use products around the world. For example, you will need a converter if your appliance is made in America and you want to use it in England, and vice versa. By knowing the type of adapter plug you need and the right converter to use for your product, you will be able to avoid risks and have appliances that are compatible with power sources around the world. Learn more about what you need when you travel or move to another country by calling Overseas Best Buy (110220volts.com) at 800-827-9978. Why Isn’t There a Universal Electric Plug? If you’ve ever traveled outside of the country, you are sure to have come across power cords and electrical outlets that look much different than those in use in the United States. However, you may be wondering why there are so many different types of electrical plugs instead of a universal option to connect the entire world. To understand why you need a 220 to 110 converter for your electrical appliances and electronics overseas, look back at the history of electricity and innovation over the years. Home electricity was first developed after the invention of the light bulb as a way to bring electric lighting to houses. In order to do so, lighting fixtures connected to a specialized light socket to draw electricity from the wiring to the house. As products developed that helped reduce the time it took to get jobs around the house done, there came a need for a connection other than a light socket that could supply power. With the race on to develop plugs and outlets to fulfill these needs, countries around the world came up with their own solutions. This is why there are at least 15 types of plugs and outlets in use today. As the global economy continued to grow and countries became more dependent on one another, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) tried to implement a universal electric plug. In 1986 it introduced the Type N plug but support around the world was not enough to lead to its adoption. Currently Type N is used almost exclusively in Brazil, where it was adopted as the national standard in the early 21st century because the country had been using multiple different types until that point. Learn more about the history of electric outlets and plugs, and shop for universal adapters and more, by calling Overseas Best Buy (110220volts.com) today at (800) 827-9978. How Do You Choose the Right Plug Adapter? In our previous blog post, we talked about the history of electrical outlets and why different regions around the world use different outlet types. Now that you know the reasons behind plug types and the importance of voltage converters, you’ll need to understand how to choose the right plug adapter when you are out of the country. The first thing to know is that a plug adapter is designed to allow you to plug in your devices into a wall socket when you are on vacation or after you’ve moved to a new country. Since the United States has outlets that deliver 110 volts of electricity, be sure to check if you need a voltage adapter to safely plug in at your destination. Which Countries Use Which Plugs? Buying a universal plug adapter allows you to have one solution no matter where you are in the world. If you are moving overseas and want to bring your American electronics with you, you will need adapters for your new home so that you can continue to use your devices. Here is a list of common destinations around the world and the outlet types you may encounter: Types A and B – Japan, Taiwan, Central America, Caribbean, South America Types C, E, F – Europe, Middle East, Israel, parts of Asia and Africa Type G – United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, parts of Africa Type I – China, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji Use this information and see a picture of what plugs around the world look like so you can choose the perfect adapter for your needs. The experts at Overseas Best Buy will also assist with converters so you can protect not only your electronics but also your home or the hotel where you are staying. Learn more by contacting a representative today at (800) 827-9978. Why Are There So Many Plugs and Sockets Around the World? If you have ever traveled outside of the United States, you know just how frustrating it can be to go to plug in your phone only to realize the socket is a different shape. Why is it that you can use one type of charger in one part of the world, but need to use voltage converters in another? Why do countries within the same region have different plug and socket types, and how can you prepare if you are visiting a new country or plan to move overseas? Here is some history behind plugs around the world. Edison, Tesla, and War There are about 12 major plug types in use throughout the world, and all of them can trace back to the electrical arms race in the 1800s, according to Gizmodo. In the United States, Thomas Edison’s experiments with direct current introduced mainstream electricity to the country, but had trouble holding over long distances. Nikola Tesla invented alternating current power to rectify this, but the result was 240-volt power, as opposed to Edison’s 110-volt product. While the U.S. eventually adopted AC technology, it did not adjust its voltages or plugs to match what was in use in Europe. After all, who was going to lug around their appliances on a ship when they could save money and buy new items when they arrived? The reason that regions have different plug types is that, in the early days, electrical devices had to be patched into a home’s wiring system. Inventors around the world sought to solve the issue with a single standardized plug, leading to individual countries choosing their own standard. Why do some countries in Africa, South America, and Asia share plug types, while their neighbors don’t? This is all thanks to old colonial ties around the world, as well as implementations following both World Wars. Learn more about the history behind plug types and find out which voltage converters you need around the world by contacting 110220Volts.com today at (800) 827-9978. Source: http://gizmodo.com/5391271/giz-explains-why-every-country-has-a-different-fing-plug Image Source: http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/socket-to-them-final-frame-163628 Can You Bring Your Appliances When You Move Overseas? In our previous blog post, we discussed the differences between plug shapes and types for various countries when you are moving overseas. Moving to a new home within the United States is simple enough: just pack everything you need into a moving truck and drive to your new address, but what about when you move overseas? Can you bring all of your belongings, including your appliances, with you? Knowing which appliances will work in your new home and if you need voltage regulators will help answer these questions. The simple fact is that the appliances you use now, including small home electronics, are built to work in your current home. When you move overseas you will encounter new voltage standards that can render your devices inoperable. Here are a few reasons why: In North America, outlets have a normal voltage of 110/120 V and 60 Hz. Most countries in Europe have outlets with 220 V and 50 Hz. You will not be able to plug in your appliances in a foreign country without an adapter that fits the new outlet type. Plugging in a device with an adapter, but without a voltage converter, can cause sparks to shoot out and lead to damages. Taking all of this into account, it is important for you to make a list of items that you absolutely need to bring with you when you move. Invest in voltage regulators that will work in your new country so that you do not have to start from scratch and add more to your moving budget. Learn more about what you need when you move overseas by contacting a representative from Overseas Best Buy today at 800-827-9978. Do I Need a Travel Voltage Converter When Studying Abroad? Study abroad programs are a whirlwind and are a totally necessary part of a college, and life, experience. A few weeks to a year of full immersion into another culture, and potentially another language, is overwhelming and exciting, to say the very least. Many comforts from home are overlooked or underappreciated when preparing for such a long relocation. One of the top things that students traveling abroad miss the mark on (or forget completely) is a travel adapter and/or voltage converter. Before freaking out, follow these steps to determine what converter, if any, you’re going to need for your travels: Check the voltage standards of your destination. Take a look at your devices for voltage information. A device that operates safely around 110 volts may need a step-down converter if you’re taking it to a 220 volt appliance country. The same goes for a 220 volt device in a 110 volt country; you’ll need a step-up converter, though, in that case. These appliances have what’s called single voltage. If your device or devices operate safely anywhere in that 110-220 volt range, you then have dual voltage protection. Dual voltage usually means that you will NOT need to purchase a converter, but you will more than likely need to invest in a power adapter (see #4). Next, determine the wattage of your products. This can be found on most general product labels. You’ll want to buy a converter with enough power to operate two to three times higher than what your device needs. This covers any unexpected energy surge when your device is first powered up. If you are visiting an area with frequent surges and dips in power, you may want to invest in a converter with a built-in voltage stabilizer that will maintain the output levels of power to your device, even if the input levels are fluctuating. This will protect your appliance from a surge. Whether you are purchasing a converter or not, you will almost definitely need a power adapter plug. An outlet plug adapter does just that; it has different prongs that can be used in a variety of electrical outlets around the world. There are many types of prongs and plugs, but the four most common are the American plug, or Type A, with two vertical pins; the European, or Type C, with two round pins; the British, or Type G, with three rectangular pins; and the Chinese/Australian, or Type I, with two slanted pins. Many adapters come with all four options and more, for those making more than one stop on their trip. Wherever you end up studying abroad, be prepared for these little changes while you get ready for the trip of a lifetime. It will make the transition into a temporary and thrilling situation so much easier, and so much more enjoyable, if you are well-equipped with the knowledge of where you’re headed, and the comforts of where you came from. Photo Credit – Power Voltages Around the World Will my Hair Straighteners – Hair Dryer power plug work in Spain, and other European countries? Photo by Idhren Are Straighteners and Hard Dryer Cords Different in Spain? Whether you’re visiting the lively land of Spain on vacation or you’re moving there for the foreseeable future, travel to a foreign country often brings up an abundance of questions for those taking the leap across the pond. And, because you’re traveling across the pond, you know that you won’t be plugging your trusty electronic devices into the same types of plugs that you’d find here in the U.S. Instead, you’ll find a big circular outlet with two circular holes. Doesn’t sound familiar, right? Find more at our Voltage Converter Buyers Guide. The European plugs don’t only look different, but they also deliver more voltage than our American ones. This means that many American-made or made-for-America electronics simply won’t work with just an adapter when you plug them in in Spain and beyond. In fact, outfitting a plug with just an adapter before plugging it in can cause your electricity to burn out; it can also ruin your device. This is especially true for devices that require lots of energy to run, like your hair dryer and straightenter. Hair dryers and straighteners require lots of wattage so that they can produce enough heat for you to style your hair. And, of course you’ll need all of your styling tools while you’re on the road — Spain will be photo-op after photo-op, after all. That’s why you’ll have to invest in at least one good convertor before you fly out. A convertor box will transform the voltage of a European outlet into something that works with your American device. It has the two circular plugs, as mentioned above, so that it’ll slip right into the Spanish outlet. Its outside will have an outlet for you that will look just like home. Plug in your hair dryer or straightener here and you won’t have any issue with a fried appliance or electrical system. If you’re moving to Spain for the long haul, you might consider investing in a hair dryer or straightener with the proper plug already attached. As previously mentioned, this plug does look a little bit different and a few things about the device may look a little different, too, like the language and the temperature readings in Celsius. Otherwise, everything should look pretty similar, including the cords. You might even find your exact brand of hair dryer or straightener on the shelves in Spain. Check out the local department stores or big-box stores, such as Carrefour, to find a straightener or hair dryer that’ll work for your stay. And, if you plan on bringing your trusty device, make sure that you’ve purchased a convertor that has wattage to spare in order to make your styling tools hot and ready to go so that your hair will be, too. You can find an abundance of reliable 110 to 220 voltage converters here. Voltage Converters when Traveling a trip overseas Planning a trip overseas anytime soon? Did you realize that the electricity that we have here in the United States is not exactly the same as the electricity provided overseas One look at the outlets overseas and you will notice the first huge difference. They have a very weird shape and sometimes even more prongs. We have all seen the movies where an unknowing dim witted person travels overseas and somehow plugs in their alarm clock they brought from the United States and what happens next is sparks fly and usually a fire.The military more often than not always deploy or get stationed in an area that has those strange European outlets also. I have seen that a person will buy a plug adapter for their laptop computer and then plug them into the outlet. Next thing that happens is a call to the customer service center of the computer brand they have. They have just plugged a 110 volt computer in a 220v wall socket. The normal outcome is never good. We offer a fix to that issue and many others like it. We can supply you with a converter that will drop that high 220v power down to a safe 110v that you and I can use on our computers and appliances.So maybe you are planning on going overseas to study at a university or maybe just a move to a different land. If you were to buy a flat screen or plasma television I think you could expect at least to pay $500 or more. That is not exactly what you would want to spend on an appliance that you would be bringing back to the United States in a few years where it would basically be useless since it’s 220v. We have fixed that issue with our multinational compliant appliances.Multisystem appliances are the wave of the future and are more practical than the old 110v appliances we currently buy here in the USA. With economic strains and people looking for work in different areas now days, we have to be prepared for that move one day overseas There is also a huge push to make all things that are manufactured and sold here and overseas to be exactly the same. That means the US may be 220v one day or Europe may be 110v. In either case we cannot predict what voltage will be the future so why not by things that accept both and when that day comes you are prepared and not spending thousands of dollars replacing all of your current appliances that will become obsolete. [wizScriber id=”9165″ title=”Plug adapter”] Links to order these products Voltage converters How to Purchase the Right Voltage Converters when Traveling or Working Abroad Are you moving overseas, it can be a surprise to arrive at destination after a long flight and discover that you cannot plug your iPhone/tablet/laptop or even hair dryer into the standard wall outlets. Or, as happened to many, you try plugging in a very expensive curling iron using a “one size fits all” travel adapter, only to blow the circuitry of your favorite accessory, rendering it useless. It is very important to choose and use the proper voltage converters while you are abroad, as improper electrical connections can lead to a number of problems including the irreparable damage of your personal electronics or even shocks, sparks, and fires. When going abroad, always be prepared with the proper voltage converters. Why is a voltage converter necessary? Aside from having different sized and shaped outlets, most countries have different voltage ratings for their electronics, accessories and anything else that can be plugged in. In general, the voltage of any given appliance, electronic, or accessory can vary from 110v, used in the United States, up to the 230v commonly found in Europe, and even 240v in such countries as Fiji and the Cook Islands. A quick review of the Plug, Voltage, and Socket table found on the World Standards website indicates that: “in most countries the mains supply is between 220 and 240 volts (50 or 60 Hz); countries that operate on an electrical current of 100-127 volts are greatly outnumbered. The list also reveals that types A and C are the most frequently used electric plugs worldwide.” If you are going from the United States to other countries in Eruope, Asia, or Africa, you will need Voltage Converters for your electronics, accessories, and even small appliances. How do I know which Voltage Converter to purchase? Determining which voltage converter is right for you requires knowing two pertinent pieces of information. 1. Know the voltage and watts for your equipment. This is usually found on the backside, underside, or plug of most items. If it is not, you may need to check the paperwork that came with the product when you purchased it. You will be looking for voltage, denoted with a small letter ‘v’ and the watts signaled by the letter combination ‘w’. 2. Make a list of all the countries you will be traveling to. Even traveling within some continents you may find different types of plugs and voltage ratings. A typical example of this is encountered when traveling between Great Britain and Europe. Though, almost all European countries and England use 230v, the size and shape of their respective outlets will vary. Let the experts at 110220volts.com take the worry out of your next overseas trip. Helping customers find the right voltage converter for their needs is one of our many specialties.[related_posts] Get 208-240v 60hz from a standard 110-120v outlet Solution you have been looking for is here. The electricity supplied to your home or office building delivers power to your neighborhood or local area at 220 volts. Before this power goes into your home or office it is split, by a transformer, into two separate conductors that are 110v and share a common wire. In essence, the 220 volts is split in half with two hot wires, sharing one neutral. This is known as a three wire split phase system and is in almost every single house in the United States, Canada and Mexico. If you live in North Carolina you likely reside in a home and work at an office with a three wire split phase system. The system works like this: two 120 volt 60 Hz live “hot legs” which run in opposing phase to one another: when one hot leg goes “+” (120 volts positive) the other leg goes “-” (120 volts negative) When attempting to increase from 110-120 60 hz to 220-240 60 hz you could hire an electrician to install a 220-240 outlet. That said, dealing with independent contractors can be difficult and expensive. You could get a 110v to 220v voltage transformer but these items tend to be very large and heavy; not to mention extremely expensive. Rather than having to battle with electricians or install a voltage transformer you can purchase a 110-120v to 220-240v converter. Once you have this item all you will need to do is to plug it into each of the two phases of your home or office’s electrical system. Voltage: 108 to 125 Volts AC, 60 HZ, non-GFI circuits, two circuits, out of phase Outlets for US 220 volt straight blade Portable, easy to use Silent Outlets for US 220 volt plugs 15 and 20 Ampere (Amp) capacities, continuous duty, American 110 Volts Step up to American 220 Volts Power Tap for USA-CANADA Use 230 Watts Step Up and Down Converter Light Weight Compact Unit The 230 Watts Step Up and Down Converter Light Weight Compact Unit supports universal input allowing for users anywhere in the world switch between both electricity input types based on the requirement of connecting appliances. It possesses an excellent build quality with a durable chassis and cord, in addition to its being well ventilated – an added advantage for continuous use. As a voltage converting device, there is a rear input switch where users can choose between the two input options 110v-120v and 220v-240v. This device comes with thermal fuse protection, in simpler terms, meaning connected appliances are protected against sharp increases in electricity supply and there wouldn’t ever be a need for a replacement fuse. It operates at a frequency of 50 – 60 Hz and a dual voltage mode to support both electricity types, thus making it ideal for worldwide use. It also has a dedicated LED for indicating power source. The 230 Watts Step Up and Down Converter Light Weight Compact Unit is categorized with similar devices under Light Weight Compact Unit – Step Up & Down Converter Transformers in event you’re searching for something similar with a lower or higher power rating. Get a reasonable discount price on bulk purchases for the 230 Watts Step Up and Down Converter Light Weight Compact Unit device. Each single device is offered at retail price of $22.76. The shipping weight is 40 pounds while the actual device has a dimension of 3 x 4.5 x 4 inches. It comes with a US/Canada outlet cord although, users can choose product accessories such as the European Shucko Grounded Plug Adapter, UK Grounded Plug Adapter and New Zealand & Australia Plug Adapter each available at a price of $1.90, for wider support. This device is CE Approved.