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Modifying Electricity

What You Should Know About Traveling Overseas with Electrical Appliances

Appliances built for use in North America are designed to operate on 110-120VAC (Volts Alternating Current). Most of the world, however, operates on 220-240VAC. When traveling overseas, it is important to convert the voltage to match your appliance’s voltage requirement. Failure to do so could severely damage or destroy your appliance.

Voltage Converters
Voltage converters convert electricity from 220-240 volts down to 110-120 volts when traveling overseas (they step-down the voltage); or from 110-120 volts up to 220-240 volts when traveling to North America (they step-up the voltage).

There are two types of voltage converters available: Transformers and Solid State Converters. The one you need depends on the appliance you plan to use.

Electronic and Motorized Appliances must be used with a transformer-type converter. Transformers are sized by their wattage capacity and the wattage requirement of your appliance MUST be below the transformer’s maximum wattage rating. As transformers are heavy, those designed for travel are usually limited to 50 watts, although heavy-duty transformers are available when more wattage is needed.

Heating Appliances can also be used with transformers but their wattage demands are high and the appropriate transformer would usually be too heavy for travel. Therefore, we recommend our lightweight solid state converters that can provide up to 2,000 watts for your high wattage heating appliances.

Voltage Valet offers both transformer and solid state-type converters for use with a wide range of electronic, motorized and heating appliances when traveling overseas.

How to Find Voltage and Wattage Ratings on Your Appliances
To determine the correct voltage converter you need, you must know the input voltage and wattage requirements of your appliance. You can find this information listed on the appliance manufacturer's label located on the back, bottom or handle of the appliance, or in the specifications section of the appliance’s owner’s manual.

The label or manual will show the input voltage (110, 120, 220, 240; written as: 120 volts, 120V, 120 volts AC, or 120VAC), the wattage (written: 100 Watts or 100W) or the amperage (0.5 Amps, 0.5A or 500mA).

NOTE: If only the amperage rating is shown, multiply the input voltage by the amperage rating to find the wattage rating.

Volts x Amps = Watts, e.g., 120V x 0.5A = 60W