Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Foreign Electricty Sometimes Too Hot To Handle
The next few posts will deal with the confusing subject of using electrical appliances overseas. The Hopeful Traveler feels unless you're gonna die without the appliance, leave it at home.
First thing is electricity and plugs are not all alike. In the U.S., electric power comes out of the wall in a 110 to 120 volt range and most appliances have a flat bladed plug. These countries uses the same: Japan, Brazil, Canada, Mexico and many places in the Carribeean, Central America and the islands in the Pacific.
In most other countries, electricity comes out between 220 and 240 volts. So you will either need a voltage converter or an appliance that accepts both 110 volt and 220 volt power. Appliances that accept both are called "dual voltage". But this doesn't mean you can use your appliance in a foreign country. Why? The plug. Plug endings are different so you may need a plug adapter to fit your plug into the foreign outlets. Pictured above is a continental Europe outlet which has two round pins for plug endings and electricity coming at you at twice that of U.S. voltage.