Saturday, June 2, 2007

Dual or Not Dual Voltage? What is Needed?

This is the continuation of posts concerning using appliances abroad. This post addresses what is needed if you have determined if your appliance is dual voltage or not dual voltage. See the previous post called "Dual Voltage Swings to Two Countries" to determine which type of appliance you have.

All you need is a plug adapter to fit the plug into the wall outlet abroad. If your US plug has two pins, you can use the ungrounded (or sometimes called non-grounding) adapter plug (UG). If your plus has three pins, it is grounded and you will need the grounded adapter plug (G). Here are some common destinations and the needed ungrounded (2 pin) and grounded (3 pins) plug adapter, .

- Continental Europe (UG-A or G-A)
- Australia/New Zealand plug adapter (UG-C or G-C)
- Great Britian and Ireland (UG-D or G-D)
These adapters can be purchased individually or as sets. Sets are best for multi-city tours such as to various countries in Europe.

Here is where it gets a bit complicated traveling with an appliance abroad. You'll need two things, a voltage converter and a plug adapter.

To determine exactly which voltage converter is appropriate for your appliance, you need to know the wattage. Look at the indications panel (see "Dual Voltage Swings to Two Countries" post for locating the panel). The wattage number is the number followed by a "W", (for example, 12W, 50W or 1600W).

- For appliances under 50W, use a 0-50 Watt Transformer, and the proper adapter plug.
- For appliances over 50W, use a 26-1875 Watt Converter, and the proper adapter plug.
- If you're using several appliances with varying wattages, use a Dual Wattage Converter, which switches between low and high wattage, or an Auto Dual Wattage Converter, which switches automatically.

Converters can usually be found in a set that includes several plug adapters covering most of the world.


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