Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Will a 50 Hz LCD television work at 60 Hz?
Q. What is the effect of using a 220-240V, 50HZ LCD TV on a 220V, 60 Hz system?
A. Most televisions will automatically adapt to either frequency, but there are some that don't. The scan speed and picture quality may be affected if the system does not automatically adapt to the different frequency. Check with the manufacturer to see if the 60Hz will cause any problems.
Why happens if a 220V product is used in a 110V socket?
Q. What would happen if a 220V product is plugged in to a 110V socket without an adaptor?
A. A device requiring 220V would not work well, if at all, if used on 110V.
Why does India use 220V?
Q. Why does India use 220V?
A. Around 1950 Great Britain switched over from 110V to 220V to follow the lead of other European countries. Even though they no longer ruled India, they still had influence there. It was convenient for India to use 220V, since they got much equipment from Great Britain and other European countries.
Purchasing flat-screen TV to use in Africa
Q. What do I need to consider when purchasing a flat-screen TV in the US for use in Africa?
A. Many televisions have a 110-220V switch on the back which allows you to change the voltage depending upon what country you are in. Be aware that the outlet plug may be different which means you will need an adapter.
Will a UK refrigerator work in the USA?
Q. Will a 230V 50Hz UK refrigerator work in the US 220V 60Hz. Can the plug on the refrigerator be changed and operate on 220V?
A. In the US, refrigerators run on 110V 60Hz. A transformer will increase the voltage to 220V, however, the motor will run a little faster at 60Hz. The refrigerator will run, but not as efficiently as in the UK.
Is 50Hz or 60Hz better?
Q. Is 50Hz or 60Hz better? Why do different countries adopt different standards?
A. 60Hz is more efficient than 50Hz. Germany started using 50Hz, some countries followed, while others stayed with 60Hz. Half of Japan uses 60Hz and half uses 50Hz. The problem is that once people have bought appliances that use one frequency, it is difficult for a country to switch to a different frequency.
Why does India use 50Hz frequency?
Q. Why does India use 50Hz frequency?
A. Indian followed many European countries when they changed from 60Hz to 50Hz. Unfortunately, 50Hz is not as effective as 60Hz.
Using a microwave oven
Q. Is a microwave oven affected by changing from 110V to 220V? Does 60Hz to 50Hz make any difference?
A. For a 100V microwave oven, you need a transformer to operate at 220V. The microwave may even have a 110-220 switch on the back. The difference between 50-60Hz should not cause any problems.
How do I use a US home theater system in India?
Q. I want to use a US 120V AC 60Hz home theater system in India?
A. What do I need to get the system to work in India which has 230 V AC 50 Hz? A. Check to see if you home theater system has a switch at the back to convert from 120V to 220V (many home theater systems do). If the system doesn't have a switch, check with the manufacturer to determine which adapter will work with their unit.
Using 230V equipment from the UK in the US.
Q. Will 230V 40A equipment purchased in the UK work in the US with some kind of converter?
A. Commercial transformers are available that can easily convert from 230V to 110V. The biggest problem is the UK uses 50Hz, which is slower than the US 60Hz. If the equipment uses a timer or clock, it may run slower.
Using a European appliances transformer.
Q. Will a 110V 60Hz appliance work normally with a 50-60Hz European transformer?
A. Most devices will work fine if the transformer converts from 220V to 110V. If the transformer also changes the frequency from 50Hz to 60Hz, that is even better.
Dual voltage 110/240V hair dryer.
Q. Will a dual voltage 110/240V hair dryer work in Switzerland where the voltage is 230V?
A. Most voltages vary by over 10 volts from what is stated. 110V varies between 100 and 120. 240V varies between 230 and 250. So the hairdryer should work fine at the 240V setting.
What do I need for a 120V charger in a 240V country?
Q. I have a walkie-talkie charger with a 120V input. What do I need if I am in a 240V country?
A. The 120V charger will need a step-down transformer.
Does conversion from 110V to 220V waste energy?
Q. Does converting from 110V to 220V waste energy and increase electricity bills?
A. The conversion process with a transformer, converter or power rectifier does lose energy, which is evident by the converting device heating up. It is always best to use the appliance made for a country's electrical system. But in some cases, conversion is necessary for short-term solutions.
How do I choose the right transformer?
Q. How do I choose the right transformer?
A. A label describing the power requirements can be found on the back of your appliance. The label will state the Wattage (W) or the Amperage (A) of the appliance. It is then matter of selecting a voltage transformer / converter is rated higher than what is stated on your device. Some motor based devices may need additional power to start up, which is known as "surge". If this is the case, you will need to add an extra 20% to the power requirements of your device.
What kind of converter do I need for a TV or Monitor?
Q. What kind of converter do I need for a TV or Monitor?
A. When connecting a television to a converter, the converter must be more powerful that what is shown on the label on the back of the television. This is because the television creates a surge when it is switched on.
Can I connect an American 220V dryer or other 220V American products to a transformer?
Q. Can I connect an American 220V dryer or other 220V American products to a transformer?
A. No. An American 220V dryer or other 220V American appliance to a transformer because voltage transformers are made to convert single phase 110 or 220V. American 220V consists of 2 phase of 110V and European 220V consists of 1 phase of 200V.
How to calculate the Wattage of an appliance?
Q. How to calculate the Wattage of an appliance?
A. The wattage can be calculated using the formula: Amps (A) * voltage (V) = Watts (W)
For example: 3 Amps * 220 volt = 660 watts
3 Amps * 110 volt = 330 watts
Can I use several appliances on the same transformer?
Q. Can I use several appliances on the same transformer?
A. Yes, provided the total wattage of the appliances do not exceed the capacity of the voltage converter. It is advisable to also have a surge protector.
What is the difference between a voltage converter and a voltage regulator?
Q. What is the difference between a voltage converter and a voltage regulator?
A. A voltage regulator performs as a voltage converter and a voltage stabilizer. A voltage stabilizer stabilizes the electricity to a fixed current and is useful in countries where the voltage is not steady.
Do voltage converters convert the frequency (Hz)?
Q. Do voltage converters convert the frequency (Hz)?
A. Voltage converters only convert the voltage and not the frequency. US 110V electricity is generated at 60Hz AC. Many others countries have 240V electricity generated at 50Hz AC. The frequency difference between 60 to 50Hz may cause the motor in a 60Hz appliance to operate slightly slower when used at 50Hz. The frequency difference will also cause analogue clocks that use AC as the timing base to keep incorrect time. The majority of modern electronic equipment, including battery chargers, computers, printers, stereos, tape and CD players, VCR/DVD players, etc. will not be affected by the difference in frequency.
Can I plug several appliances into a single transformer?
Q. Can I plug several appliances into a single transformer?
A. Yes, several appliances cam be plugged into a single transformer using a power strip if and only if the combined wattage rating of all products is less than the capacity of the transformer. However, don't plug multiple products into a small travel converter.
Is there a difference between a plug adaptor and a voltage converter/transformer?
Q. Is there a difference between a plug adaptor and a voltage converter/transformer?
A. A plug adapter does not change the voltage of the electricity supply. If the device is dual voltage, you can plug it into foreign outlets by using a plug adapter. A voltage converter/transformer actually changes the voltage from the supply level voltage to the value used by the device. They allow you to use single voltage appliances in foreign countries where the supply voltage is different to the voltage which the device was designed for.
What does the term voltage converter or voltage transformer mean?
Q. What does the term voltage converter or voltage transformer mean?
A. Generally speaking, the terms voltage converter and voltage transformer are used to describe devices which convert electricity from one voltage to another. North America and some other countries operate on 110/120V AC 60 Hz. Whilst most of the world operates on 220/240V AC 50 Hz. Voltage Converters change the electricity to make work electrical appliances in different countries.
What does a step-up or step-down transformer mean?
Q. What does a step-up or step-down transformer mean?
A. A step-up transformer is used to convert electricity from 110/120V AC to 220/240V AC. A step-down transformer is used to convert electricity from 220/240V AC to 110/120V AC.
How do I calculate how many watts voltage transformer I need?
Q. How do I calculate how many watts voltage transformer I need?
A. The first step is to find out the wattage of the appliance. This number is usually on a label found on the back or bottom of the appliance or in the appliance instruction book. If only the Amperage (Amps) is shown, the following equation can be used to calculate the watts: Watts (W) = Volts (V) x Amperage (A)
So, for a 110V input power supply and an appliance operating at 0.5 Amps, the watts are:
Watts = 110 x 0.5 = 55W
Can I use several devices with one voltage transformer?
Q. Can I use several devices with one voltage transformer?
A. Yes, as long as the total wattage of all the devices does not exceed the wattage capacity of the voltage transformer. Also, be aware that supply voltage can fluctuate and therefore, to avoid damage to your appliances you should not exceed 80% of the wattage capacity of the voltage converter.
I have brought some electrical appliances from overseas, will they work in the US?
Q. I have brought some electrical appliances from overseas, will they work in the US?
A. Yes, you need a step-up/step-down voltage transformer according to the wattage rating of your appliance. Consider buying a higher wattage transformer than the wattage rating of your appliance. Remember that voltage transformers do not convert frequency (60Hz versus 50Hz) and some cycle sensitive appliances like microwave ovens, stereo turn tables and analog clocks may not operate properly. However, most modern electronic equipment like computers, printers and stereo music systems are not affected by the different frequency.