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» Voltage Converters: What You Should Know
Voltage Converters: What You Should Know
If you're think you're set for your overseas summer vacation, you should double check your list to see if you've taken into consideration the fact that different countries have different rules about electricity distribution for lighting and electrical sockets. There may be differences in frequency of alternating current transmitted to the user, voltage, and types of wall sockets. Some larger regions (like Western Europe and most of North America) use common standards. As an example, here are some regional variations in voltage systems:
UK and Western Europe: 230V, 50Hz
United States and Canada: 120V, 60Hz
Mexico: 127V, 60Hz
Russia, China: 220V, 50Hz
Australia: 230V, 50Hz
Many African countries: 220V, 50 Hz (230V, 50 Hz is next most common in Africa)
If your travels will take you to a country that uses a voltage system other than your home country, you'll need to pack a voltage converter (also called a voltage transformer) if you want to take electric razor or blow dryer with you. Keep in mind that electrical socket configurations may also differ, so you'll have to choose a converter that has the proper plug configuration.
Safety is always a concern when it comes to electricity. To be safe when using electrical appliances in countries with different voltage systems, you should make sure you use a magnetic ballast transformer and only use it with low-power devices. The converter or transformer you choose should be able to handle at least 30% more wattage than the highest-wattage appliance you plan to use. It's better still to choose a transformer that can handle twice the wattage of the highest wattage appliance you want to use. Carefully monitor the device and converter in case it overheats. Neither the appliance nor the converter should be hot to the touch. Keep a wooden or plastic clothes hanger (with no metal on it) handy for switching the wall socket off or pulling the transformer out if it overheats. Most of all, never leave your voltage converter plugged in unattended.
Using the Wrong Voltage Converter
The dangers of using the wrong voltage converter are greater than simple overheating. If you try using a converter that can't handle the wattage of the electrical device you want to use, you could damage or destroy your favorite phone charger or hair dryer. Worse, you could start a fire. You may wish to consider buying small appliances - like a hair dryer - at your destination, just to be on the safe side.
Buying Voltage Transformers Online
To convert your 110- to 220- volt consumer electronics, it's easy to buy voltage transformers online. Online retailers specializing in these devices generally have extensive product lines so that you can get the exact voltage converter for your needs. Many online sources also have tools to help you determine which converter is the right one for your appliances and for the region to which you plan to travel. If you plan to travel to several regions with different voltage systems, step up and down voltage converter transformers are designed to cope with several different voltage systems and are a worthwhile investment.
Article Source: Articles For Knowledge Sharing
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Chris Robertson is an author of Majon International, one of the world's MOST popular internet marketing
companies on the web.
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Date: Sat, 19 May 2012 -
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