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Step-down converters (220 V to 110 V)

Posted by jmroberts-180597 - Created: 14 years ago
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5 replies (Showing replies: 1 to 5)

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Posted by szozu - 14 years ago

Oops--I forgot to mention that there is a difference between transformers and converters. Converters are fine for appliances that you would use for a short period of time such as a hairdryer or a waterpick, otherwise you need a transformer.

Lana

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Posted by szozu - 14 years ago

As to computers, they have a switch on the back, while laptops generally "know" how many volts they are supposed to use and convert automatically. I have three transformers that I use here, some of them are hooked up to multiple appliances, but I carefully did the math before buying to insure that I would never overload.

The transformers I bought online from US sites have a switch that turns them off and on which is handy; they also contain a meter with a needle that allows you to see the level of energy being consumed.

Lana

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Posted by theresponsibleadult-188195 - 14 years ago

Black Cat's advice is correct, however, with many, many years of experience and untold numbers and types of American appliances being run in 220v/50hz countries around the world, I would definitely say to pay very close attention to the wattage amount. The Hz has usually been a non issue, but I 'cooked' a couple of transformers by running appliances which pulled too much wattage through them.

About the Hz: We did have to have a washing machine modified so that its cycles worked properly. Computer equipment, cassette tape players (portable and component), bread making machine and many other things with built in timers all were fine. The one bizarre exception I had was a telephone/alarm clock combination; one worked perfectly, but when I bought exactly the same item the following year model it lost 10 minutes every hour.

Also, beware, the transformers suck power even when the appliance(s) attached to them are not running.

 

**Mummy told me once too often that I wasn't setting a good example; now I just strive to be a terrible warning.**

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Posted by Black Cat-192495 - 14 years ago

Castorama sells 220v -&gt1; 110v transformers.2 potential problems:If you're running a lot of appliances off of one transformer you might overload it and burn it out. Look at the total wattage of everything that you intend to plug in to one converter and make sure the specs say that the converter can handle that load. You might have to buy several converters to share the load around.The transformer will convert voltage but not cycles (Hz). The US is on 60Hz and Europe is on 50Hz. This means that some things will turn 15% slower here. That probably doesn't matter for a hair dryer or a fan but it would probably matter for a record player (vinyl) or a cassette player which would play too slowly. I don't think it matters for computers because they convert to DC internally (not too sure on that so you'd better ask a specialist...).

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Posted by szozu - 14 years ago

Try one of those little neighbourhood electrical shops, though I would be surprised if they had much of a selection. If you want to order from the US, send me an e-mail and I will give you some websites where I have ordered stuff--however, I ordered mine BEFORE my move. :-)

I use them for my printer, PC speakers, juice extractor, food processor, Voronado fan and cordless power drill.

Lana