SNWaboutElectricty

This section will cover the various questions that arise from customers preparing for travel.

The Basics

There are three different things to remember when traveling abroad:
1. The Electrical Current that a country runs on. For example, N/S America run on 110v whereas the majority of foreign countries run on 220v.
2. The Electrical Outlets will be different in many countries from those in N/S America.
3. For those requiring a modem the telephone jacks may be different worldwide.

110v Appliances
When traveling abroad these appliances will require a transformer or a converter. They will also need the appropriate adapter for the country.

Dual Voltage Appliances (110v- 250v)
These appliances do not require a transformer or converter. All that is required is the correct adapter plug

Adapter Plugs
There are two types of adapter plugs:
1. Polarized Plugs – These will accept two pin non grounded plugs (N/S America, Australia/ New Zealand or Europe)
2. Grounded Plugs – these will accept the majority of plugs worldwide two pin or three pin. The only one that does not fit is the South African plug.

*Note – Adapter Plugs DO NOT convert electricity, they merely make the connection.

Converters
A converter is designed to be used ONLY with electric appliances such as hair dryers, immersion heaters and irons. Converters should only be used for a short period of time, a maximum of three hours.

Transformers
A Transformer is designed to be used with both electric and electronic appliances. Transformers can only be used continuously at 80% of their capacity.

Teleplugs
N/S Americas telephone jack is known as RJ11. In order to use a modem overseas a teleplug may be required to make the connection.

 

Adapters

If you are travelling with anything that runs on electricity then you will need to pack an adapter plug and possibly a converter or transformer. Depending on the country, wall outlets can be recessed, designed for three prongs or accept only rounded pins making appliances with the standard North American flat, 2-pin and 3-pin plugs impossible to use without an adapter plug.

Austin House carries two styles of adapter plugs. The first accepts 2-pin polarized appliances such as hair dryers, shavers and 2-pin converters and transformers. The second style is the grounded adapter plug that will accept 2- and 3-pin grounded, polarized appliances and transformers. We recommend that travellers with computers, stereos, power tools and other high wattage appliances with a grounded pin use the grounded adapter plugs. Both types of adapter plugs are available for almost every country in the world. See the country list at the end of this guide for the 2- and 3-pin adapter plugs required in the country of your destination.

Polarized
There are 5 polarized plugs: Great Britain (A), South Africa (B), Asia/Middle East (C), Europe (D), 2-in-1 Australia & N/S America (E/F). Sold separately or in kits. The South African plug is only available in the kits.

Grounded Plugs
There are 10 grounded plugs: Great Britain (H), Europe (I), Australia/New Zealand (J), N/S America (K), South Africa (L), Asia Continent (M), Italy (N), Switzerland (P), Israel (Q), Denmark (R). These are only sold separately.

Grounded Adapter Plugs
These adapter plugs accept 3-pin grounded appliances.

  • 1039206F (H) Great Britain Grounded
  • 1039207F (I) Europe Grounded (except Italy and Switzerland)
  • 1039208F (J) Australia/New Zealand Grounded
  • 1039209F (K) North America Grounded
  • 1039210F (L) South Africa/India Grounded
  • 1039211F Asia, Middle East, Africa, Central & S. America, Caribbean
  • 1039212F (R) Denmark Grounded; 1039214F (N) Italy Grounded
  • 1039213F (Q) Israel Grounded; 1039515F (P) Switzerland Grounded

These plugs do not convert electricity.

*Adapters do not convert electricity; they are for use with converters, transformers or dual voltage appliances

Converters

26-1875watt
Basically this is the Hi part of the Hi Lo Converter – it will work with appliances such as a hairdryer, clothes steamers, irons etc. Do not recommend this converter with anything electronic/digital or that needs to be plugged in for a long period of time, for example, a computer.

Dual Converter 0-25 – 26-1875 (HI-LO)
This converter is the most popular – it is designed to work with any electrical appliances that are used for a short period of time. The converter has to be set depending on the wattage of the appliance being used, for example, an electric Shaver that is only 5 watts will use the low setting where as a hair dryer at 1600 watts has to be on the Hi setting. This converter is not recommended for electronic items, although some battery chargers that are minimal wattage can be used with it for a maximum of 3 hours – always inform the customer to check the converter to ensure that it is not over heating.

Auto HI LO
This has the same properties as the Dual converter, the only difference being that it will recognize the setting that the appliance should be used at and will adapt automatically

* It is important to remember that Converters are made for smaller items that are used for a short time. Always inform the customer that they have to ensure that that the converter is set appropriately before plugging it into the wall. They all have the European plug on them. These converters are also available in Kits that come with 5 adapters.

Example:
Question “I am going to England, and I would like to take my hair dryer with me. What would I need?

Ask the customer if the hair dryer is dual voltage. If it is ONLY 110v, you recommend that they take the Hi Lo converter. It must be on the Hi setting and they need the adapter plug for Britain.

Transformers

1-50 watt Transformer
This Transformer is similar to the low part of the Hi Lo converter. It is designed for products to work overseas that are under 50 watts and it can only be used for a maximum of three hours. This transformer can be used for items such as an electric shaver or a battery charger providing that it does not need to be plugged in for a long period of time.

1-100 to 1-1500 watt Transformer
These transformers are designed for electronic items – these being products that have a chip or a circuit, such as radios, camcorders or computers. They can run continuously at 80% of their capacity. This is a safety mechanism that ensures that a product will continue to work if there is a power surge, therefore if you have a 1-500 watt transformer, it can only be used continuously with an appliance up to 400 watts.

*These Transformers all have the Great Britain Plug on them.

Example:
Customer: I am going to England and I need to take my laptop with me, do I need to take anything for it to work?

You need to ask the customer if the laptop is dual voltage – this will show as A/C Input – 110/250 or something similar. If it is ONLY 110v you need to find out the wattage of the computer.

Customer, “It is only 110v, and it says 53w.”

Answer: You will need to take a 1-100watt transformer with you.

* NEVER PROVIDE A CUSTOMER WITH INFORMATION FOR TAKING MEDICAL EQUIPMENT OVERSEAS. REFER THEM TO THEIR DOCTOR OR THE MANUFACTURER OF THE MACHINE.

Converters and Transformers

26-1875watt Converter
A 26-1875 watt step down converter for 110v electric appliances between 26 and 1875 watts. Accepts 2-pin, polarized appliances. Replaceable fuse prevents damage to appliances in a power surge.

Hi Lo Converter
A dual circuit converter for 110v electric appliances between 26 and 1875 watts (HI side) and electronic appliances between 0 and 25 watts (LO side). Accepts 2-pin, polarized appliances. Safety cut-off switch and auto re-start prevents damage to appliances in a power surge.

Electrikit
This kit comes with a 26-1875 watt converter with 4 adapters (Gt. Britain, Europe, and the 2-in-1 Australia/N. America) for worldwide travel.

Hi Lo Converter Kit
This kit contains a dual circuit converter with 5 adapters (Gt. Britain, India, Europe, and the 2-in-1 (Australia/N. America)) for worldwide travel. Converter and adapters come in a soft pouch.

1-50 watt Transformer
Step down mini-transformer for ANY 110v appliance (electric or electronic) between 1 and 50 watts. Accepts 2-pin, polarized appliances. Safety cut-off switch and auto re-start prevents damage to appliances in a power surge.

1-100 watt Transformer
Transformer steps down ANY 110v appliance between 1 and 100 watts. Recommended for use with computer battery rechargers, laptops and radios. Will accept 2-pin, polarized and 3-pin grounded appliances. Fuse protected with power switch and "LED" red light indicating power source. Cord has grounded U.K. plug so that ground is continued through to outlet when using grounded adapter plugs.

Larger Transformers
These transformers are available in 1-200 watt, 1-500 watt, 1-1000 watt and 1-1500 watt models. They step down ANY 110v appliance between 1 and their upper watts limit. Will accept 2-pin, polarized and 3-pin grounded appliances. Fuse protected with power switch and "LED" red light indicating power source. Cord has grounded U.K. plug so that ground is continued through to outlet when using grounded adapter plugs.

The 1-200 watt is recommended for use with blenders; answering machines and small fax machines.

The 1-500 watt is recommended for use with food processors, meat slicers and stereo systems.

The 1-1000 watt is for bread machines, vacuums and laser printers.

The 1-1500 watt is for use with microwave ovens, toaster ovens, and espresso machines.