FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions about 220 Volt Appliances








Where can I buy American appliances built to work in Europe?

You can visit our directory to see listings of 220 Volt appliance dealers or visit our recommended dealer, here.

Why do I need a voltage converter and adaptor plugs?

Voltage converters are needed to allow your North American appliance to work in Europe and the rest of the world. North American 110 volt electricity is generated at 60hz. (Cycles) Alternating Current. Foreign 220 volt electricity is generated at 50Hz (Cycles) Alternating Current. This difference in cycles may cause the motor in your North American appliance to operate slower but it will not damage the appliance. Clocks and timing circuits also may keep incorrect time.

What appliances can I use with the converter?

You can use many appliances both large and small. However, some appliances come already built for the 220 volt 50hz PAL (Phase Alternation Line) system, this system has been adopted by almost all of the world's countries using the 50 hz (cycles) voltage. For example, 220 volt refrigerators, 220 volt air conditioners, 220 volt freezers, 220 volt ranges, 220 volt microwaves, 220 volt washers and dryers.

Are some appliances already dual voltage?

Yes. Most modern electronic equipment including battery chargers, computers, printers, stereos, tape and CD players, VCR's, etc. are built specifically for use across a wide range of power supplies such as 220 volts. However, you must still read the read all instructions and always check the appliance you plan to use for compatibility. Also, most common hair dryers, curling irons, steamer irons, regular irons, and beverage heaters can be found that will have a voltage selector switch. Multi-voltage appliances will not have the selector switch but will show the input voltage as 100-240V. Check the owner's manual or the appliance to determine the input voltage and wattage.

How do I check an appliance for compatibility?

You can find this information listed on the appliance manufacturer's label located on the back or bottom of the appliance or in the specifications section of the appliance owner's manual.

What about larger appliances?

If you are looking to operate electronic equipment or large appliances such as computers, kitchen appliances, medical equipment, power tools, stereo systems or any permanently installed electrical equipment then you must use a heavy duty transformer or purchase the appliance with a 110-220 volt transformer already installed. Larger appliances such as Kitchen appliances can be purchased pre built to work with the 220 volt system. Such as 220 volt washers and dryers, 220 volt refrigerators, 220 volt freezers, 220 volt air conditioners, 220 volt ranges, and 220 volt microwaves. Find many 110-220 volt appliances here: 110220volt.com.

How do I plug my appliance into a foreign socket?

Plug the adaptor plug into the voltage converter and then plug the other end of the adaptor plug into the foreign socket. If the appliance is dual voltage or multi voltage simply use the adaptor plug to plug the appliance into the foreign socket. 

I want to use my laptop while traveling what do I require?

Most laptops are multi-voltage and will operate on voltages ranging from 100-240 volts. Most would not require a voltage converter. You may need the appropriate adaptor plug to plug your laptop power supply into the foreign socket. You may also wish to use a surge protector for your laptop. (If you plan to use a surge protector you must use a grounded adaptor plug for the surge protector to operate properly)

In order to use your modem an International telephone adaptor may be required to adapt foreign phone connections to the RJ11 North American standard.

Caution: Digital Phone systems. Most modems are designed to operate with analog phone systems and can be damaged if connected to a Digital phone system. Always check to make sure you do not connect to a digital phone system.


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