Using Your Electronics Overseas
If you have ever traveled overseas, you will know that many times electronics require a different plug connections than they do in the United States. If you are planning to permanently move overseas, this fact may get lost in the shuffle as you are preparing for all the things that go along with an international relocation,. Make sure that you add it to the list, and follows these tips to make sure all of your electronics work as they should in your new home.
There are actually a lot of factors that play into your electronics being able to work in an international plug. While it is obvious that a lot of places use a different plug configuration than in the United States, you will also need to be aware of the voltage that each socket is putting out, so you can know that your appliances will work properly, or work at all.
If you are not familiar with electronics, chances are you are confused already. When you are talking about plug configuration, what you mean is the number and shape of the prongs that are required to plug an appliance into a wall socket. As you most likely know, in America every socket has two prong slots that are vertical and in a straight line. This is true for most of North America and in some places in the Caribbean and South America. Sometimes there is a third slot for a grounding prong that is required for some electronics. This is not usually available in the places mentioned above, and will require an adapter to operate. However, if you are planning on moving to a country in Europe, you will need a completely different adaptor as there plugs usually have two round slots or possibly even three round slots. Make sure you are aware of what you will need so you can get the right adaptors for your items.
How Voltage Can Affect Your Electronics
Another thing to consider is the voltage that international sockets put out. Normally appliances that are made within the United States work on 110 volts. However, a lot of foreign outlets produce 220 volts. Your appliance may have an adaptor switch to change from 110 to 220 and back again, in which case you will be fine. But if they do not, you will need a converter to avoid your appliances from burning out. Carrying a voltage meter with you and learning how to read it will go a long way toward making sure that you are finding the right converters and adaptors for your electronics.
Furthermore, there are two different types of converters. One is for items that require a lot of power such as hair dryers and clothing steamers. These are usually items that are designed to heat up to perform their task. The other converter is for items that need less power, usually items that are motorized. These include radios, laptops, and battery chargers. You should check to make sure that your items are heating correctly if they are supposed to, and are not overheating if they are not supposed to, so you know that you have the right converter on the right appliance. If you are still having trouble, make sure to find a person at the appliance store that is knowledgeable in this area that can show you exactly what you will need for all of your electronics.