Voltage converters, also referred to as power converters or voltage transformers, are electric power converting devices. They are used to change the electrical output of a power source and are used for electronic devices, appliances or power tools that were built for a specific voltage. A voltage transformer can change the voltage from 220 volts to 110 volts or 110 volts up to 220 volts so that the appliances can be used by changing the voltage according to their requirements. Voltage converters are usually needed when travelling abroad and you need to bring electronic devices with you.
There are two types of voltage converters, called step down or step up. Step down converters are used to step down the voltage from 220, 230 or 240 volts to 110 so that you can use 110 volt appliances. Step up converter do the opposite – they step-up the voltage from 110 to 220 volts. However, all step up converters can also step down the voltage, meaning they can be used both ways. These types of converters are commonly known as 2-way converters.
When deciding on which type of converter to get, the first thing you need to know is for what type of appliances you intend to use it on and the number of watts they use. How high should the voltage of the converter be is defined by the wattage. It is best to use a voltage transformer that has a wattage 2 to 3 times higher than your appliances. Some appliances such as TVs, laser printers, motors and power tools require a converter 2 to 3 times the watts that the appliance is rated for and this is due to the fact that they require a greater surge of power when you’re turning them on.
To find out what wattage your electronic devices or appliances require, you just have to look at the label which is usually located on the back or the bottom of the device. You can find this information on the specification section of the appliance owner’s manual. After that, you will know the correct model of voltage converter or heavy duty transformer you need to get. When looking for watts requirement on the label, you may find them specified as W, however if you cant find watts or W on the label, you may be able to find amps or A which can be converted into watts by multiplying the required voltage using the amps: volts x amps = watts ex. 110V x 1.5A = 165W.