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Totally confused by electrical converters - help!!

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Niagara-on-the-Lake...
Level Contributor
321 posts
153 reviews
Totally confused by electrical converters - help!!

Hopefully someone can help clear up the mystery for me since we're leaving for Capetown in a couple of weeks. I thought I was fine with the current converter we have (1600 watts) but am now reading that it might fry out my battery chargers and should only be used for high output appliances like hair dryers. Is this true? I've used it elsewhere and have to admit the battery was pretty warm by the time it was charged - and I've noticed a decrease in my battery life as well (don't know if it's related to this or not though). I've learned that we need a 3-prong, ROUND adapter and will purchase a couple of those but I'm baffled about the converter since I've also read conflicting reports that a 1600 watt converter won't hurt small appliances, you simply don't need the extra power and a 50 watt converter will do the job.

Thanks for any advice you have out there!

Birmingham, United...
Level Contributor
188 posts
45 reviews
1. Re: Totally confused by electrical converters - help!!

here now just using all my normal appliances with the south african adapters i havnt blown anything up yet

Niagara-on-the-Lake...
Level Contributor
321 posts
153 reviews
2. Re: Totally confused by electrical converters - help!!

Hmm, I wonder if that's because you're from the UK and have different appliances than we do in North America. It would be a lot easier if the whole world was on the same voltage. :o)

Freehold, New Jersey
Level Contributor
788 posts
37 reviews
3. Re: Totally confused by electrical converters - help!!

Rebecca, Bluewater is obviously on 110w as apposed to 240w

there are many different converters, generally a 1600w will work for a lower wattage appliance

you could test it on any 220w outlet you have at home (if you have)

my experience has been all over the map, i.ve had good ones that completely melted down and seemingly junk ones that worked for years. some are good just to charge a phone, others can run a hair drier

You should though check the back of the battery thing, its possible its a 110-240 universal power supply

Freehold, New Jersey
Level Contributor
788 posts
37 reviews
4. Re: Totally confused by electrical converters - help!!

as far as the SA plugs, there are two types 2 prong and three prong

the three prong you probably cant even get in Canada/USA amazon.com/Grounded-Adapter-Africa-Ireland-C… you can buy in any hardware store (and Chemist)

the two prong is fairly common

looks like this all4cellular.com/product/…

Washington DC...
Level Contributor
42 posts
42 reviews
5. Re: Totally confused by electrical converters - help!!

We recently returned from SA so hopefully this will shed some light. For battery chargers, ipad, electronics - look at the sticker on the side of each device. If it is rated for 110/220 then you only need an adapter to change the plug type. You do not need a transformer - that is only required for devices that are rated 110 only. Curling irons, some hair dryers, etc are only 110 and need a high wattage transformer.

I brought a 2 prong and 3 prong adapter. Our hotels had both types in the rooms so you didn't always have one in a location where you wanted to sit the device. I also had an issue with my 3 prong adapter. The prong were not quite far apart to fit in the socket. The hotel had an adapter they loaned me.

I have used the adapter only method all over the world. As long as your device is dual rated you won't have overheating problems.

Niagara-on-the-Lake...
Level Contributor
321 posts
153 reviews
6. Re: Totally confused by electrical converters - help!!

Thanks everyone! My two battery chargers are both 210-240V so I guess they'll be OK without a converter, just an adapter. I know it's hard to find that particular adapter - the one with the 3 round prongs - DaveSA. The only place I've found one so far is on Amazon and I was holding off ordering it until I figured out the answers to my questions. As far as my iPad goes, it's an iPad 4 and although I can't see any 110/220 rating anywhere, it appears that Apple products are good to go around the world as long as the right adapter is used. I think I'm now ready to move on to more exciting research than voltage - LOL! Thanks again all!!

St. John's, Canada
Destination Expert
for Newfoundland and Labrador
Level Contributor
1,295 posts
35 reviews
7. Re: Totally confused by electrical converters - help!!

As has already been suggested, you won't need a converter just an adapter. In most areas you will go to the one you will use will look like this:

…akamai.net/origin-cdn.volusion.com/jgw4p.pu…

These aren't special order in Canada, most travel stores will have them.

Niagara-on-the-Lake...
Level Contributor
321 posts
153 reviews
8. Re: Totally confused by electrical converters - help!!

Thanks Doggles10! Aaaahhh, Newfoundland - a place that's really high on our travel list as well.

St. John's, Canada
Destination Expert
for Newfoundland and Labrador
Level Contributor
1,295 posts
35 reviews
9. Re: Totally confused by electrical converters - help!!

Well as they say, "My Rock is your Rock":

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1QSZ_iexoY

Drop me a line when you make it this far east and I'll should you how we "do 'er up"!

Niagara-on-the-Lake...
Level Contributor
321 posts
153 reviews
10. Re: Totally confused by electrical converters - help!!

We'll definitely do that! Our neighbours up the road just did a 12-day drive through your province and loved it. The scenery is so beautiful in the youtube video you sent - would love to see the whales too. Thanks for sending that along - might have to move Nfld. even higher on the list!