|North American electrical appliances are
designed to operate using 110 – 125 volts AC (Alternating Current),
while appliances in most other countries operate using 220 – 250
volts AC. Additionally, the shape of electrical outlets differs
throughout the world. If you are traveling with an electrical
appliance, it is likely you will need an adapter, converter or
transformer, depending on the appliances you take.
Electric current alternates direction (AC) at
60Hz. (cycles per second) in North America, but at a slower 50Hz. in
many other parts of the world. There are even some areas with a
direct current (DC), which does not alternate at all. However,
converters and transformers are designed to operate in AC areas
The difference in cycles may cause your North
American appliance to operate slightly slower when used on 50Hz.
This cycle difference can also cause analog clocks and timing
devices to keep incorrect time. Most modern electronic equipment
such as battery chargers, computers and CD players will not be
affected by the difference in cycles. However, because converters
and transformers will not adjust cycles, it is very important to
check each product’s specifications and requirements before using
them, or contact the manufacturer if in doubt.
You must also determine
the voltage and wattage ratings of your appliances in order to
select the appropriate converter, transformer and/or adapter plug
required. This information is usually listed on the appliance
manufacturer’s label located on the back or bottom of the appliance,
or in the product specifications section of the instruction manual.
The label or manual will show the following items: voltage, wattage,
or amperage. If only the amperage rating is shown, simply multiply
the voltage by the amperage to find the appliance’s wattage rating.
Volts x Amps = Watts (i.e. 120V x .5A = 60W)
NOTE: If your appliance is dual-voltage (110V/240V), it will NOT
require a converter or transformer for use overseas, though you may
need an adapter plug.
Electric vs. Electronic
It is critical to know if the appliances you
intend to use are electric or electronic. This will determine if you
need a converter, transformer, or in some instances, both.
operate with simple heating elements or motors (hot pots, travel
irons, hair dryers, heating pads, etc.). These appliances may be
used with either a converter or a transformer of the appropriate
wattage range for short periods of time, less than 1 hour.
operate with electronic motors, circuits or chips (computers,
clocks, radios, battery chargers, appliances equipped with timers or
automatic shut-off devices). These appliances should be used ONLY
with a transformer of the appropriate wattage range for short
periods of time, less than three hours.
NOTE: Computers are typically dual-voltage and
do not usually require a transformer – always check the
manufacturer’s specifications first.
European Shaver Sockets
IMPORTANT: The 220-240VAC electrical outlets
found in the bathrooms of many foreign countries are designed for
use ONLY with low wattage appliances rated 5 – 10 watts maximum,
such as electric shavers, contact lens disinfectors, etc. Using a
hair dryer or other high wattage appliance on this outlet can blow
the circuit breaker and may damage both the converter and appliance.
Converters are for use with single volt
Electric appliances ONLY, and should NEVER be used with Electronic
or Dual-Voltage appliances. Converters should be used for short
periods of time, less than one hour. Lewis N. Clark offers three
types of converters for use in countries operating on 220V:
- High Wattage
(#E110): For use with 110V electric appliances rated 50 – 2000
watts. Also sold as a kit including four international adapter
- Dual Wattage
(#E111): Operates as a transformer on the low setting for use
with 110V electric or electronic appliances rated 0 – 50 watts.
Operates as a converter on the high setting for use with 110V
electric appliances ONLY rated 50 – 2000 watts. Also sold as a
kit including four international adapter plugs (#EK121).
Transformers are for use with single volt
Electric or Electronic appliances, and should be used for short
periods of time, less than three hours. Lewis N. Clark offers two
types of transformers:
- Step Down
(#E109): For use with 110V electric or electronic appliances
rated 0 – 50 watts in countries operating on 220V.
- Step Up
(#FR22): For use with 220V electric or electronic appliances
rated 0 – 50 watts in countries operating on 110V.
Note of Caution
Lewis N. Clark converters and transformers are
designed to operate with small personal appliances for short periods
of time. They should never be used continuously, and never used with
medical or industrial equipment.
do not convert electricity. They simply allow a appliance plug to
fit into an outlet with a different plug configuration. Adapter
plugs may be used with converters, transformers or dual-voltage
appliances. Lewis N. Clark offers three types of adapter
(#E105, E106, E107, E108, EK58): These adapters are the most
commonly used configurations throughout the world, and can
accept 2-pin round or flat blades.
(#EK129, VF6, VR8): These adapters feature a universal
receptacle that accept any appliance’s plug configuration.
#EK129 is an all-in-one design with four plug configurations for
(#VG3, VG10, VG12): These adapters are country-specific, feature
a universal receptacle, and are also grounded for use with
Note: This is a general guide to electrical
requirements around the world. Always read the rating specifications
on your appliances to determine your exact needs.
Operate with simple heating devices (hot pots, travel irons, hair
dryers, heating pads, etc.). These appliances may be used with
either a converter or a transformer of the appropriate wattage
with electronic motors, circuits or chips (computers, printers,
clocks, radios, battery chargers). These appliances should be used
ONLY with a transformer of the appropriate wattage range.
(NOTE: Laptops are
typically dual-voltage and do not usually require a transformer –
always check first.)
of energy a product consumes. All appliances have wattage ratings.
If there is no wattage specified, multiply Volts by Amps. The
resulting number is the appliance’s wattage.
The pressure at which electricity is delivered to a circuit.
which changes 220V current to 110V, so that 110V appliances may be
used in areas with 220V current.
Process which changes 110v
current to 220v, so that 220v appliances can be used in areas with
The speed at which
electric currents alternate (Hz).