Sunday, September 11, 2011

Electrical Plug/Outlet and Voltage Information

Purchasing minor electric devices here on the island can be pricey and might not be up to standard in quality, but if you end up going with Grenadian products, you won't have to worry about all this transformer and adapter business.  On top of that, if you take good care of your devices, you will more than likely be able to sell it back to new incoming students and get most of your money back.  For those of you who insist on bringing your incompatible devices to Grenada, keep reading below hhahaha.

1. North America Voltage: 110-120V  vs. Grenadian Voltage 220V-240V. you may need to purchase a transformer along with an adapter, depending on the voltage of your electronic device.

*Some buildings on the true blue campus have several outlets providing 110 and 220V (I've been told by some significant others that transformers are needed for married housing) .  If you're planing on living off campus, you will more than likely be needing a transformer.  Check your appliance's watt specification and purchase the appropriate transformer.  Should you have any questions, ask for help from a salesperson at any hardware store.  They should be able to break it down easy for you.

2. For people who live off campus:  The shape of Grenadian outlets are "Type G"- The Type G electrical plug is a British three-pin rectangular blade plug that has a protective fuse inside to protect cords from high-current circuits. Type G outlets generally include safety switches.  Because of the difference of shape, you will need to purchase an adapter.
a typical Grenadian outlet- off campus
3.  Check each of your electronic devices for their specifications with voltage. Generally, laptops, cell phone adapters, and camera adapters and switchable between 110-120V and 220-240V, but there's always exceptions so double check the back of your devices and/or manuals.  If they are switchable between both voltage brackets, then what you'll be needing is an adapter. If they happen to not be switchable between the two, then you will need to purchase a transformer + adapter.  Also, to protect your devices from surges in electricity, always use a surge protector.  

* If you want to purchase a transformer and/or adapter in the US, you can do so at Radio Shack. Just tell them the voltage and shape of the Grenadian outlets and they will guide you to the right products. 
*If you want to purchase a transformer and adapter here in Grenada, visit the hardware store right next to IGA or at Hubbard's right across the street of Scotia Bank in the shopping center.

*This website has useful adapter information and supplies voltage information for common appliances. (you can find this information by scrolling down and clicking the "FAQs" tab .  I copied a few items from their website and posted it right below just to give you an idea).  They also have transformer information. Click on "using appliances abroad" tab.  
versatile adapter from radio shack
Rules of Thumb for Appliance Voltage Compatibility
It's important to understand that there's no such thing as a "standard" electrical input/output for electrical appliances. The information below is just a general guideline, and it may or may not be correct for your specific brand and model. The only way to know for your specific appliance is to check.

Laptop computer: Usually 100-240V, 50/60Hz, auto-switching. A travel plug adapter works just fine all by itself.

Desktop computer: Usually switchable between 110-120V and 220-240V via a small switch on the back of the computer, near the cooling fan. A travel plug adapter will work fine as long as the voltage switch is set to the proper position.

Cell phone: Usually comes with a charger that is 100-240V compatible, but that is by no means always the case. It's very important to check the charger. If it says "100-240V" then a plug adapter will work fine. If not, the easiest solution is probably to contact your cell phone provider and buy a new charger which is multi-voltage compatible, and attach the appropriate plug adapter to the multi-voltage charger.

* Transformer Information from SGU's website:
  1. Transformer-type devices, which are available in several sizes.
    1. Power-handling capacity is proportional to their size and weight.
    2. Used for radios, television sets, cassette recorders, calculators, computers, high-intensity desk lamps, etc.
    3. Transformer-type converters larger than about 50 watts are not readily available in the United States. They are available in Grenada, and at reasonable prices. For example, a 300 watt unit, which would satisfy most electronic and lighting needs, costs about $50 US A 1500 watt unit, which would power almost anything, including toasters and hair dryers, costs about $150 US
  2. Solid-state travel converter types, which are generally rated at very high power capacity.
    1. These devices are small and light for their rating, usually about 1600 watts for a unit that can fit in the palm of your hand.
    2. They are designed for use with high-wattage heating devices, such as coffee pots, and hot plates.
    3. NOT good for electronic equipment such as stereos or computers, motorized devices and fluorescent lights. These appliances might work well for a short time, but will eventually be irreparably damaged if used with this type of a converter. Such high-wattage devices require the transformer-type converters.

1 comment:

  1. In my opinion the best way how to deal with such problems is to buy adapter for all your equipment! There is only one problem - it is not always very easy to buy it! Can you tell me is there any otherw ays to buy such adapters? I know a lot of online stores, for instance this one is very good but I cam't find even something similar to it! I will be very thankful for any sharing!