It’s always a good idea to check the voltage requirements of a new appliance before buying it or plugging it into a socket. If it says that it runs on 220 volts, then that means you can only plug it into a 220-volt electrical outlet. American homes use 110 volts, but some houses have provisions for 220-volt appliances. You might be able to find a 220-volt outlet in your kitchen or laundry area.
But what if there isn’t any? Then you will need to convert your outlets or use a voltage converter. Before you do any of these, it’s important to understand what ‘220 volts’ means.
Different countries, different systems
You probably know by now that different countries use varying voltage systems. The US along with Micronesia, American Samoa, and a handful of other countries use 110 volts while most of the world uses 220 volts.
So, what is voltage?
Voltage is the measure of potential difference between two points in an electrical field. To understand this, just imagine a stream of water coming from a tank. The amount of water coming out is the electrical charge, the flowing water is the electrical current, and the water pressure is the voltage. The higher the voltage, the more current is produced.
How is 120V different from 220V? Joule’s Law explains the major difference between the two in the form of an equation: Power = Voltage x Current.
Power is therefore the one biggest difference between 220 volts and 110 volts. The equation shows that 220-volt appliances need twice the power required by 120-volt appliances. That means that you cannot simply plug a 220V appliance into a 110-volt electrical outlet. It won’t work. It won’t even start, especially if the appliance has heating elements. In fact, if you plug a 220-volt oven in a 120-volt outlet, it will only produce 1/4 of the heat it should produce.
In the same way, you can’t safely plug in a 110-volt appliance in a 220-volt outlet. The appliance will be fried and get damaged because it receives too much power.
Do you really need 220-volt appliances?
Not necessarily. Some everyday appliances will work fine on 120 volts. However, some large home appliances (such as those with large motors) need twice that power to run more efficiently. These include modern washing machines, dryers, air conditioners, electric stoves, and ovens.
About the Author:
Samstores.com is one the largest distributors of household Electronic Goods, we guarantee to offer you nothing but the best in quality of products and after sales service. We deal in 110 Volts and 220 Volts household appliances for North America and 220 Volts for Europe, Asia, Africa, South America and Australia and dual voltage goods for all over the world.