Power converters USA to New Zealand

Old Oct 4th, 2023, 10:24 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2022
Posts: 54
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Power converters USA to New Zealand

Can any Americans here share your experience with what is needed to convert power for simple electronics such as iPhone, Lenovo Think Pad, hair styling tools? I understand that New Zealand operates at 230/240 volts, which is about double the power of the American system. I am bringing a power converter with me and some adapters. But anectodally speaking, what electronics need power conversion and which ones can simply be plugged in with an adaptor? Thanks for sharing your experience.
magsrose is offline  
Old Oct 5th, 2023, 02:13 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,847
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Donít bring a power converter, it will fry your iPhone! Most portable electronic devices these day are multivoltage, designed to work with 100-240 V ~ 50/60 Hz. Why would you use a power converter when the device is already meant for 230/240 V electricity? I bought my latest IPhone in the USA when back on a family visit and use it in the UK, which also has 230/240 V electricity, where I now live. All I need is a plug adapter to plug it directly into the wall sockets.

Look at the info printed in small letters near the plug on every electrical device (you may need a magnifying glass or the magnifier in your iPhone) and if it says 100-240V ~ 50/60Hz it will work in NZ with just a plug adapter.

Some hair styling devices are dual voltage, meaning there is a switch to change them from 120 to 240 V electricity. If not, it would be better to leave them at home and buy a suitable device in NZ.

If you are interested, there is a very good website written by an American for travellers to Europe, which would also apply to AUS and NZ electricity. It explains why the output of power converters is unsuitable for anything with an electronic chip.

Electric Converters for Europe. Should I use an electric converter in Europe?
Heimdall is offline  
Old Oct 5th, 2023, 03:02 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,847
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Let me add, most hotels and AirBnBs have hair dryers for their guests because they don’t want you to use power converters. They probably won’t have hair straighteners or curling tongs, but if you really need them they aren’t all that expensive to buy locally, and you can use them on future trips to Europe, Asia and Africa. Most countries in the world, apart from the Americas, have 230-240 V electricity.

Have a look at the link in my previous post, which is written in language easy for non-techies to understand, and has some stories of mishaps, including some from the author himself.
Heimdall is offline  
Old Oct 5th, 2023, 08:56 PM
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2022
Posts: 54
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Heimdall Thank you! This has been really helpful. Every electronic I've checked so far has the 100-240V 50-/60HZ so I'm going to be ok with my adapters. I was given some incorrect information by someone who is adamant that I need a power converter and even found one for me on Amazon. There is also a lot of conflicting info out there on the internet! The webpage you shared helped me understand it better. And you are right, as much as I love my hair dryer here in the states, I will not be bringing it with me to NZ. Too heavy, too risky. I'll use the hotel hair dryer, even if it makes me frizzy no biggie.
magsrose is offline  
Old Oct 6th, 2023, 01:17 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,847
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Happy I could help! In my US Air Force days one of my jobs was to help newcomers to USAF bases in England, which also has 230V 50Hz electricity, and that was one of those things I briefed them. To operate 110V American appliances we use proper transformers that are far too heavy to pack in a suitcase. I have a 1000 watt transformer that weighs about 8kg/18lbs, and that wattage isnít even enough to run an average hair dryer.

If you really want to bring a hair dryer with you, look in a travel shop or Amazon for a dual voltage dryer. You can maybe order one at the same time you are ordering a Type M plug adapter. Some sources say you need a Type N, but if you have a Type M it will work everywhere.

A couple of my own stories:

1. The PCs that we use on bases in Europe are dual voltage, and have switches at the back to change them from 110 to 230. I worked in a room that had both voltages, and some of the sockets were US 110V. We sent a computer set at 110V back to the repair shop for maintenance, and the technician forgot to check the setting. When he plugged the computer into a 230V socket he fried the computer.

2. As an experiment at home, I plugged a cheap 110V window fan into one of those travel power converters you were told you needed for SA. After a few minutes it began running roughly, so I unplugged it and threw the power converter into the trash can.
Heimdall is offline  
Old Oct 6th, 2023, 01:27 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,847
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Magsrose, my latest reply has been held up for review by the moderators, and I just realised I made a mistake on the type of plug adapters. When it finally appears it will be too late to edit. I was thinking of South Africa where I also travel, and there they use Type M and N adapters. For NZ you will need a Type I. Sorry for the mistake.

Another website I find very useful is:

https://www.worldstandards.eu/electr...ge-by-country/
Heimdall is offline  
Old Oct 6th, 2023, 02:20 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 24,414
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I would recommend buying a multipack of adaptors, just in case one stops working. There are a few types with multiple outputs which can be handy if you are staying in older places that have only a few free power points.

Also try to find the smallest one, often there is limited space.

PS agree, leave the hair implements at home.
mlgb is offline  
Old Oct 7th, 2023, 12:55 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,847
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I agree having only one adapter is risky, more because you might accidentally leave it behind when changing hotels. They are simple devices, so are unlikely to break unless you have one of those universal adapters (not recommended) that is supposedly able to be used anywhere in the world. A simple US to NZ/AUS adapter is less bulky and much cheaper to buy. They should be available in NZ shops if you need to buy another.

If you have multiple devices that need to be charged you can bring a US power strip to charge them at the same time, which will need only one adapter. Chargers for phones, cameras, laptops etc don’t draw much current, so there is little risk of overloading unless you plug something in with a high wattage, eg heating devices such as travel irons.

Last edited by Heimdall; Oct 7th, 2023 at 12:59 AM.
Heimdall is offline  
Old Oct 7th, 2023, 07:32 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 24,414
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Well my combination of camera battery/after market charger/ and adapter fried. The battery was still okay (recharged later with the OEM model) It may have been the charger that shorted or the adapter. I haven't tried to charge a battery with the likely fried aftermarket charger, since I now have a new camera.
mlgb is offline  
Old Oct 8th, 2023, 02:11 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,847
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Mlgb, that was bad luck! Could you identify the cause of the problem? Couldíve been either the adapter or the after market charger. I always use OEM chargers and cables whenever possible, especially with expensive devices such as iPhones. I would also be leery of multipacks of adapter plugs, thinking they would likely be of poor quality.

I just found in my cupboard at home the plug adapter I bought for Australia, which held up well on two trips to that country. The manufacturer is Korjo, an Australian company, so I must have bought it in AUS. The adapter would also work in NZ.

I see the moderators have finally released my post which was held up for moderation, and it appears as #5 in this thread. May I remind everyone of the mistake I made but couldnít edit. The plug adapters for NZ should be Type I.
Heimdall is offline  
Old Oct 8th, 2023, 10:56 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 24,414
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Heimdall, I did not want to test the fates while still in NZ and possibly fry a second battery or adapter. The adapters were made in China, and I agree they could have had manufacturing flaws. I had that issue with South Africa, none ot the ones I bought in advance worked. Fortunately a BnB where I was staying had a spare.

The aftermarket charger is more compact than the OEM and works well for travel since it can also plug into a car charger.

Now that I have a new camera maybe I will test the aftermarket (Wasabi) charger, directly plugged into a US socket. The one I have for a Nikon Coolpix still works fine.

The Olympus OEM charger was hugely bulky including the cord. I have multiples of them, including one that I miraculously found in Lima Peru. On my first day there I realized that it was not in my luggage. It had slipped behind couch cushions during final packing although I blamed TSA. The vendor and I virtually high-fiving it on the sale.

Last edited by mlgb; Oct 8th, 2023 at 11:00 AM.
mlgb is offline  
Old Oct 10th, 2023, 05:15 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 29,698
Received 19 Likes on 8 Posts
Hi, great replies as far as skipping the power converter.

If by chance you do need another adapter while you're in-country, there's a chain of DIY hardware stores (similar to Home Depot or Lowes) called Bunnings that stock US and EU to AUS/NZ adapters for tourists. Looks like the stores closest to the Auckland, Christchurch and Queenstown CBDs (downtown areas) all keep them in stock for $7.63 NZD. Most other locations probably will as well.

https://www.bunnings.co.nz/jackson-i...ia-nz_p0162037

Choose a store closest to where you are at the time and the website will tell you if it's in stock and the aisle and bin number where you can find it. Otherwise, you can order click and collect (4 hours notice)
CounterClifton is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
madpie
Africa & the Middle East
8
Sep 8th, 2008 07:34 PM
laughternlife
Africa & the Middle East
7
Aug 2nd, 2008 02:08 PM
CptDondo
Europe
8
Jun 2nd, 2008 06:11 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -