Category : voltage converter

Have you bought a power tool or appliance from US and brought it to India ? Like me, were you tempted to plug it in at the first available opportunity ? Well, never do that. Never. In the best interest of your tool / electronics, you need to ensure they are readily suited for use under Indian Power conditions. If not, there are few things that you are expected to know and adhere to. First and foremost, understand the power requirements of the tool from the manual. 
Voltage and Wattage specification
Power requirements
And here are the questions you need to ask and understand before you can plug in that tool / appliance of yours.

1. The specification in the tool manual says 120v. Does it make my tool readily usable in India ?
No. The operating voltage in India is 240v. And since the tool requirement is only 120v, there is every bit chance that it might not work or go kaput if you directly plug it in.
2. How do I then use the tool here in India ?
Stepdown voltage transformers are available in your local electronics store, specifically for requirements like this. They help in converting the 240V power into 120v.
3. Is voltage the only parameter I need to look at ?
No. You need to look at the wattage specification as well. Your transformer wattage should necessarily be equal to or more than the value mentioned in the manual.
4. There is no watt mentioned in the manual. What do I do ?
Look for amps specification and as high school physics would have taught you, Watt = volt X amps. So in the above case, the wattage is 120 x 1.8 = 216 W. That means the transformer should support wattage greater than 216 W.
5. What is the cost of a step down transformer ?
The transformers for lower watt requirements are available as plug in adaptors and cost about Rs.300 to Rs.350. The one you see in the picture below (250W) costed me Rs.950 and looks like a mini stabilizer. So, anywhere between Rs.300 to Rs.1200 depending on your requirement.
Voltage transformer
240v to 120v step down transformer
This is basic physics that I didn't know and had trouble doing my research when I received a power tool as a gift. So hoping this post is of some help to someone with a new tool and the desire to DIY.

Have you used a tool or appliance in India, bought and brought from anywhere outside? Is there anything else that one needs to take care of  besides this ? Leave me your comment. Also, do let me know if you found this post useful.


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