I have a number of electrical home appliances that are designed for

  • 100V, 50Hz
  • 120V, 60Hz
  • 230V, 50Hz

I have a converter 100V <=> 220V-240V (according to the description). My power outlet has (supposedly)

  • 110V-115V, 60Hz

and in other places

  • 220V, 60Hz.

What effects do I have to expect when I use my appliances (with or without converter, as appropriate), where the appliances are

  • (120V/60Hz) stand mixer (simple motor)
  • (100V/50Hz) rice polisher (turns for a pre-programmed number of times)
  • (100V/50Hz) rice cooker (with complex functions such as indicating time, calculating time remaining for a particular rice cooking program)
  • (120V/60Hz) mixer (variable speed)
  • (100V/50Hz) CD player
  • (230V/50Hz) printer

at the slightly different voltage?

Is it sensible to measure the voltage and frequency before using the appliances and, if so, what equipment do I need?


1 Answer 1


You can measure voltage and frequency with either a good-quality multimeter (e.g. a second-hand Fluke 77 on eBay

or a plug-in "Kill-a-Watt" type of meter.

Cheap $5-$50 new no-name Chinese-made multimeters are usually not really safe for use on 230V

Personally, I doubt a 10% difference in voltage will be critical for any of those devices apart from the Japanese 100V items, that could overheat. n.b. EU supply = 230V+/-10% US supply=120V+/-5% so running a nominal 100V device at 126V might be cause for concern.

Japan has a mix of 50HZ and 60Hz supplies so I'd expect Japanese made 100V appliances to be happy with either.

  • Thanks. I'm actually using appliances at 110-115V supply (Brazil), so I guess the difference is even less. What would a 100V <=> 220-240V converter give out at 115V?
    – Earthliŋ
    Commented Apr 29, 2013 at 13:14
  • @user1205935: It depends entirely on how well-made the converter is. I wouldn't be surprised if a cheap 100 V to 240 V converter gave out 15% higher output voltage (276 V) if the input is 15% higher. That's what a simple transformer would do. And a old European device designed for 220V +5% might fail at 276V (newer ones less likely). I'd check the specs carefully (is output V "regulated"?), ask the vendor and double-check output volts with a killawatt/multimeter with an expendable device connected (and a fire extinguisher handy). Commented Apr 29, 2013 at 14:51

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