Travel Tips

Electric Power in the USA

Electric power is standardized in all states across the USA. It is set at 110 Volts and 60 cycles. 220 Volt power is used in homes only for large appliances like stoves, water heaters and clothes dryers. It is not normally available for personal appliances.

Standard electric plugs, as illustrated at the top of this page, have two flat blades. The plugs on some newer appliances have a third round grounding pin. Almost all homes and commercial buildings are equipped with electrical receptacles that can accommodate either type of plug.

You may need an adaptor and power converter

If you bring any electrical appliance to the USA, you may need an adaptor to fit the US electrical receptacles. You may also need a converter to change the voltage from 110 volts to 220 volts.

Most common appliances will function with either 50 or 60 cycle current. Electrical frequency can affect electric clocks, audio equipment and some other electronic gear. You should check your electrical equipment for compatibility with 60-cycle current before you bring it to the USA.

In most discount stores, you can purchase curling irons or hair dryers for $10 or less. It may be more convenient and even more economical to buy an inexpensive appliance that is fully compatible with US electrical power.

Written by: Mike Leco
Top Photo Credit: ©
Photo Description: Standard electric plugs and wall socket