Power converters for The British Virgin Islands - Do you need a power converter in The British Virgin Islands?

What is a power converter?

Power converters enable travellers to use their 220, 230 or 240 volt electrical appliance with a 110 volt British Virgin Islands power outlet.

Also known as: electrical converter, electrical transformer, voltage converter, power transformer or voltage transformer.

What is the difference between a power converter and a power adapter for The British Virgin Islands?

A lightweight, small and cheap power adapter (or plug adapter) changes the shape of the plug on your device to slot into a power outlet in The British Virgin Islands, whereas an expensive and bulkier power converter will convert the voltage of 110 volts from a British Virgin Islands power outlet to work with a non-110 volt appliance. [3]

Do I need a power converter for The British Virgin Islands?

When you are visiting The British Virgin Islands from a different country check your device can accept a 110 volt power supply.

  • You will need a step up power converter if you are visiting The British Virgin Islands from a country that uses 220-240 volts and your appliance isn't compatible with 110 volts. See the world power outlets guide to discover which voltage is used in your country.
  • You shouldn't need a power converter if you are already using either a 110 volt single voltage appliance or one that is dual voltage.
  • Devices which come from another country which use a higher voltage such as 240 volts and then used with 110 volts may take longer to charge or simply won't turn on. If your device slowly recharges or doesn't turn on when you are visiting The British Virgin Islands from a different country check that it can be used with a 110 volt power supply otherwise you will need to use a step up power converter.
  • You shouldn't need a power converter if you wish to charge a smaller electrical device such as a tablet or cell phone as these are normally support dual voltage and designed for international use, however you should always always check the device for dual voltage support first.
  • For supplying power to appliances which draw more power or generate heat (for example hair straighteners or curling irons) then you will need to use a much larger higher wattage heavy duty power converter.
  • Purchasing a smaller lightweight dual voltage travel appliance could be more practical and cost effective than trying to bring a heavier power converter just to use your existing domestic appliance.
  • Read these comprehensive travel guides on how to use clothes irons, curling irons, hair dryers and flat irons in The British Virgin Islands which includes recommendations for some affordable dual voltage alternatives.  [4] [5]

What kind of converter do I need for The British Virgin Islands?

You will need to use a step up power converter which allows you to use any 220, 230 or 240 volt appliance in a 110 volt British Virgin Islands power outlet. [4]

What voltage is used in The British Virgin Islands?

The British Virgin Islands uses 110 volts in their power outlets. [2]

https://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/

How to convert 110 volts to 220 volts

  1. Use a step up power converter to allow you to use 220, 230 and 240 volt appliances with a 110 volt British Virgin Islands power outlet.
  2. If the power converter doesn't include the correct shaped plug then it will also be necessary to plug in the power cord from the power converter into a power adapter for The British Virgin Islands before plugging that into a British Virgin Islands power outlet.
  3. Some power converters include the ability to perform both step up and step down voltage conversions, therefore it may be necessary to manually switch the converter to output the voltage from 220-240v.
  4. Plug your appliance into the converter and turn the power on, your 220-240 volt appliance can now be used with a 110 volt British Virgin Islands power outlet. [4]
What is the difference between a power transformer and a power converter?

Voltage converter

What is the difference between a power transformer and a power converter?

Converters and transformers are both used to change one voltage to another, but this ambiguity can cause confusion as their purposes are different:

  • Power converters are designed for simple electrical appliances which typically generate heat or use motors such as clothes irons, shavers or hair dryers. Transformers are designed for more complex electronic items such as televisions or games consoles.
  • Buying a power converter is cheaper than buying a power transformer.
  • Power transformers are larger and heavier making them more suited for permanent residential use; for example an expat wishing to use an imported television would need to use a transformer for this purpose.
  • Power converters are more suitable for travellers wishing to bring domestic appliances abroad such as hair dryers or flat irons. However, it is more practical and cost effective to purchase a dual voltage appliance designed for travel rather than a heavier power converter.
  • Power converters are suitable for 2 pin ungrounded appliances, it could be harder to find a converter if you want to use a grounded 3 pin appliance.
  • Transformers can be used constantly however it is recommended that converters are used for no longer than a couple of hours at a time.
  • Shops may sell transformers under the name of converters, for the purposes this guide we will be referring to both converters and transformers as converters.
How can you tell if you have a dual voltage appliance?

Dual voltage hair straighteners

How can you tell if you have a dual voltage appliance?

One way to tell if your device is dual voltage is to look for a sticker on the existing charger, or on the appliance itself, normally near to where the power cord plugs into. The location will vary depending on the make or model of your appliance, it should also be written on the box or in the instruction manual.

  • Single voltage devices could have a specific number - such as 240V.
  • Single voltage devices could also have a small voltage range (20 volts difference) with a dash to accomodate small voltage fluctuations - such as 100-120V.
  • Dual voltage devices will typically say a large voltage range separated with a slash - such as 110/240V.

  1. Wikipedia - British Virgin Islands Wikipedia page.
  2. iec.ch - International Electrotechnical Commission World Plugs
  3. Power converter - A step up step down power converter converts 110-120 volts up to 220-240 volts and 220-240 volts down to 110-120 Volts, under £110.
  4. Step up power converter - A step up power converter allows a 220-240 volt appliance to be used in a 100-120 volt power outlet, priced at £80-£90.
  5. Heavy duty power converter - A 5000 watt heavy duty step up and step down power converter used to convert voltages for domestic appliances, power tools, televisions, heating appliances and motors, £100-£110.