337 - Appliances
Published January 21, 2008
Electricity in Australia is 230 V, 50 Hz.
Appliances in Australia are fitted with an oblique flat bladed plug with ground (inverted V).
American lamps can be utilized if an oblique flat bladed plug or adapter is used in conjunction with 220-240V lamps. You will need purchase Australian light bulbs. Otherwise transformers must be used to convert to 110 V.
REFRIGERATORS run well on transformers and it is better to have the larger American size. Locally purchased appliances are usually smaller and very expensive.
WASHERS will run on a transformer. They may run a little slower because of the 50/60 hertz difference, though many new machines are both 50/60 hertz. The simpler the washer, the better. Computerized machines may have more problems and will be more difficult to repair. Additionally, automatic cycle timers may not work and you'll have to manually cycle the washer. Again, local washers are small ... it's nice to have the American size.
DRYERS will probably not work here. Though American dryers are 220-240 volts, American dryers require more amps than most Australian houses provide (i.e., American dryers require 23 amps, max Australian household current is 20 amps). If your dryer is less than 20 amps, DHA is willing to put in the proper outlet for the dryer. Local dryers are small and take a long time to dry. Some new housing includes washers and dryers or they can be purchased new or used. All houses come with large clothes lines for drying outside.
COMPUTERS will work well on a transformer if they are not already 110/220/240V convertible. It's best to have only the computer on one transformer. Some computers here are comparable in price to US models and can switch between 110/220/240V.
TELEVISION: American TVs and VCRs do not work here, as the signal is different unless you have a multi-system TV and VCR. Both local systems and multi-systems can be purchased here. American TVs and VCRs will work on a transformer for playing American tapes and games. Australian TVs and VCRs are now available with NTSC-playback capability, which allows American (NTSC) tapes to be played.
MICROWAVE OVENS do not work well on transformers unless they are 50/60 hertz models. Older ones that are only 60 hertz will run for awhile but may burnout. It may be best to purchase a microwave here; the prices are not too bad.
SMALL APPLIANCES will work on transformers including vacuums and irons. Using a 1500 to 2000 watt transformer in the kitchen will take care of all small appliances up to waffle irons and electric skillets. Consider purchasing a local vacuum just for ease of not having to tote around a transformer. Clock radios and clocks set for 60 Hz will not keep accurate time on 50 Hz electricity.
TRANSFORMERS: The electric power in Australia is 240 volts, 50 hertz. Transformers are not provided for your house. Major appliances may require up to a 2000-watt transformer. Smaller appliances and computers may require only a 250-watt transformer. Transformers are available through local electronics stores, but can be a little expensive. If possible, work with a state side supplier so you can bring them. Alternatively, check with the person you are replacing to see if they have transformers/appliances to sell.