Puerto Rico power converters

What does a power converter for Puerto Rico do?

Power converters allow travellers to use a 220, 230 or 240 volt electrical device with a 120 volt Puerto Rican 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?

A heavy and bulky power converter will convert a 120 volt Puerto Rican power outlet to work with a non-120 volt device, whereas a smaller and more lightweight power adapter (or plug adapter) changes the shape of the plug on your device to slot into a power outlet found in Puerto Rico. [3] [AD]

Do I need a power converter for Puerto Rico?

If you are travelling to Puerto Rico from a different region please check that the device can accept a 120 volt power supply.

  • You need a step up power converter if you are visiting Puerto Rico from a country that uses 220-240 volts and your device or appliance is incompatible with 120 volts. Read the WikiConnections world power outlets page to discover the voltage your country uses.
  • You shouldn't need a power converter if you already own either a single voltage appliance that works with 120 volts or one that supports dual voltage.
  • Electrical devices which originate from a different country which use a higher voltage such as 230 volts and used in a 120 volt power outlet may take longer to charge or won't power up. If your device slowly recharges or doesn't turn on when travelling to Puerto Rico from a different country then check that it can be used with a 120 volt Puerto Rican power outlet otherwise you will need a step up power converter.
  • You shouldn't need a converter if you are attempting to power a smaller electrical device such as a laptop as these are normally designed for international use and dual voltage, however please always check the device for dual voltage support first.
  • For powering appliances which draw more power or generate heat (such as clothes irons or hair dryers) then you will need to use a much larger higher wattage heavy duty power converter.
  • It could be more cost effective to use a smaller lightweight dual voltage travel appliance than trying to carry a much heavier power converter to Puerto Rico just to use your existing domestic appliance.
  • Read these travel guides on travelling with clothes irons, curling irons, flat irons and blow dryers in Puerto Rican power outlets which includes guides for affordable dual voltage alternatives.  [4] [5] [AD]

Will I need a power converter if I'm travelling to Puerto Rico from Canada?

You won't need to bring a power converter because the voltage in Puerto Rico is in the same 100-120V range as Canada.

What converter do I need for Puerto Rico?

If you wish to use any 220-240 volt appliance in Puerto Rico you need to use a step up power converter[4] [AD]

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

Voltage converter

What is the difference between a power transformer and a 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 to convert 120 volts to 220 volts

  1. Use a step up power converter to allow you to use 220, 230 and 240 volt appliances with a 120 volt Puerto Rican 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 Puerto Rico before plugging that into a Puerto Rican 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 120 volt Puerto Rican power outlet. [4] [AD]

What voltage does Puerto Rico use?

Puerto Rico uses 120 volts in their power outlets. [2]

How to tell the voltage of my device

Single voltage hair dryer

How to tell the voltage of my device

The easiest way to see if your appliance is either dual or single voltage is to look for either a sticker or numbers printed on the power adapter, or on the unit itself, normally near to where the power cord sits. This location will depend on the make or model of your appliance but should also state on the box or in the instruction manual.

  • Single voltage devices could say a specific number - such as 240V.
  • Single voltage devices might also have a small voltage range (around 20 volts) with a dash to accomodate small voltage fluctuations - such as 220-240V.
  • Dual voltage devices will say a larger voltage range separated with a slash - such as 100/240V.

  1. Wikipedia - Wikipedia entry about Puerto Rico.
  2. iec.ch - International Electrotechnical Commission World Plugs
  3. Power converter - Heavy-duty power converters are designed to convert voltage levels between different electrical standards, shifting between 110V/120V and 220V/240V with both 50Hz and 60Hz, often incorporating safety features such as fuse protection and circuit breakers..
  4. Step up power converter - Step-up power converters are engineered to convert lower voltage outlets of 100V/120V to higher voltages of 220V/240V, enabling the use of appliances designed for higher-voltage environments in lower voltage countries..
  5. Heavy duty power converter - Heavy-duty power converters robust voltage transformation capabilities for designed for high-wattage devices, making them best suited for appliances like kettles and hair dryers that consume a significant amounts of power..