charankanya on May 26th, 2009
This is the store  that we bought transformers as well as 220 volt garbage disposers etc. Its a good store – prompt shipping etc.
Regarding transformers, you need step-down transformers (to step down the voltage from 220 volts to 110 volts for your US appliances). The ones we have got are on this page  (scroll down to see the actual transformers).
You may want low wattage ones (between 200 – 500 watts) for computer and networking equipment, video games players (Wii, Gamecube, Playstation, etc).  For electronic equipment you may want to look at 500 -1500 watts, depending on the equipment.  For heavy duty kitchen appliances look in the 1000 – 1500 watt category.
For small or low wattage electrical appliances such as heaters, or small motors (eg. vacuum cleaner) get at least one 50-1600 Watt Dual Converter With Fuse.
You may also want to get one electronic voltage converter (50 watts etc) for small devices (boom boxes, toothbrush chargers) though these are available in India too.
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4 Responses to “Transformers & Converters”

  1. I refer to the threads on your site numerous times!

    Do you think it make sense to bring in a small food processor(1 cup)- Black & Decker has it for 19.99. I doubt if that price could be matched in India. Are small ones available and are there major issues with the voltage conversion? What about the sandwich/ panini maker?

    Also do u have any website that I can check on for a list of permissible items to be shipped under TR? Like I am not sure if I can bring in things like dry pasta,vanilla essence (Can from Sams), Shout stain remover, carpet cleaners, etc?


  2. Hi Priya,

    I agree…that price probably can’t be matched in India. I’m not sure if the small ones are available here, but check out the Philips site. That will give you a good idea of what kind of appliances are available here.

    Definitely get the panini maker (there was only one kind available when I last checked….many months ago….and it wasn’t that great). Also consider a waffle maker if your family likes waffles. If you have to buy new, then consider buying 220 volts so you don’t have to deal with the transformer each time.

    Considering, whether it’s a good idea to bring the 1 cup food processor….just think through what your day-to-day lifestyle will be like. More than likely you will have a maid(s). You might find it a lot easier to ask the maid to chop some veggies for you, as opposed to using the food processor. Even if you are used to doing everything around the house yourself, it’s not a bad idea to have a maid to just help out. If you still think you will use it, then go ahead and bring it.

    Voltage conversions don’t have major issues. It’s probably a good idea to have one transformer for your kitchen, especially if you’re bringing a lot of kitchen appliances.

    I don’t know about a website for permissible items on TR. But your shipping company will give you a list of items that are prohibited in your shipment. Amongst these is all liquids, including alcohol.

    However, a lot of the items on your list are available here: Dry Pasta (many brands, including Barilla pasta), Vanilla essence, a lot of other imported foods are also available (costs more…roughly double, but hey, it’s there). Don’t have great quality cleaning agents available here. So if possible, get the stain remover and carpet cleaner. Certain imported cleaners are available, like Clorox Bleach and Pine Sol.

    You may also want to read my eariler post on Small (Kitchen) Appliances: Bring or Buy?


  3. I lived in Thailand for 2 years and took a transformer with me for the kitchen. My maid also was my cook (and a very good one) and liked to use my blender for preparing spices and herbs. I am glad I took a good one as it really got a workout. If you plan on doing the cooking by all means take those small appliances that make cooking easier for you.

  4. I wouldn’t install transformers in my house! Transformers are dangerous by design… they can and do explode and/or catch fire. Plus they emit a lot of heat. I wouldn’t take that risk just to be able to use an appliance! Well that’s just me and I am an Electrical Engineer…

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