Bolivia power converters - Do you need a power converter in Bolivia?

What is a power converter for a Bolivian power outlet?

Power converters enable you to use a 220, 230 or 240 volt electrical device with a 115 volt Bolivian 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 plug adapter for Bolivia?

A lightweight, cheap and small power adapter (or plug adapter) changes the shape of the plug on your device to fit into a power outlet found in Bolivia, however an expensive and bulkier power converter will transform the voltage of 115 volts from a Bolivian power outlet to work with a non-115 volt appliance. [3]

Do I need a power converter for Bolivia?

If you are visiting Bolivia from a different country ensure the device will accept a 115 volt power supply.

  • You need a step up power converter if you are travelling to Bolivia from a country that uses 220-240 volts and your device won't support 115 volts. Read the world power outlets page to see the voltage your country uses.
  • You won't need a power converter if you already own either a 115 volt single voltage appliance or one that is dual voltage.
  • Devices which originate from a different country which use a higher voltage (such as 230 volts) and used with 115 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 travelling to Bolivia from another region then check that it will work with a 115 volt Bolivian power outlet or you will need to bring a step up power converter.
  • You shouldn't need a power converter if you wish to power a smaller electrical device such as a cell phone as these are normally designed for international use and dual voltage, however you should always always check the device for dual voltage support first.
  • If supplying power to appliances which draw more power or generate heat (such as hair dryers and 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 should be more cost effective and practical than investing in a heavier high wattage power converter in order to use your existing domestic appliance in Bolivia.
  • Read our travel guides on how to use curling wands, clothes irons, hairdryers and hair straighteners with Bolivian power outlets which includes guides on affordable dual voltage alternatives.  [4] [5]

Do I need a power converter for Bolivia if I'm from the US?

You won't need to bring a power converter as the voltage in Bolivia is in the same 100-120 volt range as the US. [4]

Bolivia

What kind of converter do I need for Bolivia?

If you need to use any 220, 230 or 240 volt appliance in Bolivia you will need to buy a step up power converter[4]

What voltage is used in Bolivia?

Bolivia uses 115 volts in their standard power outlets. [2]

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

How to convert 115 volts to 220 volts

  1. Use a step up power converter to allow you to use 220, 230 and 240 volt appliances with a 115 volt Bolivian 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 Bolivia before plugging that into a Bolivian 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 115 volt Bolivian power outlet. [4]
What is the difference between a transformer and a converter?

Voltage converter

What is the difference between a 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 can you tell if you have a single voltage or dual voltage device?

Single voltage hair dryer

How can you tell if you have a single voltage or dual voltage device?

The easiest method to tell if your device is dual or single voltage is to check for a sticker on the existing power plug, or on the appliance itself, normally near to where the power cord sits. This location might depend on the make or model of your unit but should also be written in the instruction manual or on the box.

  • Single voltage devices could have a specific number - such as 110V.
  • Single voltage devices might also say a small voltage range (20 volts difference) with a dash to accomodate small voltage fluctuations - such as 220-240V.
  • Dual voltage devices will normally say a large voltage range separated with a slash - such as 110/240V.

  1. Wikipedia - Bolivia entry on wikipedia.org.
  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, estimated cost between $90 to $100.
  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, costing between $25 to $30.
  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, estimated cost between $140 to $150.