Power converters for Colombia

What does a power converter for a Colombian power outlet do?

Power converters enable travellers to use their 220-240 volt electric device with a 110 volt Colombian power outlet.

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

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

A heavy and expensive power converter will convert the voltage of 110 volts from a Colombian power outlet to work with a non-110 volt device, however a more lightweight and smaller power adapter (or plug adapter) changes the shape of the plug on your appliance to slot into a power outlet in Colombia. [3]

Do I need a power converter for Colombia?

When you are visiting Colombia from a different country check your device will accept a 110 volt power supply.

  • You need a step up power converter if you are travelling to Colombia from a country that uses 220-240 volts and your device or appliance is incompatible with 110 volts. See the world power outlets guide to discover which voltage your country uses.
  • You won't need a power converter if you already own either a single voltage device that works with 110 volts or one that is dual voltage.
  • Electrical devices which originate from a different country which use a higher voltage (for example 230 volts) and used in a 110 volt outlet can take longer to charge or simply won't power up. If your device does not power up or charges slowly when visiting Colombia from another region please check that it is compatible with a 110 volt power outlet otherwise you will need to bring a step up power converter.
  • You don't need a power converter if you wish to charge a smaller electrical device such as a tablet as these are typically support dual voltage and designed for international use, however you should always always check the device for dual voltage support first.
  • When powering high wattage appliances or generate heat (such as hair dryers and clothes irons) then you will need to use a much larger higher wattage heavy duty power converter to allow the appliance to be used with a 110 volt Colombian power outlet.
  • It could be more cost effective to purchase a smaller lightweight dual voltage travel appliance than bringing a much heavier high wattage power converter to Colombia in order to use your existing domestic appliance.
  • For more information read these comprehensive travel guides on how to use clothes irons, curling irons, blow dryers and hair straighteners with Colombian power outlets which includes guides for some affordable dual voltage alternatives.  [4] [5]

Will I need a power converter for Colombia if I'm visiting from the US?

A US plug will not require a power converter because the voltage from a Colombian power outlet is in the same 100-120V range as the US. [4]

Colombia

What kind of converter do I need for Colombia?

You will need to use a step up power converter in order to use any 220-240 volt appliance in Colombia. [4]

What is the difference between a converter and a transformer?

Voltage converter

What is the difference between a converter and a transformer?

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.

What voltage is used in Colombia?

Colombia uses 110 volts in their standard power outlets. [2]

Colombia
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 Colombian 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 Colombia before plugging that into a Colombian 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 Colombian power outlet. [4]
What voltage is my appliance?

Dual voltage hair dryer

What voltage is my appliance?

The easiest method to see if a appliance is dual voltage is to look for numbers printed on the power plug or on the unit itself, typically near to where the power cord plugs into. The location will vary depending on the make or model of your appliance and could also state in the instruction manual.

  • Single voltage devices could have a specific number - such as 220V.
  • Single voltage devices could also have a small voltage range (around 20 volts) 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 - Wikipedia entry about Colombia.
  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, 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, 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, costing between $140 to $150.