South Pacific Electric Currents

swimming crab

swimming crab

If you’re taking a plug-in razor, radio, computer, electric immersion coil, battery charger, or other electrical appliance to the South Pacific, be aware that two different voltages are used in the region. American Samoa uses 110 volts AC, while the rest of the region uses 220-240 volts AC. Take care, however, as some luxury hotel rooms provide 110-volt outlets as a convenience to North American visitors. A 220-volt appliance will only run too slowly in a 110-volt outlet, but a 110-volt appliance will quickly burn out and be destroyed in a 220-volt outlet.

Most appliances require a converter to change from one voltage to another. You’ll also need an adapter to cope with different socket types, which vary between flat two-pronged plugs in American Samoa, round two-pronged plugs in the French territories, and three-pronged plugs with the two on top at angles almost everywhere else. Pick up both items before you leave home, as they’re hard to find in the islands. Some sockets have a switch that must be turned on. Remember voltages if you buy duty-free appliances: dual voltage (110/220 volt) items are best.