Is voltage/frequency all I need to know to bring my appliances from Brazil to the US?
June 27, 2007 8:16 AM   Subscribe

Is voltage/frequency all I need to know to use my brazilian appliances in the US?

I'm moving from Brazil to NYC. I have brand new appliances down here, including a top-of-the-line dish washer I have yet to use. I'm thinking I should bring them with me... but will I be able to use them?

Provided all the electricity/instalation issues are all right, I'm thinking I can sell the stuff I don't need in the US when I get there.

The appliances I have are: fridge with separate freezer, microwave, clothes washer, dish washer. Also minor stuff like blender, iron, fan, etc.

What do I need to know? This table says both the US and Brazil use 120 V/60 HZ. Is that all? Does this mean I can use my stuff over there?

On a related note, I'm assuming rental apartments in NYC come with microwave/stove/fridge. If that is indeed the case, do you think I will be able to sell mine in the US? Should I sell them down here before I move? Also, do most US fridges have a separate freezer on top?
posted by AnyGuelmann to Technology (9 answers total)
Unless shipping is essentially free, you will pay more to ship bulky appliances than you could sell them for here. If they are Brazilian brands, people will assume they are cheap knockoffs. In short, it ain't worth the hassle.
Other issues: yes, 120v/60Hz stuff is compatible world wide. Yes, most US fridges have an attached freezer.
posted by cosmicbandito at 8:28 AM on June 27, 2007

Response by poster: Yes, all our moving costs are payed by the employer.
I had not considered that americans might view Brazilian products as low-end. Thanks!
posted by AnyGuelmann at 8:38 AM on June 27, 2007

Rentals are not likely to include a microwave.
posted by desjardins at 9:35 AM on June 27, 2007

120v/60Hz stuff is compatible world wide.

This is not true.
posted by oaf at 10:33 AM on June 27, 2007

You may need a plug converter of some kind, but the US uses 120V at 60Hz.
posted by Xoder at 11:06 AM on June 27, 2007

"In Brazil there are two standards; most states use 110-127 V electricity (Rio Grande do Sul, Paraná, São Paulo, Minas Gerais, Bahia, Rio de Janeiro, Pará, Amazonas,…). In many hotels, however, 220 V can be found. 220-240 V is used mainly in the northeast: in the capital Brasilia (Distrito Federal) and, among others, in the states of Ceará, Pernambuco and Santa Catarina."

Look at the label on the appliance to determine if it is 120V or 220V. The other method is to look at the plug. If it has two flat blades and a round ground pin, then it is NEMA style and made for 120V. If it has two or three round pins, then it is Euro plug style and it is for 220V.

If your appliances are 120V/60Hz, then they should work just fine in the U.S. with no adapter. On the other hand, I agree that it makes sense to sell most of your appliances instead of shipping them.
posted by JackFlash at 12:50 PM on June 27, 2007

As Xoder mentioned - check the shape of the plug. US plugs have too flat prongs, sometimes with a third round prong for grounding. See here. If you have round pegs (europlug), these won't work in the US and you'll need to buy a plug adapter (not too expensive, you can usually get them at travel stores).
posted by falconred at 1:31 PM on June 27, 2007

falconred, that is incorrect. If the appliances have europlugs, they are most likely 220V devices and should not be plugged into U.S. 120V sockets with an adapter. They will most certainly be damaged.

The NEMA to europlug adapters should only be used for small devices like cellphone chargers that are marked as universal power supplies that can handle a wide range of voltages and frequencies.
posted by JackFlash at 2:17 PM on June 27, 2007

JackFlash - I meant my comment to warn to check the type of pins in addition to the voltage
posted by falconred at 5:25 PM on June 27, 2007

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