Electricity In Uruguay

Electricity in Uruguay is 220V/ 50htz
Electricity in the US is 120V / 60htz

If you are considering traveling to Uruguay or moving to Uruguay, you have to make a decision about what types of electronics you will or won’t bring with you.

We have received numerous inquiries about electronics and the electricity in Uruguay. So, it made sense for us to give you all of the information to make an educated decision about what you want to do.

All of the information here is presented in a very basic form so that everyone reading can understand.

To start, go over these electrical definitions. You’ll need to understand this information to understand the rest of the content.

Electricity Definitions

  1. Coulombs – Quantity of electrical charge
  2. Amps – Quantity of electrical charge per second
  3. Charge – Stuff that flows through the wires containing electrical energy
  4. Current – Direction the charge is going
    a. Alternating Electrical Current (AC): The charge flows back and forth, like a two-way street (Public power supplies are AC, like the plugs in your house, regardless if your electricity is in Uruguay or the US, because power plants generate AC)
    b. Direct Electrical Current (DC): The charge is flowing in only one direction, like a one-way street (Batteries are Direct Current)
  5. Joules – Quantity of work done to move an electric charge
  6. Watts – Quantity of work done to move an electric charge per second
  7. Volts – The force that’s moving the charge
  8. Hertz/ Ohms (Same thing) – Electrical Resistance, cycles per second, rate at which the current switches back and forth. 60Htz is slower than 50Htz… The more resistance (the higher the number), the slower.

Electricity Equations

  1. Coulombs = Volts/ Hertz
  2. Amps = Watts/ Volts
  3. Watts = Amps x Volts
  4. Volts = Watts/ Amps
  5. Hertz = Volts/ Amps

Different Types of Adapters and Converters

  1. AC/AC Frequency Converters – Frequency converters are typically used in industrial applications. The type of frequency converter you would need would be one that converts 60Htz to 50Htz and steps 220V down to 120V. They are very expensive, starting at $1,960. Click here to view frequency converters.
  2. Step-Down Transformers/ Converters – Steps 220V down to 120V… Does not convert Hertz , a lot of people mistakenly think this is the solution they need. Click here to see Step-Down Transformers.
  3. Plug Adapters – Uruguay uses standard European round pin plugs. Click here to see plug adaptors.
  4. AC/DC Adapters – Converts AC power to DC power. Click here to see AC/DC Adaptors.

So what does everything above mean?

  1. Electronic devices rated 220/120V – 50/60htz will work in Uruguay. Sometimes you’ll see electronic devices rated 240/100V – 50/60htz; those electronic devices will also work in Uruguay.To make US AC appliances and electronics work in Uruguay that are rated 220/120V – 50/60htz, you must have these to make them work: Plug Adapters
  2. To make US AC appliances and electronics work in Uruguay that are not rated 220/120V – 50/60htz, (typically rated 110V/ 60Htz), you must have one of these to make them work:Frequency Converters– Converts 60Htz to 50Htz and 220V down to 120V…

    If you do not use a frequency converter and opt to use just a step down converter, your electronic device will burn out if it as a motor in it.

    The reason your electronic device’s motor will burn out is because the Hertz are moving at a much higher rate when they are at 50 rather than 60. That being said, the electronic device’s motor will work much harder to do the same job and burn out.
  3. To make US AC appliances and electronics work in Uruguay that are not rated 220/120V, but are rated 50/60Htz (110V – 50/60Htz), you must have one of these to make them work:Step-Down Transformers/ Converters – Steps 220V down to 120V… Does not convert Hertz
  4. To make US DC appliances and electronics work in Uruguay you need:AC/DC Adapters. AC/DC adapters come with multiple inputs for the device to fit the various sizes of inputs.If you buy your adapters in the US, you will probably also need: Plug Adapters

Regardless of which country you are in or how you are getting your appliances to work, AC is never stable. There are always spikes and dips in the AC.

The best way to avoid a power surge from blowing out your electronics is to hook them up to a surge protector Check out this Surge Protector.