Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the more commonly asked questions about 220 volt appliances and making Aliyah.
As always, if you have any questions at all that are not answered here, you are welcome to contact us. We’ll be glad to help.
Can I use my American appliance overseas with a transformer?
Many appliances can. It depends on the type of appliance, there are many variables to consider. You can refer to our article about transformers for greater detail.
Cordless phones can be used overseas with a 50 watt transformer. We carry Panasonic phones that are directly 220 volts.
Generally, you’ll get the best performance with direct 220 volt appliances.
What about my TV and DVD player?
In order to get broadcast reception (TV shows), the television must be geared to the specific broadcast system in your country. You can find out which system you need, by checking our TV Broadcast Chart.
A Multisystem TV covers the NTSC (North American), PAL (European, African and Middle Eastern) and some variations of the SECAM (various countries) systems. These include SECAM B/G , D/K and I.
A notable exception is France, where SECAM L is used. You would then need a dedicated SECAM L TV.
An American (NTSC) TV won’t receive overseas broadcast. You can, however, use it just for viewing American DVD’s when connected to your DVD player. In this case, the TV and player must be used with transformers.
Keep in mind that if you want to use DVD’s purchased overseas, the player must be multi-zone (also called zone-free or region free).
DVD’s are produced in one of 6 world regions, as this chart shows. They will only work in a local player from the same region, unless you have a multi-zone DVD player.
The studios set up the DVD system this way, in order to control distribution, pricing, and movie release dates in other regions.
Do I need a new cell phone?
Yes, unless you already have a multi-band phone.
In most other countries, cellphones operate on the GSM bandwidth. In the United States, they work on the TDMA network. A multi-band phone will work in most regions. These phones must be unlocked, and used with a local SIM card (chip) in your country. The SIM card is what activates the phone.
I’m moving overseas. Should I buy European brands or U.S. brands for my major appliances?
There are some important differences to consider when choosing these appliances.
Generally, European machines are smaller and more basic than their American equivalents. These may take some getting used to by American consumers. American machines have the features you may be accustomed to.
If you’re building a kitchen, you may want to consult with your contractor to be sure you have enough space for the larger American branded appliance.
You can refer to our resource link “Planning your Kitchen” for greater detail on how to choose these appliances.