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Jan 7, 2010, 9:27 PM

Post #1 of 3 (9620 views)


~~~> I Was Told...

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I was told that I should get a voltage regulator for my American purchased electronic equipment, is this true?
~~The Right Path, Is Your Own Path~~

johanson / Moderator

Jan 7, 2010, 10:58 PM

Post #2 of 3 (9603 views)


Re: [Silence820] ~~~> I Was Told...

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The typical voltage in the US and Canada is usually 120, sometimes 110, plus or minus 5%. The voltage in Mexico is 127 +/- 10%. That means that any voltage between 114 and almost 140 in Mexico is OK when, for example with Seattle City Light anywhere between 115 and 127 volts is normal.

So yes, the voltage is a little higher in Mexico than in the US or Canada, but not much. A standard light bulb meant for the US or Canada will last less time at 127 than at 120 volts. I have lived in Mexico for almost 13 years and yes items built to US or Canadian specifications don't last as long as those that are built to Mexican specifications but no big deal. Why? Let me give you an example.

Fluorescent light bulbs are so cheap up north, for example, that I always buy them at a Costco in Seattle for Lake Chapala, and if they don't last as long, no big deal, I still spend less money up North than I do in Ajijic-Chapala.

At Costco store #1 located in Seattle where I am for another 3 days, for example,, Seattle City Light discounts the costs even more. I always purchase my fluorescents for Mx here at Costco, Store 1, in Seattle for about 1/3 of what I would pay at the Chapala lakeside Wal*mart. So who cares if they last only 75% as long as lakeside. The biggest discounts are with the smaller bulbs

Check out the specifications of the equipment you are worried about. Usually, but not always, the slightly higher voltage in Mx is no big deal.

So yes if your line voltage in Mexico is high by US standards, you might need a voltage regulator, but before you get a voltage regulator check out your line voltage, and only if it is too high, you know over 128 Volts or so, you might need a voltage regulator, dependent upon whether your TV, for example was built to US or Mexican voltage specifications.


(This post was edited by johanson on Jan 7, 2010, 11:59 PM)


Jan 8, 2010, 6:51 AM

Post #3 of 3 (9546 views)


Re: [johanson] ~~~> I Was Told...

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I've heard Mexico ramps up the voltage because they tend to have more loss in the distribution system.

Most electronics, even computers, can handle the slightly increased voltage. But that's not really the problem, which is voltage fluctuation. Dirty power. A constant 140v is ok but constant fluctuation from 115 to 140 is hard on sensitive electronics.

I would not worry about it for dumb devices like lights or small appliances but would use a voltage regulator with surge suppressor for stuff like computers. And battery chargers. I've had two of those overheat and explode the batteries in Mexico, never had it happen in the U.S.
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