Moving to Japan, Voltage question for the experts

Joined
Dec 8, 2013
Messages
14
Hey everyone,
I'm getting ready to move from the states to Japan in the coming months. I know that the power there is 100 volt/ 60 hertz. For small electronics I know this typically is not a big deal,but I'm more concerned about all my PC's and my home theater equipment. I've been looking into getting a pure sinewave UPS, but will I need to buy a voltage converter as well to plug my UPS into, or can I get a UPS that can up the 100 volts to 120 volts and provide protection from power spikes etc... I'm very unfamiliar with these pieces of equipment, but I want to protect what I have. Thanks.
 

D-Wiz

Weaksauce
Joined
Feb 17, 2012
Messages
122
Yes its 100 volts but it is actually 50hz on the east side and 60 on the west (dont' ask). In general most electronics work in that range i.e. will say 100-120V 50/60hz but make sure with you UPS, Personally have never had a problem out here in Japan with that. Two things will though, smallest one - Alarm clocks that run of a plug, since the use the cycles to tell time they are inaccurate at 50hz. Second is that there are no three prong (grounded) outlets here. You can of course get 2-3 adapters (even whole power strips) but if your equipment requires a solid ground then you can have a problem, for example my onkyo receiver if turned up to high volumes has a hum in the headphone jack that I can't get rid of since I cannot ground the receiver.
 

JayJapanB

[H]ard|Gawd
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Feb 27, 2012
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Enjoy Japan! :D
I'm in Tokyo at the moment. I'd like to live here someday myself but in the meantime its just a fairly long holiday.
 

Agent Orange 615

[H]ard|Gawd
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Apr 8, 2001
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1,505
I was there and I actually brought my tower for some editing work and it worked fine...go figure! Enjoy tokyo though, its amazing
 

Agent Orange 615

[H]ard|Gawd
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Yes its 100 volts but it is actually 50hz on the east side and 60 on the west (dont' ask). In general most electronics work in that range i.e. will say 100-120V 50/60hz but make sure with you UPS, Personally have never had a problem out here in Japan with that. Two things will though, smallest one - Alarm clocks that run of a plug, since the use the cycles to tell time they are inaccurate at 50hz. Second is that there are no three prong (grounded) outlets here. You can of course get 2-3 adapters (even whole power strips) but if your equipment requires a solid ground then you can have a problem, for example my onkyo receiver if turned up to high volumes has a hum in the headphone jack that I can't get rid of since I cannot ground the receiver.


Re stating what this guy said, there are no three prong plugs, but you can get an adapter.
 

MysticRyuujin

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Oct 1, 2013
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Since 2005, new Japanese homes are required to have 3-pin earthed outlets for connecting domestic appliances. This rule does not apply for the outlets not intended to be used for domestic appliances, but it is strongly advised to have 3-pin outlets throughout the home.

I've been here for going on 2 years and I can say that I've seen very few 3-pin outlets. Sometimes I get lucky and find a 2-pin + grounding wire in the house or apartment (usually where AC units, Microwaves, Washers, etc.) typically plug in.

I haven't really had any issues with the power over here yet though. I have a Dyson Hot & Cool from the US (1500watts) and it works pretty well, though it will shut off if I put on on high right away without letting it warm up a little. I don't know much about power in general other than it scares me lol so I try to play it safe and use those grounding wires whenever possible.
 

D-Wiz

Weaksauce
Joined
Feb 17, 2012
Messages
122
Actually I believe the law is not a 3-prong plug but 2 prongs with a grounding screw, or at least I assume since that was what was at my old place which was built in 2010. Either way just assume no 3-prong plug in the living areas.
 

jonnyGURU

Technical Marketing Manager at Corsair Memory
Joined
Apr 9, 2005
Messages
4,844
Yup. Ground wire to the wall plate screw.

Don't run your PC without proper Earth ground. Yeah... it'll work, but there's often issues.
 

cwaffles

Limp Gawd
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Sep 2, 2010
Messages
145
Make sure you use a power supply that has active PFC, it'll handle 100v with no problem.
 

Agent Orange 615

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Apr 8, 2001
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This is so unrelated but I don't care...the toilets are AMAZING. It may be the only thing in real life Id spend more money on than a video card.
 

Tengis

Supreme [H]ardness
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Jun 11, 2003
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I live in Japan right now in Fussa-shi (slightly west of main tokyo).

Basically, if your electronics have a switching power supply (like a computer) then it should typically work fine unless your device is really old. If it has a transformer based power supply then it will NOT work PROPERLY unless specifically stated in the specifications of the device. If its not made to run on 50hz then it wont function without possible issues.

Example: Specifically audio equipment like computer speakers, self powered sub woofers, receivers (etc) had terrible output and would get very hot because the transformer based power supplies dont function properly and would draw a lot of extra current. I also have a MIG welder and air compressor that will NOT work here (transformer based) and a TIG welder that will (not transformer based).
 
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