Sat 30 Jan, 2016 07:18 pm
I purchased a heater type device from China, but is has a 220 volt plug and I have 110/120 outlets in my apt. Is there something I can buy to convert the 220 volt device to a 110/120 device? The problem now is it doesn't heat up to it's full temperature of 30 watts.
What kind 'heater device' is this? 30 Watts is a tiny amount of power, much too small for any kind of room or water heater (they use hundreds or thousands of Watts). A quick thought - is it an aquarium heater?
Put simply, I'm pretty sure you have got a heater meant for a different country outside the US. 220 volts is the standard voltage in most countries outside North America. You could possibly buy a transformer or travel adapter but it would likely cost as much as, or more than, getting the right type of heater for 110 Volts with the right type of plug
I do not suggest monkeying around with the wiring in your apartment, in any case the landlord may object and it could be dangerous and invalidate fire insurance and be illegal.
Most homes have a 220v line coming into the fuse box. This is for the water heater which uses 220v. You can tap this for other purposes, provided that you use the proper plug and socket, so as not to plug in a 110v device.
We also have a 220 plug for the dryer.
US houses usually have 110-0-110 service, where you can take 110 volts from the center and either one of the outer hot incoming wires, and you can take 220 volts from across the two outer hots. This 220 volt service is meant for larger appliances like dryers, water heaters, kitchen ranges, air conditioners etc, which consume a lot of power, hundreds or thousands of watts. It sounds like the OP's apartment only has 110 volt outlets. It might be an expensive job to wire a 220 volt outlet and if the apartment is rented the landlord might have to be consulted. Also the heater (most likely for an aquarium) probably has a molded-on plug which would have to be cut off and replaced with a correctly wired US plug and this might be against code. All for a $10 fish tank heater.