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F.A.Q.: Frequently Asked Questions - Other Miscellaneous Questions PDF Print E-mail
Frequently Asked Questions - Other Miscellaneous Questions

Question: Could you please tell me what voltage system is operated in Singapore? I live in Australia. Will my electrical appliances work in Singapore?

Answer: Singapore's voltage is 220 - 240  volts AC, 50 cycles per second. There are two options. If the voltage and cycles are the same as  Singapore's you can purchase adapters. The plugs for the outlet are three pronged. You can buy adapters in any hardware store, and they'll cost you between $10.00 and $12.00 Singapore dollars.

I recommend the adapter where you can simultaneously plug in two pronged; flat and round, and three pronged plugs. If the voltage and cycles are not compatible you can purchase transformers. Any appliance with a clock in it will not keep the correct time and my colleague tells me her lamps over heat.

Stereos will work fine using a transformer, but TV's may be in another format and unable to receive the signal here, so you should check with the manufacturer and see what they recommend (for example a US TV will not work in Singapore; the Singapore signal is sent in PAL format). Any appliances that run continuously or that are used frequently are not recommended to be used with transformers as it can damage the motor after using for a period of time. Any DIY store (same as a hardware store) has a good selection of various transformers and converters. There is also a website that sells these items. They do not provide too much information though so unless you know exactly what you want it may not be too helpful. Here is their address:

Question: What is the best internet service is Singapore that allows me to roam with relative ease? I travel to China, the Philippines and Pakistan a lot, and require the ability to log on to get my e-mail if nothing else.

Answer: Your best bet would be to go for Singnet's Global Roam service.
This allows you to access your Singnet account from overseas, check email and surf the net, paying the country's phone charges, not IDD charges. To find out more, go to

Question: How much does a step-up transformer cost in Singapore?

Answer: A 110V to 220V step-up transformer costs about $30 for a Taiwanese brand and about $10 more for a US/Japan brand. They are available at most big electrical stores like Electric City and of course Sim Lim Square.

Question: Can some one help us try to estimate COL in Singapore? Assuming we live outside the city, where apartments/condos are not too expensive, can anyone tell me how much following expenses will be for a family of 5 (2 adults and 3 young kids)?

Answer: 1. House Payment - large HDB rental S$1500; condo S$2500 - 3000
2. Power or Utilities (Water, AC) : S$250 - $600
3. Phone - local calls and internet : $60
4. Groceries/Food : Depends. Local wet markets are cheap.
5. SCV Cable Fees : S$30 - $50
6. Maid Fees : S$350.00 salary plus $350 levy; Food, clothes. 7. Car payment or Transportation Cost - monthly repayments for a Civic VTi S$900; Petrol : S$500, Taxes : S$1000 pa, Insurance : S$1300 pa; Maintenace S$100 - $200 pm. Car leasing would be S$2000 pm all-inclusive.
8. Bus & Train (MRT) : S$ 120.00 pm (max) per adult
9. Medical Insurance : company pays. Otherwise about S$250 pm per family
10. Entertainment : Movies S$7; VCD S$7 - $40; CDs : S$5 - $25
11. Meals out at hawker centre at S$5.00 per meal; Restaurants : >From S$25.00 You should 'search' the internet for cost of living surveys, there are many. Some are free and some you have to subscribe to. Generally, your employer should "look after you". Try this link for starters:

Question:  Where can i get waterbeds in Singapore?

Answer: There are actually quite a few companies dealing in water beds: Try Bedroom Gallery (749-1581) or Fantasy Waterbeds (226-1055).

Question:  I am looking for an online map of Singapore showing the different districts - can anyone please advise??

Answer: Here is one:

Question:  I was looking at converters over here and there were 3 different kinds. Are the holes rectangular or round? Any opinions on if I should just buy converters in Singapore?

Answer: You will find that you want to ditch the majority of your electrical appliances and just get them here. You can buy them second-hand quite cheaply. Here are the stock answers to the majority of computer/electronics questions originating from North America. a) CPU Power Supply: Check the computer's case adjacent to the power cord. There you will find marks listing the model and serial numbers, and acceptable power inputs. If your unit accepts 110-240v, 50-60hz you are in luck. You need to find the small red or black slider switch on the computer's power supply. It may be necessary to remove a portion of the CPU case to get a clear look at the metal box which is the CPU's power supply. You will find the switch to be marked with 110v. Move the slider to the opposite pole, until 240v becomes visible. The computer's CPU is now set to work on 220-240v 50-60hz power input. b) Monitor Power Supply: Same drill. Find the marks listing acceptable power inputs. If the monitor lists 110-240v 50-60hz, you probably will not have to do anything further. I believe monitors actually run on 240v, and use a transformer when plugged into 110v. When plugged into 240v, the transformer kicks off-line and the monitor powers up without any further adjustment by you. c) Surge Protectors: Leave your 110v surge protectors at home. Even with a converter they will fry. They do not like 50hz power. You can by surge suppressors here for 220v 50hz power input. d) Printer power supply: I found it easiest to just buy a 220v power supply for my HP DeskJet. HP has a site here with a very helpful tech support line and parts department. They will deliver the power supply to your doorstep. If you don't have an HP printer, check with your vendor. You will probably find the power supply will not work with 50hz power. I learned that after I burned a hole in the floor after plugging my North American power supply into a converter. e) Internet access and faxing...all else is identical to doing it in North America. Cable modem service is available. $56/month for broadband access, and $46/month for the cable modem. f) Stereos bring 'em and buy a good transformer here. g) TV and VCR, leave at home, they won't work here, different tuner. Look at your electronic device near where the power cord plugs in to the housing. Find the marks in the case or on a metallic plate which list model numbers, serial numbers, and acceptable voltages. Look to see if your unit will accept 50hz power input. (If your unit uses an in-line transformer in the cord, the information will be stamped on the transformer.) If it does not accept 50hz power input, then no, it will not work even with a transformer. The transformer knocks the voltage down to 110volt, but can do nothing about the frequency. The frequency affects the speed at which the electrical device functions. If you use 50hz power on an electric motor, the motor just turns a bit slower, no harm done. If you put 50hz power to an integrated circuit, it smokes. You may check with the manufacturer and see if they have a power supply which will work on 220v 50hz power.

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