Taiwan voltage: not what it seems to be

I was in Taiwan not long ago and we stayed at my mother in-laws old government flat which had 5 stories. We were surprised to find heavy-duty appliances like air conditioning units were on the 220 volt circuit. Everything else is on the standard 110 volts. Stoves were run either on propane or natural gas. Ovens even microwave ovens were not very common.

Since we spent a few months there, we decided to buy a small portable toaster type oven which runs on 1500 watts. To our surprise, the oven couldn’t get temperatures higher than 200-250F (not Celsius). We returned the oven back to the department store assuming it was defective. We tested another oven in the store for which we were grateful. And after a few minutes cranked up to 500F I confirmed with an oven thermometer the temps were accurate.

When we returned to my in-laws and connected the oven (again) the temperature would only max out to 200-250F as before. We tried a few different outlets with the same result.

Anyway, I have never experienced this issue in the “West” before where there wasn’t enough power being supplied to a major dwelling like apartments, condos, or houses.

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Thank you for sharing! Probably they use 220v and 110v with the same plug type … The oven might require 220V but if plugged into 110V, it will work but outputing less heat … They might have two phases at houses, 1 phase + neutral = 110v, 2 phases (one on each stick of the plug) = 220v.