What voltage do I need? What are volts?

Most houses in the US and Canada have 120v and 240v available in their electrical panel. Single breakers on your electrical panel are wired for 120v. Combining two single breakers into a double breaker creates a 240v pair. Basic outlets in your house (two prongs) will usually be wired for 120v, but you should never assume. Plugging 120v appliances, such as coffee makers or televisions, into 240v outlets (3 prongs in the shape of a "Y") can be extremely dangerous, and can result in damage to your appliance, or even fire. 240v appliances, such as washing machines or ovens, when plugged into 120v outlets, will result in your appliance running at half its regular function.

Low voltage appliances require the use of a low voltage transformer. This transformer will convert your house's regular 120v line into a 12v or 24v line, suitable for low voltage uses such as landscape lighting or very small patio heaters.

Outdoor fire pits and fire features that utilize an electronic ignition system likely use either 24v or 30v. In most cases you will want to use 24v, unless you are within close distance to a water source, in which you are required to use the 30v.

If you're not sure which voltage you need for your electrical product, check to see if your appliance has a label to indicate what it uses. If you aren't able to find a label on your product or are unsure which voltage your outlet is wired for, contact a local professional.


Emily Lozano