HOME: WHAT's DIFFERENT (Than we're used to at "home")

...Wherever THAT is...

Uh-Oh, the PLUGS are different!

OK, this will be "What's different from the US", for the moment, as that's what Terry knows...
Hopefully others will lend their perspective... Click here Here's information on power and plugs, WorldWide: (A WikiPedia entry) for information on Chinese Power, Plugs and Sockets

The local system is 220 volt 50 cycles. There is no standard plug shape. Most outlets have adapters plugged into them which can accept nearly all plugs, from small American 2-flat-prong, to the two-round-plugs of continental Europe to the huge three-flat-plugs of the U.K. North American appliances will need converters (most apartments have one) to accommodate 220 volts, but can be plugged in without additional adapters. Outages are rare and generally of short duration, so the risk to computers and perishable food is not high.

Frequent travelers from 120 volt countries should consider investing in dual-voltage appliances for curling irons, curlers, traveling irons, hair dryers, etc.

Incandescent light holders are mostly Edison screw (i.e. same as USA). Local 220V bulbs fit these sockets, so typical 'simple' lamps (without dimmers or touch-switches) will work here with a new bulb. Voltage spikes seem to consume bulbs at a great rate but local replacements are very inexpensive.

CPCS-CCC (Chinese 10 A/250 V)

external image 100px-CCC_%28China_Compulsory_Certification%29_Mark.jpgexternal image magnify-clip.png CCC Mark
The standard for Chinese plugs and sockets was set out in GB 2099.1–1996 and GB 1002–1996. As part of China's commitment for entry into the WTO, the new CPCS (Compulsory Product Certification System) has been introduced, and compliant Chinese plugs have been awarded the CCC (China Compulsory Certification) Mark by this system. The plug is three wire, grounded, rated at 10 A, 250 V and used for Class 1 applications.
China also uses American/Japanese "Type A" sockets and plugs for Class-II appliances. However, the voltage across the pins of a Chinese socket will always be 220, no matter what the plug type.


Cable TV and Internet:

Most modern apartments have cable TV.

Most modern apartments provide high-speed Internet through a Cable Modem attached to the Cable TV system.

What about the Water??

The local water supply is treated but most expatriates drink distilled or mineral water. Five-gallon bottles of distilled or mineral water cost about US$2.00. A filter ("PUR" or other brands) attached to the kitchen faucet gives good water for coffee/tea, cooking etc.

Washing Clothes:

Many apartments have a clothes washer. Most washers use cold water and do, not heat it. Local detergents work pretty well.
Some apartment have electric dryers, which are somewhat expensive to use. Drying racks work well in this climate.

Heat and Hot Water:

Most apartments have a natural-gas fired on-demand heater.

Generally, buildings in Southern China have NO central heating! In January, you may want to get an electric space heater, or radiant heater. Electricity is expensive here, however. NOTE: Wall outlets may not be sufficient for 2 or more heaters. Usually you can connect them to (currently unused!) air conditioning outlets. You may need a short extension cord.

In Chinese homes, often the windows are open and charcoal heaters are placed under a table, with a blanket on top, where everyone crowds in and pulls the blanket over their knees. Open windows are a MUST! or carbon monoxide poisoning will occur!

Trash Collection:

Most expat apartments will have trash collection organized.

Utility and other Bills: