I am in Israel and we get all sorts of tourists and immegrants, bringing
all sorts of plugs, outlet strips and devices.
The Israeli standard is 230 volts, 50 Hz single phase. EU standard is
also, but there is enough variaition allowed that the UK 240v power grid
and the continental 220v power grid is within the specified 230 volts.
In my experience, the best thing to do is to what someone else already said,
buy high quality plug adaptors and use them. If you need an outlet strip,
buy one locally.
You should have no trouble finding them, unless you arrive at 3am Sunday
and all of the stores are closed. :-)
Avoid the real cheap slide on 2 pin adaptors that are sold in travel
stores, airports, etc. They have a bad habit of sliding off as you unplug
the plug, leaving 230 volts exposed on the bare metal of your US plug.
The good adaptors look like cubes and will accept many different plugs,
including a US grounded plug. Unfortunately they do not always carry ground.
They need a fair amount of force to remove a plug.
Bring a roll of electrical tape, If you have to buy the slide on adaptors
you can tape them on so they don't slide off. Crude, but a lot safer.
Geoffrey S. Mendelson, N3OWJ/4X1GM/KBUH7245/KBUW5379
The power bar works - and you KNOW your power adapters work. Buying
"cheap" adapters in europe you don't know what you have. (and you end
up with another pile of crap to store when you get home. The single
plug adapter is the lowest cost solution, and the least duplication
(which is why I have used it several times, and my daughter has used
it on her African sojurns - without any problems.
On the cruise ship I didn't even need the plug adapter as the plugs
were "universal" - took american flat blade as well as euro round pin
plugs - but all 240 volt only.
The only thing to really worry about is any over-voltage/lightning/surge pr
otector built into the power strip. Remember, 120V AC is really 170 volts
peak, double that for 240V AC. Then you have to find out what the surge pr
otector guarantees. The surge protector rating also assumes a certain sour
ce impedance, relatively high compared to the impedance of the raw voltage
that will be introduced by a direct connection to the power mains.
You're right. But his point is that if he buys the powerbar in Europe,
then he has to get the pin adapters for each of the AC adapters he plugs
He wants to buy one set of pin adapters, for the powerbar, then the North
American power bar will take all his existing ac adapters, "solving the
problem". Since they are North American, he needs the powerbar to plug
them into, but since they are switching supplies and apparently are all
able to run on 240V, they will be fine in Europe.
It will be much less current so it will work fine though if there's a
lighted switch it may not survive the higher voltage.
You could also just buy a universal power strip, i.e.
and put the proper plug on it.
That's relatively easy. Any hardware store, electrical store, DIY store,
etc will have them for about $2-$3 each. Here in Israel, they were $5 each
until we switched from 3 rectangular pins to 2 or 3 round pins on all our
plugs and sockets. The same adaptors can be used for the old plugs to the
new sockets and everyone needed lots of them and they went down in price.
It will be fine until someone sees the outlet strip and thinks it is
120 volts and plugs in a 120 volt only device. I expect that a single
person, staying in single bed rooms will be ok, but anyone traveling
in a group, sharing their hotel room, or staying in a hostel is heading
Geoffrey S. Mendelson, N3OWJ/4X1GM/KBUH7245/KBUW5379
I've given you the link to the UL-listed solution.
The answer is that you _won't_ find an "ordinary" power strip w/ 125 VAC
US plugs that says it will handle 250V because the US plug of that
configuration is only UL-rated for 125V by US convention/code.
It is against NEC Code to use plugs for other than their rating; hence
manufacturers are _NOT_ going to market any device that doesn't conform
to NEMA/NEC/UL for the purpose. That means that any device w/ a 125 VAC
plug style in the US will be marked for 125V only. End of story.
Now, we're back to the previous discussion -- is breakdown voltage in
practice greater than rated and does the device in question contain a
protective circuit that will "blow" when hit by the over-voltage and if
does, are you comfortable using it?
See other responses for my take on that one. I come back that if you're
not comfortable and not knowledgeable enough to be able to determine the
answers, use the approved route of the multiple-outlet adapter strip
showed previously or similar.
Many overseas hotels have few if any outlets. My wife and I use two
different dual voltage custom battery chargers for our cameras and two
dual voltage chargers for our tablets. Therefore, I need 4 plug
adapters (and 4 available outlets) to charge all 4 devices at the same
time. I've started traveling with 1 plug adapter, 1 six foot 16 gauge
120v extension cord with an unpolarized plug at one end and an
unpolarized triple socket at the other end, along with an old fashioned
screw-in lamp socket adapter that has a 120V plug socket on each side
before terminating in another lamp socket. I'm prepared for whatever I
find in the hotel room. The current the 4 devices draw is so low that
I'm not worried about overloading the 120V adapters and extension cords
with 240V service and on 3 recent trips, I haven't had a bit of trouble
with arcing and not a trace of warmth anywhere along any of my 120V
attachments. Obviously this setup is not to be used with hair dryers,
travel irons, or other devices that consume more than a few watts.
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