Whether you are traveling abroad or importing some electrical appliance from another country, there should always be an electric plug converter or traveling adapter in your checklist. Nowadays, electrical appliances such as laptops and mobile phones are such gadgets that you carry along all the time and everywhere. The world is advancing every second with WIFI enabled devices and the Internet of things trend has led to the making of WIFI smart power plug too.
If you are planning to travel abroad, you must have an electric plug converter with you. Due to different electrical standards in different countries, it's almost impossible for the manufacturers to make appliances universally adaptable. That is where an electric plug converter comes.
To understand the importance of electric plug converter, we should understand the different standards of electricity used by different countries. Most of the European countries, use type C, E or F plugs. Meanwhile, Italians use type L plug whereas in UK type G sockets are used and in Switzerland, you will find J type outlet.
There is another main difference. In the UK appliances use high-level voltage i.e 220V / 50 cycles that can burn out your American and Japanese appliances in seconds because they are operated with 110V (half of the voltage supplied by European electrical system).
Now that, you may have a general idea for the need of electric plug converter, your next issue is how to use one? And when to use which type of converter? Following this article might help you understand this complexity.
220V - 110V power adapter converter
Although modern electrical gadgets such as laptops and DSLR camera can sense electric voltage and adapt accordingly and you don't have to bother about conversions. These appliances operate on dual voltages and can switch accordingly. To be sure, you must always check voltage information written in the manual or at the bottom of the product. If it’s not specific and has a range like “100-220V”, then it is safe to use anywhere in the world. However, larger appliances such as fridge, washing machine, iron or hair-dryer cannot adapt varying voltage and must be supplied with a transformer or adapter. It is no rocket science to figure out which adapter might work, all you have to do is first find out at what voltage appliance will work. Secondly, you have to check what voltage is being provided by the electricity supplier in that specific country where you are at the moment and use the adapter accordingly.
Always make sure you are not providing more voltage to an appliance than the voltage it is manufactured to sustain. It can harm your appliance or in more severe consequences, your device might explode.
UK to US plug converter
As mentioned earlier, the UK and the US use a different type of plugs in their appliances. To cope with this problem, you can find UK to US plug converter or the US to UK converter as well. These converters have male and female jacks that act as a bridge and make your plug adaptable for the socket. You can check which type of plug your appliance has and what in what type of socket you have to plug it in.
Universal plug converter
Power receptacle manufacturer is nowadays more inclined to manufacturing universal plug converter. This as mentioned by name, includes all types of plugs inputs and outputs used by different conventions. Although you might find them a little expensive than typical single UK - US plug converters, but they are universally adaptable, hence once bought, you don't have to worry about this aspect ever.
Different electricity conventions used by different countries makes it complex to figure out if it is okay to plug in your appliance with the socket or not? Now that you know fundamentals and precautions, you can easily figure out when and how to use electric plug converter.