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NativeNewYorker Jun 8th, 2006 05:03 AM

Best electrical adapter for Scandanavia
I bought a generic adapter @ a local hardware store when I went to the Netherlands and Belgium, and the darned thing blew out the first night! I paid decent money for it. Any suggestions?

J62 Jun 8th, 2006 05:10 AM

Did you buy a plug adaptor or a voltage converter? The former simply allows you to plug a us appliance into a European outlet, the latter changes the voltage from 220V to 110V.

If you bought a converter, what was the power rating (how many Watts can it handle) and what device were you using?

If the converter was rated for 200-300Watts and you used a hair dryer, at 1500Watts, you were putting >5X the load on the converter, so it would burn out.

It's not a question of generic vs brand name, but rather what type is appropriate for the use. For a hair dryer, you are better off getting a dual voltage unit (it'll have a 110V/220V switch) or simply buying a cheap model once you arrive in Europe at a local store.

Budman Jun 8th, 2006 05:13 AM

An adapter is something that goes onto the end of your appliance plug so it will be compatible with European sockets.

Are you talking about a converter/transformer? This is used to step down European electricity from 220V to your 110V appliance.

These are plug adapters:

These are transformers/converters:

Hope this helps((b))

Robespierre Jun 8th, 2006 05:16 AM

Getting the right converter is slightly more complicated than just getting the power rating (Watts) right.

Converters come in two flavors:

<i>Transformer</i> type is for small electronics, such as cameras and DVD players, up to 90 Watts or so. <b>If you plug in an appliance that draws more power than the converter's rating, the converter can melt down.</b>

<i>Switching</i> type can handle much higher power (up to 2000 Watts) and so are suited for appliances that have heating elements in them. <b>If you plug an electronic device into a switching converter, either the device or the converter can melt down.</b>

Intrepid1 Jun 8th, 2006 05:27 AM

If it &quot;blew out&quot; then I assume it was some sort of converter.

It would also ne belpful to know what things you felt you needed it for (i.e., because you might end up not needing one at all).

NativeNewYorker Jun 10th, 2006 01:32 AM

Now I'm more confused than when I posted the question!

Budman Jun 10th, 2006 03:52 AM

What kind of adapter was it, and what appliance were you using with it? Was it an adapter or converter? ((b))

hopscotch Jun 10th, 2006 03:58 AM

Maybe if you gave more of a description than *the darned thing blew out* we could give you some decent advice. There is a good discussion of electrical stuff in Europe at

ira Jun 10th, 2006 04:51 AM


Here are pix of plug adapters:

You use them for devices that accept 110-240V. The label on your device will tell you if they do.

If you have devices that are 110V only, you need a voltage converter. They look like this


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