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Electrical question - recharging batteries

Electrical question - recharging batteries

May 3rd, 2005, 08:43 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 176
Electrical question - recharging batteries

I have an electrical question for European travel. Used to be we only worried about a hair dryer that would work in Europe, now it's recharging camera batteries, IPods, cell phones, PDAs, etc. I suppose I could buy multiple converters or spend time switching things around, but was wondering if anyone has used one converter with some sort of extension cord so a number of items could charge at one time. Any thoughts?
Sammie is offline  
May 3rd, 2005, 09:27 PM
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As a general rule these days, anything with a charger (to convert AC to DC for battery operated devices) will work on 110 - 220V, so no voltage converter is required - you simply need a plug adaptor so your flat prong US plug fits into the European outlet. Just check the chargers you have now to confirm they say 110/220 input, or something similar.

I carry with me a grounded 3-1 US plug adaptor that lets me plug in 3 US items using only 1 plug converter. I've also used a std 2 wire US extension cord with 2-3 outlets on the end without issue.

Some will advise any electrical item MUST be CE marked & specifically state "220V rated" or there's a safety concern. Given the insulation I've seen on most European lampcords compared to even your basic US extension cord and also the fact that at 220V you're drawing 1/2 the current vs 110V, I personally have no concern about using one up at a US hardware store to do as you suggest for charging low power devices.
J62 is online now  
May 3rd, 2005, 09:39 PM
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Thanks J62 ... I will do as you suggest and pack an extension cord. I do in the US so why not Europe?
Sammie is offline  
May 4th, 2005, 04:57 AM
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Hi S,

>I will do as you suggest and pack an extension cord. I do in the US so why not Europe?<

Mainly because Europe is 220V and your extension cord is rated at only 110V.

There is a **small** chance that your cord will not be able to handle the increased voltage, will short out and burn down the hotel.

ira is offline  
May 10th, 2005, 10:50 PM
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Thanks for the help. It inspired me to check with a company that makes custom extension cords and was told the following: so long as I do not use an appliance that draws a lot of power (hairdryer) the items described (cameras, ipods, palms) all use low voltage so should be okay. Also told if I use a heavier duty multi grounded plug it should be no problem. Fortunately most of these items charge so quickly a prolonged time plugged in is not necessary.
Sammie is offline  
May 11th, 2005, 05:30 AM
Join Date: May 2003
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Don't worry about the extension cords shorting out, if they're OK here.

Underwriters Laboratories requires US extension cords to be rated at 600 volts minimum (it may have gone up) for use in the 120-volt USA.
metlc is offline  
May 11th, 2005, 05:54 AM
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The power demand (Watts) of an appliance (hair dryer, battery charger, whatever) is the controlling factor. Volts x Amps = Watts, so if a hairdryer needs 1200 Watts it will simply pull 1/2 the amps with 240v supply than it would with 120v supply. As far as the extension cord is concerned, it will be the same amount of juice passing through.
Gardyloo is offline  

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