Power adapters and France

Aug 6th, 2010, 12:13 PM
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Power adapters and France

I bought an adapter kit four years ago for my first trip to Europe. I've since been to four countries and never had a problem. So, when I planned my trip to France, I didn't give the adapter a second thought. France uses a plug in that wasn't covered in my set of adapters. I could use one of my adapters in some plug-ins, but not all. I use a CPAP machine, with a big heavy current converter, so it is pretty important that I have the proper adapter. Their hardware stores didn't have what I needed either. Luckily, my hotel let me borrow one.

Lesson learned....always check.
modglila is offline  
Aug 6th, 2010, 12:33 PM
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I find that hard to believe. The plug used in France is the one used in most countries of the world.

You must have had a strange thing to plug in.
kerouac is online now  
Aug 6th, 2010, 01:00 PM
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Have to agree with Kerouac
Dukey is offline  
Aug 6th, 2010, 01:08 PM
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This one?

That would mean you were camping or doing other outdoor activites. . If not it should have been a common "schuko" or "europlug".
logos999 is offline  
Aug 6th, 2010, 01:37 PM
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There was a spot for the two round things to go into, but there was also a round prong coming out. The big thing that regulates the current (dual wattage converter), is too big (too large of a surface area) to just ignore the prong that comes out. I could plug in other things like camera chargers, etc., because I had adapters that were small enough to ignore the thing coming out of the receptacle. I needed a second adapter with European settings on both ends to act as an extender of sorts.

Here's of picture of what I needed to plug in. http://dev.gerbilnet.net/lmodglin/adapter.jpg. Without this converter, my CPAP machine won't work properly.
modglila is offline  
Aug 6th, 2010, 01:50 PM
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Whoever sold you this converter ripped you of, it would never work in a country that uses "schuko" variations such as France or Germany. There's either that thing coming out of the wall or the socket ist recessed. In any case it won't work.


logos999 is offline  
Aug 6th, 2010, 02:13 PM
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It worked in Italy, Austria, Czech Republic and Hungary. France is the first place that I've experienced a problem. I don't think they were recessed in the other countries, but you are right, it didn't work in France. I'll have to find something else before I take another trip, but that won't be for a year or two.

That second link looks exactly like they all did in France.
modglila is offline  
Aug 6th, 2010, 02:25 PM
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Both prongs in your picture must be really long (twice as long as in the picture) to fit into a socket i.e. in Austria. From the picture this seems not to be possible. You must have confused it with some other place.

logos999 is offline  
Aug 6th, 2010, 02:37 PM
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That's funny. I didn't confuse it. I stayed in Vienna, Austria. I've only been to Europe three times and I can remember where I was.
modglila is offline  
Aug 6th, 2010, 02:46 PM
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Bathroom, socket next to the mirror in a big international hotel . That may well be.
logos999 is offline  
Aug 6th, 2010, 03:05 PM
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HaHa! I never stayed in a big international hotel....too pricey for me plus I don't want to feel like I may as well be in the US. I always stay in little bitty hole in the walls; well kind of. I stayed in a lady's apartment in Vienna. She rented out three rooms in her apartment, which was huge.

In Prague, I stayed in the attic room of a a hotel and in Budapest I stayed in an apartment. IDK why I never had trouble before...just lucky I guess.

In Italy, I had to purchase an extension cord so I could plug in near the bed. I wish I didn't need that thing. It's a pain to carry around as well.
modglila is offline  
Aug 6th, 2010, 03:40 PM
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Wow, then you must be a wizard . I feel sorry for you having to carry that .. thing around with you all the time.
logos999 is offline  
Aug 7th, 2010, 07:26 AM
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That's is very interesting. All three of my CPAPs since 1999(I've been at this a long time) have had built in 110/220 capability, just like a computer. Plug it into the adapter, hold your breath until the light really does come on, and bingo! You are connected. I have never had to use a converter brick like the one you show. You should consider asking your sleep center to provide a more modern CPAP.

I have lost my adapter plug and found a really wonderful one in the computer department of an FNAC store in Avignon. I had to draw pictures of what I wanted to do because the salesman's English and my French weren't good enough to do electronics, but I pretended that I needed to do my US computer, and he found one.

You really need to take and extension cord when you travel, even in the US, because there may not be an outlet anywhere you need to have it. This has been a problem in Italy and often in the US, where the outlets are often behind built-in headboards. I have a French extension cord, but it is just as easy to carry a US cord and plug the CPAP into it and the cord into the adapter.

Better luck next time, and thanks for posting. It is good to help others anticipate issues like these.
Ackislander is offline  
Aug 7th, 2010, 10:59 AM
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During my most recent trip, I had to go to a hypermarket to buy a multiplug block. Most hotels still only give you 2 plugs in the room -- one by the desk and one in the bathroom. I had an electric cooler, my cell phone, my netbook and my camera battery charger to take care of.
kerouac is online now  
Aug 8th, 2010, 02:23 AM
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There are a surprising number of different plugs around the world (and even in Europe).

Some are interchangeable, some not.
Some have fuses, others not.
Some are different for high/low current
The earth provision is often different (or absent !)

Fortunately kropla have pretty comprehensive guides :

World electrical plug guide - http://kropla.com/electric2.htm

International TV standards - http://kropla.com/tv.htm

World phone plug guide - http://kropla.com/phones2.htm

World mobile phone guide - http://kropla.com/mobilephones.htm

I'm living in my 4th country and still have a lot of home made plug/socket converters for electrical stuff.

Note that the typical French set up : http://electricaloutlet.org/type-e will not work in most of Europe.
They work in Belgium, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Canary Islands, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Czech Republic, Djibouti, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, France, French Guiana, Greece, Guadeloupe, Ireland, Indonesia, Italy, Laos, Latvia, Lithuania, Madagascar, Mali, Martinique, Monaco, Morocco, Niger, Poland, St. Vincent, Senegal, Slovakia, Syria, Tahiti, Tunisia.

You are more likely to run across this one : http://electricaloutlet.org/styles/i...pe_f_large.jpg which is used in Algeria, American Samoa, Aruba, Austria, Azores, Balearic Islands, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Cape Verde, Chad, Croatia, El Salvador, Finland, Germany, Greece, Guinea, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Italy, Jordan, Korea, Laos, Luxembourg, Madeira, Monaco, Montenegro, Mozambique, Myanmar, Netherlands, Netherlands Antilles, Niger, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Turkey, Uruguay.

Of course, you'll find British plugs in many of the former colonies - and they don't work anywhere else !

mpprh is offline  
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