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OT Int'l Electrical Adapter three prong vs two prong

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D107
D107 Member Posts: 1,855
This is for US to China for things like charging cell phones, camera batteries etc. We have one three prong (in and out) and 2 two prong (in and out). We want to have 4. Wondering for these simple devices is there any need to get three prong units? Should I ditch the two prong units and go with the 3?

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  • bburd
    bburd Member Posts: 924
    edited April 21
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    China uses continental European plugs with slim round pins. For grounding appliances there's a contact at the edge of the housing. Most of the appliances a traveler would use do not have a ground connection, so two pins are enough.

    China does not use the large format British plugs or the angled ones used I believe in South Africa.

    Bburd
    D107Mad Dog_2
  • D107
    D107 Member Posts: 1,855
    edited April 21
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    Thanks. My wife has experienced basically the type 'i' outlets there, see below. There are two other kinds but the 'i' is what she needs. These are also apparently good for Australia. Much different than the British or Indian outlets. Good to know two prong are OK for camera batteries and Iphones.


  • jumper
    jumper Member Posts: 2,289
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    Nothing wrong with type A which I remember were standard here in fifties.
    Too bad that voltage and frequency can differ. I wonder what the history is?
  • bburd
    bburd Member Posts: 924
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    I only saw types C and F in China. This was in Guangzhou and Beijing about 15 years ago. It's interesting that they don't have a national standard according to that chart.


    Bburd
  • Sylvain
    Sylvain Member Posts: 147
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    bburd said:

    It's interesting that they don't have a national standard according to that chart.

    Why reinventing the wheel? For protectionism?
    There are already too many of them.
    See https://www.iec.ch/world-plugs
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,455
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    It's not just the configuration of the prongs you need to worry about -- although I would (and did, some years back) simply get one of the many international travel kits which have an assortment that covers pretty much anything.

    You also need to consider voltage and frequency. Some devices -- chargers for phones, for instance, in most cases -- don't care. Some care very much, to the point of destroying the widget if used on the wrong frequency or voltage (not to mention burning your hotel room down).
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    D107
  • D107
    D107 Member Posts: 1,855
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    Agreed. These days what gets charged via local outlet is cellphone, camera battery, laptop, and, via the laptop USB, a water pic. For things like hair driers, hopefully travelers' hotels will have their own hooked up, unless traveler has a unit that has variable voltage or brings along a voltage converter. Those with sleep apnea machines should double-check voltage/Hz. My major concern was using an ungrounded two prong adapter, but our devices would seem not to need a ground. China's electrical current seems to be 220V, 50 Hz.

    For all those interested, this is the website for the Int'l Electrictrotechnical Commission:
    https://www.iec.ch/homepage
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,455
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    Pretty much the only area that isn't 220 or 249, 50 hz is North America.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    D107
  • jumper
    jumper Member Posts: 2,289
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    When personal computers became available the story was that they needed a ground for neutral. Technically ground, return; and neutral are distinct. Are foreign 220 volt systems two live out of phase like here or is one wire a return?
  • PRR
    PRR Member Posts: 156
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    jumper said:

    Are foreign....

    There are no safe assumptions.
    The majority of domestic(*) power is grounded on one side to divert lightning strikes, but -part- of Brazil is wired leg-to-leg delta, both power wires over 100V away from local ground.

    (*)Get out of the house into industrial work and many other systems can be found.)

  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 7,113
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    I know it wasn't smart, but we never thought twice of breaking off the grounding prong to fit a tool in to a Two prong outlet..No time for safety...ha ha... Haven't done that in a long time. Mad Dog 
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,793
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    D107 said:
    This is for US to China for things like charging cell phones, camera batteries etc. We have one three prong (in and out) and 2 two prong (in and out). We want to have 4. Wondering for these simple devices is there any need to get three prong units? Should I ditch the two prong units and go with the 3?
    I'm assuming China has GFCI built into the entire electrical system in every building so every outlet is protected.  If that's the case two prongs is fine even if the device wasn't plastic.  It's still possible to shock you but it'll be limited and not lethal.

    If the device are all plastic then it's not going to matter anyway. 


    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Sylvain
    Sylvain Member Posts: 147
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    jumper said:

    Are foreign 220 volt systems two live out of phase like here or is one wire a return?

    In my country you could see any type of distribution system including corner-grounded power system.
    My house is 3 X 240V without neutral.

    see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earthing_system